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12 Crucial Thanksgiving Tips For Rookie Hosts

First time hosting? Don't worry! Try Kikkoman's brining recipe for a juicy bird this Thanksgiving!

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1. Usually one pound per person is a good rule when deciding your turkey's weight.

Howard Shooter / Getty Images
Laura Beach / Getty Images

This will allow a good amount of turkey per guest, room for seconds, AND sandwiches for later.

2. Prep as much food as possible the week leading up to the big day!

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Courtesy of Kristyn Merkley
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Save fast-cooking veggies like string beans and mushrooms for the day of. But dishes like stuffing, mashed sweet potatoes, and pie crust can be made a few days in advance.

3. Don't feel pressured to make everything from scratch.

If baking isn't your strong suit, buy a pie! Then add your own custom flourishes, like pipetting homemade whipped cream on top or grating fresh nutmeg!
Courtesy of Sift & Whisk / Via siftandwhisk.com

If baking isn't your strong suit, buy a pie! Then add your own custom flourishes, like pipetting homemade whipped cream on top or grating fresh nutmeg!

4. And only plan to make dishes that you've made before.

Do NOT try out a pumpkin spice soufflé recipe for the first time. (You have enough to stress out about!)
Courtesy of Sylvia Fountaine, author of FEASTING AT HOME / Via feastingathome.com

Do NOT try out a pumpkin spice soufflé recipe for the first time. (You have enough to stress out about!)

5. Make room in your fridge and freezer the day before so you're not cramming.

All those pesky condiments in the side doors can be moved to a cooler, if need be.
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All those pesky condiments in the side doors can be moved to a cooler, if need be.

6. And set the table the night before.

Maegan Tintari / CC BY 2.0 / Flickr: lovemaegan
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Thinkstock

This is such an easy thing to check off your list, and it shouldn't be saved 'til the last minute!

7. Tell guests to arrive 45 minutes before you serve the meal so you can actually enjoy their company.

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No one likes run around AND try to entertain.

8. Buy crafts for small children to keep them happy and occupied during dinner.

Just put apples, mini marshmallows, raisins, and toothpicks on the table!
Courtesy of Laura Mintz

Just put apples, mini marshmallows, raisins, and toothpicks on the table!

9. Say yes when people ask to help!

This might seem obvious, but don't be shy about delegating tasks for what you need most.
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This might seem obvious, but don't be shy about delegating tasks for what you need most.

10. Have extra appetizers on hand in case you mess up the timing with the menu.

Thomas Barwick / Getty Images
Thomas Barwick / Getty Images

Let's be real: Not everything will go as planned. Apps will make sure no one is hangry.

11. Set time aside for yourself to de-stress before the guests arrive.

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If you're relaxed, everyone else will feel calmer! Take a shower, lie down for 15 minutes, dance to some Miley... Whatever ya need.

12. Buy extra containers so guests can bring leftovers home.

Lisa Hubbard / Getty Images
Courtesy of Sift & Whisk / siftandwhisk.com

You don't wanna deprive your guests of post-Thanksgiving sandwiches — that would just be cruel.

Try Kikkoman's easy brining recipe for a juicy turkey this Thanksgiving!

So at least you can check that off your list!
Courtesy of Kikkoman

So at least you can check that off your list!