I’m hosting Thanksgiving this year. Any tips to make it less stressful? — Rebecca

Great question! There are a few things I like to do in late October or early November to help my Thanksgiving prep.

1) Get my kitchen knives sharpened. Your guests will likely be helping you in the kitchen. You won’t want them using crummy tools.

2) Take inventory of your dinnerware/china and utensils. Do you have enough place settings for all your guests? Have you lost a few random spoons over the last year? (Spoons are notorious for getting thrown out with yogurt cups or lost in the sandbox.) If you have any gaps to fill in, this is the time to place your orders. I’ll be adding more silverware this year — my preferred pattern is Old Denmark by Yamazaki.

3) Ask guests if there are any particular foods or recipes that will make or break Thanksgiving for them and add those recipes to your menu. For example, personally, I have a particular veggie dip that I’m totally homesick for if I don’t get a bite at Thanksgiving.

What about you Dear Readers? What are your best tips for preparing for Thanksgiving?