Don't stress! With the right planning, you can pull off a Thanksgiving feast for a crowd.
CHECK YOUR SUPPLIES
You want to make sure that you are armed with the right tools. Inspect your cooking equipment. You should have enough flatware, china, glasses, serving dishes, serving spoons, oven mitts and knives for slicing, chopping and carving. You'll want to heat more than one item at a time, so you should have adequate oven racks, too.
Purchase anything you are missing in advance so you aren't scrambling on the big day. Party-rental stores have items that caterers use like chafing dishes and big bowls. You can also rent chairs, tables, tablecloths and dishes for the evening from them.
ASSESS YOUR SPACE
Your menu should be compatible with the space that you have. Look at your fridge, freezer and counter space. If you want to display dinner items or serve an array of desserts, make sure you have the space to spread them out and transfer onto plates.
MAKE A MENU
Decide what you are cooking, and make a list of ingredients. Do you have enough sugar, spices, flour and other staples on hand? Buy your ingredients in advance so you aren't short on breadcrumbs as you are making the stuffing.
CLEAN OUT THE FRIDGE
You want to have room for all the raw and cooked ingredients. Consider buying a small fridge or cooler to stash excess food. Or, you can borrow the fridge space of a neighbor who isn't playing holiday hostess.
Consider getting help. Ask somebody to help set the table, chill wines, wash dishes and set and clean the table. Or get help from the store -- that is, buy prepared foods so you don't have to make everything from scratch. If you want the homemade touch without the hassle, ask a guest to make one of the recipes or to bring a dish.
DO KITCHEN PREP WORK
Many foods can be frozen if prepared in advance. At the very least, prep work like chopping, cutting and slicing can be done in advance. Make a calendar of what will be made when. That way everything will get done in a timely manner, and you won't stress on the big day. Happy Thanksgiving feasting!