So, you’ve determined it’s time to prove your adulthood once and for all by officially announcing you’ll be hosting Thanksgiving this year. Rule #1: Don’t panic! You’ve made a monumental decision that if all goes well, you’ll go down in family lore as the one who assembled the most glorious and luscious feast.

No pressure, you got this. It’s going to take a whole lot of planning, some elbow grease, maybe a few tears if onions are involved and a glass (or two) of wine to pull off the ultimate Thanksgiving.

Where to even begin can be stressful enough and have you rethinking your hosting duties. But you’re not going to throw in the towel. By following these rules, you won’t just pull off any other holiday dinner; nope, you’ll crush it like a boss.

Rule #2 (Remember Rule #1? Don’t panic!) Make a Plan

Planning and being organized is the secret ingredient here. First, you’ll want to ask yourself the following questions:

How many people are coming?

What time should we eat?

Should I do a buffet style dinner?

Where should the turkey go?

Should we eat in the dining room?

Is someone going to bring dessert?

The objective here is to get a count of how many people will be joining. If it’s more than eight guests, consider a buffet-style dinner in which each person builds their Thanksgiving masterpiece in the kitchen. This frees up the dining room table and shows off your holiday centerpiece even more. Plus, you’ll avoid any potential stress of trying to find a seat for Uncle Rick.

Rule #3 Create a Menu

This is your first time at the rodeo and while we have high expectations, we need to be realistic and not go overboard. When identifying recipes and creating the menu, select dishes that are simple to make and trusted in taste. This means avoiding the mashed potato casserole that involves more steps than a calculus problem. Once the menu is finalized, get a pen and paper and write out your grocery list.

Rule #4 Buy Your Groceries

You have your thought-out list on paper, now it’s time to take that list to the grocery store. DO NOT SHOP THE DAY BEFORE THANKSGIVING (All caps gives it more of a “we’re not messing around” effect). Buy your groceries a few days before. This gives you time to prep dishes and make any last minute runs if need be.

Rule #5 It’s Okay to Ask for Help

This is very, very, very important. Sure, you want to prove you can host Thanksgiving, but do not be too proud. If someone offers to help, whether that’s lending a hand in the kitchen or offering to help move furniture around, please say yes. If Grandma Sue wants to make her world famous sweet potatoes, take her up on the offer! It will make things so much easier for you.

Rule #6 Have Fun

Okay, on the inside you may be freaking out, but on the exterior, show that you’re not spooked. Have fun and relax. As a host, it’s important to look your best for guests. That means whipping the flour and butter off your face and dress to impress. You’ve worked hard. Enjoy the fruits of your labor and watch as everything goes according to plan.

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Blue Wolf Tavern!