Last Minute Thanksgiving Ideas

An elegant Thanksgiving table.

Thanksgiving is a beloved holiday filled with good food and good company. This once a year event is known to be filled with laughter, love, and football, and it should be a fun and memorable day. If you’re hosting the holiday, it doesn’t mean that you have to drive yourself crazy getting your house and table ready. Use the tips below to throw together the perfect Thanksgiving feast for your loved ones to enjoy, even if only given a moment’s notice. Below, find the best last minute Thanksgiving tips to ensure you get everything done without breaking a sweat.


There are many easy yet large-impact decorations to pull together quickly for a beautiful Thanksgiving table.

Upgraded Napkins

Take your normal linens and bring them to the next level! This can be easily done by tying festive ribbon or yarn around the napkins to place elegantly on place settings. This simple step really dresses up napkins and changes the look of your table.

Pinecone Wreath

If you have a yard that’s riddled with pinecones, you can easily whip up a festive wreath for little to no cost. To do so, you’ll need a wire wreath form, a hot glue gun, and an abundance of differently sized pinecones. Simply glue these onto the form until it’s filled. You may even want to paint the edges of your pinecones with metallic, glittery, or brightly colored paint to give this wreath an extra pop of color.

Pumpkin Place Cards

If you can find mini pumpkins and have some construction or cardstock paper, this decoration will be a cinch. Use a marker to neatly write guest names on rectangles of paper and place the labeled paper on the mini pumpkin to mark each individual's spot while also making your table more festive.


Thanksgiving food on a table.

There are many things that could potentially go wrong while cooking a Thanksgiving feast. Thankfully, a range of last-minute food hacks takes the worry away.

Makeshift Turkey Rack

If you’re cooking a turkey but don’t have a rack to use underneath it in its pan, there’s no need to dash out to the store for one. Instead, create a makeshift rack with vegetables such as celery stalks and carrots.

Take Advantage of Kitchen Shears

Your kitchen shears don’t need to be used merely for cutting the run-of-the-mill items. Use them to speed up the process of snipping the ends of green beans, trimming herbs, and even use them for taking unwanted fat off of raw turkey.

Microwave Potatoes

Instead of spending the time boiling your potatoes, you can microwave them instead. You’ll receive the same desired result in a fraction of the time.


A table with a Thanksgiving meal on it.

Being the hostess with the mostess can feel like a lot of pressure, but there are many last minute hacks to follow to make this a breeze and to leave guests wowed.

Chill Wine with Salt

Adding a handful of salt to a bucket of water and ice allows wine to chill much faster. This will keep the drinks flowing for your guests!

Go Disposable

As far as cups go, you may want to opt to use disposable cups for guests and leave a marker or two around for individuals to label their drinks with. This will cut down on clean up time and will allow guests to keep track of their beverage easily.

Set Up a Leftover Station

Thanksgiving is known to produce many leftovers in most households, so you may want to set up an area to allow guests to pack up a container filled with leftovers to take home with them. This will free up space in your fridge, minimize the need for cleanup, and will make for happy guests. At this station, have extra serving gear, containers, markers for labeling, and plastic bags.

Creating a picture-perfect day for yourself and your guests on Thanksgiving is possible, even if you’re down to the wire in making it happen! Just follow these tips and your guests will soon be raving about their holiday at your home.