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By Cara Beth Lewis

We have officially entered the holiday season, and Thanksgiving is quickly approaching. A time of family traditions, lots of food, and truthfully – a little bit of stress. Life always gets a little busier this time of year, but we would like to share some tips to make things a little easier, as well as some recipes to try!

Thanksgiving traditions do not look the same for everyone. However, I think most of us think of turkey, gravy, pies, and casseroles when we think of this Autumn holiday. According to Food Network’s “Top Thanksgiving Recipes in Every State,” North Carolina’s favorite Thanksgiving side dish is collard greens.

Bowl of collard greens (Photo from foodnetwork.com)

I think it is safe to say that most Thanksgiving meals involve turkey. Carving a turkey can be a daunting task for someone who has never done it or does not have much experience in that area. After all, it is the star of the Thanksgiving show for many families! Listed below are some turkey-carving tips from foodnetwork.com.

How to carve a turkey:

1. Rest your bird before carving.
2. Use a sharp knife.
3. Slice off the leg and thigh.
4. Slice off the wings.
5. Remove the breasts.
6. Slice the white meat.
7. Slice the dark meat.
8. Eat it while it’s still warm!

Maybe your family has the same menu every single year, using the same recipes, and you are getting bored. Trying a new recipe for a dish you love, or even adding something new to the menu, is a great way to improve your Thanksgiving meal! Check out: Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes.

If you are hosting Thanksgiving this year, read below for some tips!

• Don’t turn down help! If someone wants to help you, let them. Hosting a large gathering is a big job to try to do alone.

• Make lists ahead of time. Write down your menu and make a grocery list. This will help you to feel more in-control, and it is less likely that you will forget something if you have a list.

• Make ahead and prep as much as you can prior to the day-of. You can also split up the menu and let everyone bring something to your Thanksgiving table!

Thanksgiving is a holiday to enjoy being with your loved ones and remember all that you are thankful for. Over the years, things change, families grow, and traditions evolve, but the meaning of this holiday remains. In the midst of the holiday hustle and bustle, don’t forget to be thankful and enjoy!