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Most people will tell you that Thanksgiving is not the time to wing it, and those people are probably right. But life doesn't always work out that way. Should you find yourself 24 hours from the big day with no turkey, not enough chairs and a supermarket out of celery, don't panic. When you feel like the wheels might be coming off (and they will come off), just remember that people will eat (something) and that as long as there is wine (there should be), they will have fun.

Here are some other tips to help you keep your sanity.

  1. Outsource. Everything. Outsource the adult beverages, the cheese plate, the cranberry sauce, the flowers, the table setting, the carving and the clean-up. "What can I bring?" are the four most magical words in hosting. Listen for them. Take advantage of them.
  2. Pick two to three things to make and make them well. I always choose the dish I'm pickiest about, since I'd rather cancel Thanksgiving than have someone ruin it for me by making soggy, under-seasoned stuffing.
  3. Be lawless, be flexible. This means being open to creating new traditions. Out of turkey? Make two chickens. Pie crust melted in the oven? Serve ice cream instead. Don't like sweet potatoes? Don't serve 'em. This is your Thanksgiving, and you make the rules. Isn't that great?

Go deeper

13 mins ago - Health

CDC: It's time for "universal face mask use"

Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty

The CDC is urging “universal face mask use” for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic began, citing recent case spikes as the U.S. has entered a phase of “high-level transmission” before winter officially begins.

Why it matters: Daily COVID-related deaths across the U.S. hit a new record on Wednesday. Face coverings have been shown to increase protection of the wearer and those around them, despite some Americans' reluctance to use them.

2 hours ago - World

Saudi Arabia and Qatar near deal to end standoff, sources say

Qatar's prime minister (R) attends the 2019 Gulf Cooperation Council summit in Saudi Arabia. Photo: Fayez Nureldine/AFP via Getty

Saudi Arabia and Qatar are close to a deal to end the diplomatic crisis in the Gulf following U.S.-mediated reconciliation talks this week, sources familiar with the talks tell me.

Why it matters: Restoring relations between Saudi Arabia and Qatar would bring a sense of stability back to the Gulf after a 3.5 year standoff. It could also notch a last-minute achievement for the Trump administration before Jan. 20.

House passes bill to decriminalize marijuana

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), a longtime marijuana legalization advocate and co-sponsor of the bill. Photo: Pete Marovich For The Washington Post via Getty Images

The House on Friday voted 228-164 in favor of the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, marking the first time a congressional chamber has voted in favor of decriminalizing marijuana at the federal level.

Why it matters: The Washington Post describes the bill as a "landmark retreat in the nation’s decades-long war on drugs," which has disproportionately affected people of color.