Besides setting the table early — a couple of days before Thanksgiving — I also put aside several extra place settings. I'll stack two to three plates, chargers, napkins, and utensils in a hidden spot in the dining room.
My Thanksgiving is a "the more, the merrier" type of event, so if someone shows up with an unexpected friend or family member, all I have to do is grab the extra place setting that's ready and add another chair to the table.
It's one less thing to worry about, and will ensure that you don't have to go digging into your China cabinet looking for extra plates on the big night. Got a great Thanksgiving tip? Please share it with us below!