I like to try new things at Thanksgiving, too, since I don't do much cooking at other times of the year. But, I do try to stick with variations on things I am already comfortable with, or to make sure that whatever new thing I'm trying is either non-essential or has a solid back-up plan.
So the first year I made cranberry sauce from actual cranberries, I still bought a couple cans of it in case mine turned out no good. This year, I tried a new recipe for cooked cranberry sauce, but it was the same method I've used before with only slightly different ingredients (and I bought two bags of cranberries just in case I screwed it up or we didn't like it).
I'm glad your T-giving worked out well, Toots! I realized after cooking ours this year that a reliable probe thermometer is absolutely not optional anymore. We keep having ours break, so we've been relying on an instant-read thermometer. It works fine, but it means we have to keep finding the right spot to put it, and continuously take the turkey (or whatever) out of the oven in order to test it. The dark meat on our turkey this year ended up being a teeny bit undercooked, I think largely because we weren't able to get an accurate read on the thighs consistently. It wasn't a big deal (we just put the dark meat only back in the oven to cook al little longer), but I really hate the guesswork when I can't 100% trust that the temperature I'm seeing is accurate.
On the plus side, our turkey was delicious and juicy, and since we planned to eat it for actual dinner, we had the whole day to slowly cook the sides before we had to put the turkey in. It's one of the perks of having just the two of us for the holiday. There's no set timeline, and nowhere we needed to be.