Cleaning the oven isn’t fun, especially if you’re spending an hour scrubbing or if you forget to empty the oven before starting the self-cleaning cycle.
Make it easier on yourself. If you’re cooking something with mess-potential, set a baking sheet right under it or on the rack below. You can line the sheet with parchment or aluminum foil. Then you’ll have something to catch the drips, because scraping caramelized sweet potatoes or pie filling off the bottom of the oven is not part of a Happy Thanksgiving.
(Don’t put aluminum foil directly on the bottom of the oven. It’s a safety risk and it can damage your oven.)
True family story: One Thanksgiving morning someone accidently started the self-cleaning cycle while a giant ham was in the oven. The oven locked for a three-hour cycle of high heat, and my brother had to break it open to rescue the ham before it went up in flames. To this day you have to jimmy the handle higher on the left if you want to open the oven door.