A: Lots. Tons. Loads. Seriously, for many people, the sides are the stars of the Thanksgiving table. This is partly because turkey doesn't excite some eaters, but mostly because traditional Thanksgiving side dishes are so darn delicious.
The number of sides you prepare for the feast will largely be determined by the number of people you're hosting, but there's no magic formula to tell you how much is enough. The safest bet is to serve up as many of the time-tested faves you can reasonably prepare without completely exhausting yourself. So here's a rough template of the basics:
At least two veggie dishes. These can be as simple or complex as you and your crowd like. Sautéed green beans, roasted Brussels sprouts, baby carrots, mashed turnips—these are the kinds of things folks want to spoon onto their plates. T-Day is traditionally pretty carb-heavy, so it's nice to offer a variety of lighter veggie dishes for balance.
Stuffing. Because it's arguably more delicious and satisfying than the turkey.
Potatoes. Maybe white, maybe sweet, maybe both. Mashed, scalloped, roasted, whatever.
Cranberry sauce. Do not make the mistake of omitting this. Not everyone uses it, but for lots of people, it's not Thanksgiving without it.
More Thanksgiving Sides Ideas: