This post contains My Thanksgiving Planner! Enjoy!
Does the thought of Thanksgiving make you pause and remember the blessings you’ve been given or does it make you want to run screaming for your dear life?
Unfortunately, Thanksgiving can be stressful.
Just think for a second about having people in your home, cooking enough food, trying not burn the turkey, cleaning, and don’t forget about beautiful decorations to make the day “extra” special. Goodness!
I’m here to tell you that you can have a great holiday and enjoy it, even if you host a large gathering!!
You simply need to have a no-fail plan that will carry you through Thanksgiving and Black Friday without leaving you less than thankful.
Here goes, a solid thanksgiving plan should start about 3 weeks before Thanksgiving. This means you need to seriously think about Thanksgiving right around Halloween. It’s ok to do this!! Trust me, you’ll feel in control of all the things.
Here’s an extra decorating tip – I always make sure that my house is decorated for fall in early October. If there is anything Halloween related, I go ahead and remove it after 10/31. This means that my house is pretty nice before November even arrives.
3 Weeks Before Thanksgiving –
Finalize your guest list – This may be easy if it’s simply a family gathering. If it is, write the names down and get a good count. Add a couple extra servings just in case.
Plan your menu – Turkey or ham or both. Don’t forget sides, bread, and desserts. Also, if you have small children in your family you may want to do something special for them. Whatever you want to make, write it down.
Make a shopping list – Use your menu and make a shopping list for your Thanksgiving meal. Make sure to write everything down you need from your recipes. You can check things off that you already have later. **Don’t forget paper products, see below.
Buy paper products – If you are using paper plates, etc., you should go ahead and get those before the selection is picked over. Also, grab an extra pack of toilet paper and paper towels to have just in case.
Order your meat – If you special order your turkey or ham, do that now.
Cooking tools and serving dishes – You should locate these items and make sure they are clean. If you need to purchase some, now is a good time to purchase large serving dishes or borrow them if needed.
2 Weeks Before –
Clean out freezer – Take inventory of what’s in your freezer and make room for things to be made ahead of time. If you have things that can be used from your freezer without having to buy, mark it off your shopping list.
Grocery shop your cabinets – If you have things that you need already, mark it off your list.
Grocery shop for non-perishables – I like to get this done so when I go back the grocery bill isn’t quite as high.
Pre-make items – pies, homemade cranberry sauce, baked sweet potatoes or casserole, and baked pumpkins can easily be frozen to save time later on.
Deep clean – Deep clean areas where guests will be such as bathrooms, guest rooms, living room, and kitchen/dining area.
1 Week Before –
Clean out fridge – you’ll want extra space for all of your food and supplies so make sure your fridge is all cleaned out.
Get groceries. – You should only need perishables and maybe a few other essentials. Stick to your list. There will be a lot of distractions, don’t buy unless it’s on the list.
3-4 Days Before –
Thaw turkey – Put turkey in the fridge to thaw.
Watch Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and have a CB thanksgiving meal. See this post for ideas.
2 Days Before –
Prepare veggies – chop veggies in preparation of your meal.
Set the table – put all of your serving dishes on the table that way it’s ready to put cooked items in.
Thaw – put sweet potato casserole, pies and anything else you pre-made (frozen items) into the fridge.
1 Day Before –
Quick clean – Double check bathrooms, vacuum, sweep, dust if needed.
Do your baking – Make pies or other desserts if not already done. This is a good time to get the dressing done too!!
Prep turkey for cooking – rub with butter, make brine, whatever your recipe calls for and set back in your fridge.
Drinks – Make tea and other drinks.
Sides – Make deviled eggs, salads and slaw then refrigerate.
Thanksgiving Day –
Cook turkey/stuffing – allow enough time to do any additional warming or baking in the oven after the turkey is done.
Shower and dress – Don’t forget this important step. If you wait till later in the day you may be in trouble. Get it done early so you feel ready when guests start arriving.
Make gravy and other stove top items.
Bake rolls and reheat side items.
Enjoy your meal and be thankful for another blessed Thanksgiving!!
I want you to enjoy Thanksgiving and the days following. To help with Thanksgiving planning, you can download your free “My Thanksgiving Planner” printable here.
I hope you have many Thanksgiving Blessings this year!!