Thanksgiving Planning: What You Can Do Now
Sure, Thanksgiving is still three weeks away, so you may feel like you have all the time in the world to start your menu planning, organizing, assigning of chores and prepping, but do yourself a favor and start the process now. You'll be less stressed as the holiday approaches, and you'll be able to spend more time on the things that really matter, like family.
2 to 3 Weeks Before You Can:
:: Plan your menu and start your grocery list.
Decide what old standbys you're going to make, and be on the lookout for new recipes that you'd like to try. Get a list of foods you're going to need to stock up on, be it cream cheese for your famous pumpkin cheesecake or sweet potatoes for your grandma's sweet potato casserole. Watch for sales and clip coupons so you're saving on items you know you'll need.
:: Test new recipes.
Now is a great time to test drive something you think might be a good Thanksgiving dinner fit so you know what you're getting into on the day of. Pick a Saturday or a Sunday afternoon to cook a meal for your immediate family. They can give opinions and recommendations on new side dishes or appetizers before you serve them to all of your Thanksgiving dinner guests.
:: Order the turkey.
If you're ordering from somewhere and not buying frozen, be sure to place your order early so that there's no confusion and you don't miss any cutoff dates. If you're buying frozen, watch for sales and clear space in your freezer to house the bird.
:: Let the guests know what they can do.
Plan your guest list and make sure everyone knows when to show up. Even if you're not a potluck-style home, guests can pitch in by bringing wine or other beverage choices or entertainment, whether it's board games or toys for the younger kids to busy themselves with.
:: Decide on decor.
Make sure you have enough place settings, napkins and placemats for all of your dinner guests. Take a moment to think about the atmosphere and how you want the house to look, and go about putting those things together in an area off to the side. Make sure your tablecloths are clean and ready to go or you have enough TV trays for the living room.