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Thanksgiving Checklist

Planning Thanksgiving dinner for the first time can be overwhelming.  I say this because there is a great deal of food to prepare and it all has to come to the table at one time.  The key is to be organized and not get frazzled. You need to plan in advance, do as much as possible a day or two before Thanksgiving and assign tasks to family members. lBelow you will find a checklist to help keep you organized.  Relax and Enjoy!

 

Fun Things to do in the Fall with Kids
 

Thanksgiving Games, Recipes, Books, and Movies
 

Tips for Carving a Turkey

 

Thanksgiving Crafts and Decorating Tips

Thanksgiving Dinner Checklist

 

 

 1 Week Before Thanksgiving

  1. Confirm you guest list.  Email or call family and friends to make sure you know exactly who will be attending so that you can create your menu.
     

  2. Create your food and drink menu.  Assign guest an appetizer, dessert or beverage to bring so that you can focus on the main course.  Pull your recipes so you know what you need to purchase.
     

  3. Purchase or order your turkey.  Make sure you have a roasting pan large enough to hold the turkey and that it will fit into your oven.
     

  4. Determine if you have enough seating for all guests or if you need to purchase or borrow a folding table and chairs to accommodate all guests.  Make a seating chart.
     

  5. Take inventory of your dinner ware to determine if you have enough or need to make other arrangements.  You can always use complimentary colors or patterns.  Do you have a gravy boat and bread basket? Is it clean or do you need to wash it?
     

  6. Create a list of everything you'll need to purchase or pull out of storage.  Divide the grocery list into things that can be purchased in advance and those that you will need to do at the last minute.  Consider your food list, serving bowls and trays, candles, table cloths, flowers or other type of centerpiece.  Don't forget drinks for the kids and fixers such as soda, ice, tonic water, lemons and limes. Make sure you have all of the necessary spices your recipes will need.
     

  7. Decorate your home for the holiday.  Click here for Party Decorating Tips.
     

  8. Check your tablecloth and napkins to make sure they are clean and pressed.
     

  9. Be sure you have extra containers and Ziploc bags to use for leftovers.

 

Thanksgiving Week

Monday

  1. If you have a frozen turkey then pull it from the freezer and put it in the refrigerator to defrost.  Remember that it will take a few days.
     

  2. Do a thorough cleaning of your house.
     

  3. Clean out the refrigerator to make room.

Tuesday

  1. Go to the grocery store.
     

  2. Prepare any foods that can be done in advance.

Wednesday

  1. Purchase last minute items like flowers, fruit and vegetables.  Go early to try to avoid long lines at the grocery store.
     

  2. Buy or make your centerpiece.
     

  3. Set your table so it is one less thing that you need to do in the morning.
     

  4. Set up your bar area.
     

  5. Pull out all of the serving dishes and utensils that you will need.
     

  6. Prepare any food that will hold overnight: Prepare cranberry sauce, make vegetable casseroles so they are ready to cook, peel potatoes and refrigerate them in a pot of cold water, prepare stuffing.
     

  7. Wednesday night pull anything in the freezer out and put it into the refrigerator.
     

  8. Do last minute cleaning: guest bathroom, vacuum the rugs.  If possible keep the family out of those rooms.
     

  9. Plan on doing take-out for dinner so that you do not have to worry about feeding your family.

Thursday

  1. Put turkey in the oven early.  It will take a long time to cook.
     

  2. Finish preparing last minute items and cook already prepared items.
     

  3. Put soup on to warm slowly.
     

  4. Chill your white wine.
     

  5. Get your coffee pot ready so you just have to turn it on to brew.
     

  6. Assign jobs to family members to help make the process easier: turkey carver, drink pourer, potato masher, soup server. 
     

  7. Enjoy Dinner!!