I am so excited about the holidays this year! I have a confession to make though. I’ve never really gone all out for our holidays. I mean, when I was single I just celebrated with my family. Then when I got married just a few years ago and had a family of my own, I never really made the transition to putting together our own celebrations for my husband and my baby girl. But this year I’m determined to change that! I’ve decided to get my game together and finally put on a great Thanksgiving dinner! (And hopefully an awesome Christmas party later on!)
In the past I have been horrible about planning and preparing for holidays and celebrations of all kinds. What can I say? I’m a hard-core introvert and I’ve only hosted maybe three parties in my life! (And one of those was my wedding!! Does that count?) But even if it’s just you and your family having dinner together, I’ve learned that a little preparation can go a LONG way to making a fun and enjoyable celebration. So I’ve put together a checklist to help me (and you!) prepare for and have the best Thanksgiving ever!
Since the Thanksgiving celebration is mostly about dinner, that’s what my checklist focuses on. Thanksgiving is one of the biggest dinners of the year and I always look forward to eating it! (Cooking is another story…) Here’s the 2 week break-down:
Two Weeks Before
- Get a headcount for number of guests who will be eating Thanksgiving dinner
- Plan the menu
- Delegate any dinner or dessert items to guests
- Gather your recipes for the items you will be making
- Make a grocery list (or two!)
The Week Before
- Shop for non-perishable groceries (canned items, etc.)
- Place your order for a fresh turkey from the store (if you will be doing fresh) OR buy your frozen turkey (so it has time to thaw)
- Plan a table setting (Will you be doing disposable plates and buffet/potluck style dinner, or a more formal sit-down with glass dishes? Make sure you have enough dishware and it’s ready to go.)
- Plan decorations and buy or make them
Tuesday or Wednesday Before
- Shop for fresh grocery items
- Prep food items like veggies and dessert (Think slicing carrots and celery, making pie dough and putting it in the fridge or freezer, prepping bread or dinner rolls, let bread or cornbread for stuffing dry out so that it will be “stale” and ready to be made into stuffing)
- Make side-items or desserts that can be kept and reheated
- Decorate your house!
- Set the table and put out other last minute decorations
- Bake the turkey
- Chill the wine
- Make your gravy, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and other day-of items
- Set out appetizers and drinks
- Enjoy dinner with family and friends!!!
- Remember to give thanks for all the blessings in your life!!!
FREE Printables for You!!!
I want this post to be as helpful as possible, so I made two printables. The first one is the Planning Checklist, and the second one is the Menu Planner. Since we generally go to a bigger, potluck-style dinner and then later have a smaller family dinner, I made menu printables for both types of dinners! I’ve also made a grocery list printable to go along with the menu.
I hope this year you will have your best Thanksgiving ever! Happy planning! 🙂