Countdown to Thanksgiving

Just thinking about all that needs to be done before Thanksgiving Day is enough to give even the most organized a panic attack, and it’s even more overwhelming when you’re hosting the dinner.

With just a few weeks left, here are some things you can do now to help ease the pressure on the big day.


Three Weeks Before

Research recipes: Think about traditions and what has worked and what hasn’t worked in the past.  If you want to try new recipes, make sure you have time to test them before the holiday.

Two Weeks Before

Finalize the menu: Make a grocery list, separating it into what can be bought now and what needs to be purchased in the few days before Thanksgiving.  You can start buying the items that can be stored if you have space for them.

Confirm your guest list: Get a headcount of all who’ll be attending.

Check your supplies: From the utensils and serving dishes to the place settings and extra chairs, make sure you have everything you’ll need to serve dinner.

Calculate your time: Figure out how long it will take to thaw your turkey, and purchase turkey if needed.  If you are using a frozen turkey, plan on one day of thawing for every 4 pounds.

A Few Days Before

Finish grocery shopping.  Prepare any food that can be done early, or that can be frozen.

Make sure the house is clean.  Do all of the major cleaning, leaving only minor pick-ups for the day before and day of.

The Day Before

Prepare the brine for the turkey, if using.

Handle any food prep that can be done the day before: chop vegetables, bake and refrigerate pies, etc. Purchase any last minute items.

Set the table.

Make sure the dishwasher is empty and everything is put away to make cleanup on Thanksgiving fast and painless.

Thanksgiving Day

Roast the turkey.  Finish any dishes that were not done ahead of time.

Relax and enjoy the company of family and friends.