Thanksgiving Tips and Tricks: Two Weeks Out (One week out is also below)
Make sure you have all the kitchen tools and utensils you need now.
- Check Your Linens:
We have a hard time remembering what we had for dinner last week, much less remembering if the table linens survived the holidays last year. So don’t wait until Thanksgiving morning, pull those linens out now and leave yourself time to replace anything that can’t be cleaned.
- Plan Your Centerpiece and Table Décor:
Your holiday centerpiece and table décor set the mood for your whole celebration. Spend some time planning your table-scape now, so you don’t have to worry about it the day of. You’ll also have time to hit up the discount and dollar store for elements that can inexpensively complete your look.
- Buy a Frozen Turkey:
If you are planning to save some money by purchasing a frozen turkey, you should pick it up as early as possible. You want to leave plenty of time for the bird to defrost. You’ll need to plan for at least 24 hours for every 4 pounds.
- Check Your Kitchen Supplies and Tools:
Whether you’re trying a new recipe or using old favorites, you should check all of your equipment in advance. Be sure to research any new recipes to make sure you aren’t missing a specific tool. The other advantage to checking everything early? You won’t be going crazy trying to find the springform pan during the craziness of Thanksgiving morning.
- Finalize What Dishes Your Guests Will Bring:
Make sure you have a complete list of any dishes that will be contributed by your guests. We’ll leave it up to you to judge the reliability of your own friends and family. However, we recommend having a few backup options on standby, just in case one of your guests doesn’t come through.
- If Frying a Turkey, Check Your Fire Extinguisher:
Thanksgiving is much less fun when the fire department visits. Enough said.
Thanksgiving Tips and Tricks: One Week Out
- Order Flowers:
Consider ordering your flowers for delivery a day or two before Thanksgiving. Not only will this save you a chore during Thanksgiving week, you will be able to ensure you get whatever flowers and arrangements you like, as opposed to whatever is left on Thanksgiving.
- Polish Silver:
You hate it, we hate it. But it has to get done. Its probably the least enjoyable task to prepare for any holiday. (Suggestion: Turn it into a game or competition for your kids.) We recommend doing it leisurely with a glass of wine over a night or two the week before Thanksgiving, as opposed to fitting it in to the stress of Thanksgiving week.
- Buy Wine:
By now, you should have a menu planned, a list of the dishes your guests will bring and a sense of your budget. Its time to buy the wine. Make sure to have plenty of red and white wines available for your guests. And don’t forget about your dessert wine or aperitifs.
- Plan Activities for Children:
Thanksgiving goes much more smoothly when the children in the house aren’t spending it in your kitchen. PBS Parents offers a ton of activities that will be fun and educational for the kids, and will keep them occupied so you can focus on dinner.
- Check Your Seating:
It’s easily forgotten, but make sure you have enough seating for all of your guests. If you need additional seats, either ask your guests to bring folding chairs, or see if you can borrow from a neighbor.
- Finalize Shopping Plan:
Create a detailed shopping plan in advance. Make sure you know which items you will buy at which store on which days. Create your detailed plan now and avoid last-minute trips on Thanksgiving morning for that item you forgot. (But as we all know, it will probably happen regardless.)