It’s a crazy time, the holiday season. Our expectations rise and our schedules swell in a swirling activity that, for me, reaches a comforting feeling when family and friends take their places at our Thanksgiving table.
For the smoothest, easiest time of it, spread your Thanksgiving preparation over several days. By planning ahead, you can be sure to have an easy Thanksgiving dinner and you’ll have more time with friends and family.
Thanksgiving Planning Made Easy
Up to 3 weeks ahead
- Check supply of chairs, serving dishes, glasses, etc. Arrange to rent or borrow any needed items.
- Shop for nonperishables, such as canned goods.
Up to 1 week ahead
- Plan your cooking day.
- Make pies and any other desserts like strudels, but don’t bake them. Instead, wrap tightly and freeze. If you’re making any kind of glazes, make these too, let cool and refrigerate.
- Bread rolls can be made ahead of time and frozen.
3 days ahead
- Get out your china or holiday dishes, serving dishes and serving utensils. Polish and clean if necessary.
- Shop for perishables.
2 days ahead
- If you don’t have an ice maker, start making ice. When ice is ready, remove from trays and store in zip-loc freezer bags.
- Cook up those fresh cranberries for your cranberry relish. Cool, cover and refrigerate. They will be much better the next day anyway after setting.
- Mix up the stuffing for the turkey and put into bowl and store in fridge.
- Defrost all those baked goods you froze the weeks prior to now.
1 day ahead
- Buy flowers for table decorations or create your centerpieces, name cards, and fold napkins.
- Set the table.
- Chill beverages.
- Remove bread rolls from the freezer and thaw.
- Bake up those pies you froze. If you like to eat your pies warm, place them in the oven at 325 degrees to warm while you’re eating Thanksgiving dinner.
And Finally Thanksgiving Day! Your turkey is in the oven. The morning of, make any last minute arrangements to setting the table, organize serving dishes and setting out appetizers for your guests to enjoy while the meal is being prepared. While your turkey is resting, pop the bread rolls in the oven to warm.
Snacking is an important part to hosting a party. This is a must when holiday entertaining. So set out the appetizer trays and mingle with your guests because you have planned for this day and you will now enjoy it too!