Hosting Thanksgiving … Let the Fun Begin
Whether this is your first time hosting Thanksgiving, your tenth or you’ve lost count, help is on its way. Over the past five years, I’ve compiled my tips into a very detailed checklist for hosting Thanksgiving with more ease, less stress; more joy and less angst. As I love most everything about Thanksgiving, I begin my thanksgiving planning early. And recommend that you do as well.
Let the fun begin
Now’s the perfect time to start your planning. Here’s my short list of things you can do now to avoid the crunch days of Thanksgiving week.
- Copy and paste this beautiful tribute to the cook from Michael Pollen somewhere that you can see it. Then read it whenever you start to question just why you said you’ll be hosting Thanksgiving.
“For is there any practice less selfish, any labor less alienated, any time less wasted, than preparing something delicious and nourishing for people you love?”
- Finalize your guest list. Learn what food allergies or special diets any of your guests may have.
- Plan your menu balancing flavors, colors, fresh & cooked dishes along with oven & stove top requirements. For some new ideas and old favorites check out my Pinterest Thanksgiving board for photos and links to my favorite Thanksgiving dishes.
- Gather all the recipes for the foods you’ll be making.
- Recipes in hand, create a shopping list. Write down each ingredient and its quantity for each recipe. For your convenience, here’s an easy to use and downloadable Shopping List Template. Consider highlighting, using a different color highlighter for each store, where you’ll buy each item. By noting and checking off each ingredient as you buy it, you can (hopefully) avoid last-minute trips to crowded stores on the night before
- Buy whatever you can in advance. From canned pumpkin to fresh cranberries, fresh spices and flours, onions, dried mushrooms, butter, turkey necks and wings, beverages, etc.
- Check your roasting pans and pots, serving platters and bowls, glasses, dishes, flatware, tables and chairs to see that you have enough of everything. Purchase or borrow the items you need.
- Wash special linens, china, glasses and polish your silver now while it’s still fun to do.
- Decide what you’ll wear and try it on. If needed, have it cleaned and pressed so your clothes are ready to be slipped into moments before your guests arrive.
Your next steps
Now that you’ve taken the first steps for hosting Thanksgiving, print out my very detailed Thanksgiving Guide and Checklist. After all these many years of hosting Thanksgiving myself, I still refer to this guide and daily planner for organizing my time from now until the moment I calmly sit down to share and celebrate a most glorious Thanksgiving Day.
Send me your questions in the “Leave a Reply” box below and I’ll do my best to answer them. Together, let’s make this Thanksgiving the best ever.