There is a lot of pressure that comes with having Thanksgiving dinner at your own home. Thanksgiving is technically supposed to be one of the best meals you eat all year! No pressure, right?! So being organized is essential to making sure that you don’t forget any important details so that your guests can have their best meal possible. Follow my steps in order to create your best Thanksgiving yet!
Plan the Menu
The first item of business is, of course, the food. No pun intended. 😉 I always like to plan things in a sequential pattern. For example. When guests arrive, the first thing that they eat is the appetizers. Then we move toward the main meal and then dessert! So I plan my food in that same order to help me not forget anything.
Plan your appetizers, side dishes such as mashed potatoes, creamed corn or green beans (which I hate, by the way). Then move to the other sides such as bread, fruit, and veggies. Plan your main course, too! Are you going to cook a traditional turkey? Or are you going to try tri-tip on the smoker?!
After you have planned the main meal, then you can move to the pie and dessert! And make sure not to forget the drinks. My mom (and now I as well) forget the drinks without fail. Every. Single. Time.
Trying to make every dish for Thanksgiving Dinner all by yourself is completely overwhelming, not to mention nearly impossible. So do yourself a huge favor and ask your guests if they would be willing to bring a side dish to help out with the workload. Thanksgiving is a holiday for you to enjoy, too!
Plan the Table Decor
When you are planning table decor, work your way from the bottom, upwards. Start by deciding what kind of table cloth you will be using. Then decide if you will be using placemats, chargers or place card holders. Then decide what plates, cups, napkins, and utensils you will be using.
After you decide what you will be using for the guest’s place settings, then decide on what centerpieces you will be using. Are you going to make it simple? Or are you going to make it grand? Make sure that your guests can see each other over the centerpieces. Nothing is more annoying than not being able to see your Aunt Susie across the table because the flowers are in the way.
Make the Grocery List
Based on the meal items that you are preparing personally, create your grocery list a week in advance to make sure that you don’t forget anything. Some people prefer to eat Thanksgiving dinner on paper plates so they don’t have to wash 5,000 dishes. If you are this type of person, make sure to add paper products to your shopping list.
I also advise doing your grocery shopping a few days ahead of time. This way you can make sure that the stores aren’t out of anything that you need and you’ll be able to beat the last-minute shopping trip that everyone else in your neighborhood is doing.
I strongly recommend setting up tables, chairs, table settings, and centerpieces the day before. It will be a huge relief for you to know that that part of the preparation is finished. You want Thanksgiving dinner to be enjoyable for your guests as well as for you! So do yourself a favor and do as much of the easy setup stuff ahead of time as you can.
Prep the Food
Some food items can be prepared a couple of days in advance! Things such as pumpkin pie or a corn casserole can be easily prepped ahead of time and then reheated if necessary. You be the judge of what foods can be prepped ahead of time without sacrificing freshness or flavor.
I hope this article has been helpful to you in helping you prepare your own Thanksgiving dinner. It is such a wonderful time of year to share meaningful conversations and memories with the ones we love the most. Being organized through the process of it all makes it all the more enjoyable for you!