How to Prepare for Thanksgiving Dinner

It’s that time of the year again when you gather your family around a single table and you talk about the things that you are thankful for in life. However, if you are going to host this year’s Thanksgiving dinner, you will have to prepare an appropriate menu that needs to include at least a few traditional Thanksgiving dishes. Moreover, if you are planning to throw a little party honoring this cherished holiday, then you will also need to craft or purchase suitable decorations. On a general basis, you have to start preparing for Thanksgiving a few weeks in advance, which is why it’s always a good idea to write up a detailed checklist of your chores.

Thanksgiving Dinner

Two Weeks Before Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Guest List

You should probably start off by creating a guest list, since this will allow you to prepare the meals and seating arrangements accordingly. Since we’re talking about family members here, you’ll probably have a basic idea concerning the number of expected guests, but it never hurts to make a few phone calls just to be sure. The menu is a very important part, so you should make a list of all required ingredients, which can include several types of vegetables and meat products. This is why it is a very good idea to visit the local supermarket as well as a butcher’s or a bakery in advance so that you won’t be forced to buy inferior products that are available just a few days before the holiday itself.

Planning the menu and choosing the recipes are also very important steps because you need to take into account many different tastes and preferences, since some of your guests might be vegetarians or allergic to certain ingredients. In any case, the courses than you need to think about must involve some sort of appetizers, the turkey, vegetables, accompaniments and baked goods. This is also a very good time to buy the turkey, since if you choose to do it later you might not be able to find one that is big enough.

One Week Before Thanksgiving


Make sure your dinner table is large enough to accommodate all guests! If you suspect that this may become a problem, you can make a separate, smaller table for the kids or borrow a folding table from a friend. Afterwards, go and pull out your best silverware and china, and make sure everything is sparkling clean. Since we’re on the subject, you should also take the time to count your dishes and compare the numbers against your expected guest list. Finally, make sure to wash your tablecloth and napkins!

Thanksgiving Week

Centerpiece for your table

You should take out the turkey out of the freezer a few days before Thanksgiving, since it usually requires about 2 days to defrost. Then see about making your own or purchasing a nice centerpiece for your table, clean the house thoroughly and go shopping for everything that you might need in terms of ingredients. As far as decorations go, you can create a special Thanksgiving flower arrangement, while some turkey-shaped place tag holders or napkin holders can lighten up the room even further.

If you can make a dessert or a side dish before the day itself, you should probably take the time to do so, since you don’t want to spend your entire day in the kitchen on Thanksgiving. On that note, you can set the table one night before Thanksgiving, as this will save you plenty of time. You can also practice your turkey carving skills a day in advance, while inviting some friends over to help you cook can definitely ease the overall workload.

Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving Day

Once the big day finally arrives, you just need to make a few last minute adjustments such as wiping the bathrooms and vacuuming the floors. Then you can cook the turkey and the side dishes before enjoying this extraordinary holiday together with your loved ones.

Aside from the meal itself, many families enjoy watching a football game or even playing football on Thanksgiving, while watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV can also prove a good alternative. Playing board games or card games is also a very fun way of passing the time on this special day, but you can also go out for a walk after the meal and burn off some extra calories.

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