Have you already started getting ready for the big food fest we call Thanksgiving? If so, give yourself a BIG pat on the back. If not, I’ve created a handy planner to guide you in how to plan your perfect Thanksgiving. Imagine yourself relaxing with your family, playing a game or putting together the puzzle you’ve had since last Christmas. Or perhaps you’d like to imagine yourself with a glass of wine chatting with family friends you rarely have time to see during busy work weeks. Whatever your ideal Thanksgiving looks like, it is possible. The secret really is in the planning. (Download Planning Our Perfect Thanksgiving here.)
How to Plan Your Perfect Thanksgiving
Plan the Meal
Take a look through grandma’s recipe binder, or perhaps your Pinterest board. Whatever your source, write down your appetizers, main meal, side dishes, drinks and desserts. This might be a good place to write down the time at which you need to start each recipe. Turkey, 8 a.m. Mashed potatoes, 3 p.m. You get the idea. By all means, if you have a recipe that can be made ahead-go for it! Anything you can take off your plate (no pun intended) on the big day is a good thing.
Have the Right Tools
Thanksgiving is one of those occasions that it helps to have the right tools.
Like this turkey lifter:
Or a turkey baster and injector, complete with a cleaning brush. This is on my Amazon list this year!
Let’s not forget you pie bakers out there. It’s nice to have good pie pans. This pie pan will not only bake your pumpkin pie to perfection but make the presentation perfect as well. Plus it comes in a variety of colors.
Plan the Shopping Trip
Next look at your recipes and start writing down exactly what you’ll need to make the dish. Take a look in your pantry and refrigerator before you add an item to the list. You may already have it.
If you frequent the same store and know its layout, you may want to write your grocery list in that order. If not, at least write down the items by category (dairy, meats, baking etc.) This saves a lot of time when you’re in the store. I do this because grocery shopping is up there on my list of most hated chores, like emptying the clean dishes out of the dishwasher and cleaning the toilets.
In addition, writing the grocery list by category means you can divide up the list and conquer. Give half to your hubby and you take the other half.
My Meal Plan Mastery Printables come in handy not only during the holidays but any time of year. This packet includes 9 forms: Easy Dinner Hacks, Our Favorite Meals, Weekly Meals Ingredient List, Grocery List, Weekly Menu, Freezer Labels, Freezer Inventory, and Recipe Binder Dividers. Read the tips included to learn the meal planning process I teach in my classes! Grab it HERE.
Plan the Serving Dishes
A few days before the big event I pull out a serving dish for each recipe. I put a little sticky note on each dish indicating what food should be served in each dish. This is so well-meaning helpers can easily lend a hand. Also, it ensures I actually have enough dishes for the meal I have planned. This includes glasses too! If not, it’s time to borrow, make-due, or head to Marshall’s!
Plan the Table Decor
Confession. Setting a gorgeous table a la Pottery Barn is not my thing. Sometimes I feel inadequate in this area. Sometimes I don’t care. I’m usually content with my table cloth, china and some candles. Perhaps amping it up should be a new years resolution.
If tablescapes are your thing, plan out what it will look like. Simply copy a tablescape you love on Pinterest. Do you have the supplies you need? If not, make up a list.
My Thanksgiving Planner includes a “I am Thankful for…” page which you could set beside each plate with a cute pen for your family and guests. This might be a nice tradition and you could save your children’s responses each year. That would be so precious to them when they are older. (And you too.)
Plan to Relax
Think about all the tasks that need to be done that day-and feel free to hand out jobs. Make it a family affair! Young children can take guests’ coats. Older kids can chop up celery for the stuffing and be in charge of drink refills. There is no need for you to do it all. Because one thing I know I’d be thankful for, is a relaxing Thanksgiving enjoying my family and focusing on all our blessings.Because one thing I know I'd be thankful for, is a relaxing Thanksgiving enjoying my family and focusing on all our blessings. Click To Tweet
Download my plan-your-perfect-thanksgiving to make the Thanksgiving holiday run smoothly.
May you have a very Happy Thanksgiving!