Early Thanksgiving Preparations

What, prepare for Thanksgiving already?!  November just started!  Well, that is true, but do you really want to be running around like crazy on November 23rd?  It’s really no fun realizing you’re missing cranberries the day before (or the morning of) Thanksgiving, so start preparing now and you’ll avoid this type of last-minute panic.

Get a guest list together.  While it is still a little early, most people have an idea of where they are spending Thanksgiving.  If you’re hosting the holiday, you’ll certainly want to know how many people will be coming.  Ask early, and be sure to ask again the week before if anyone is uncertain.  One or two extra guests isn’t that bad; five or six can mean a shortage of food.

Make a menu.  If you know exactly what you’ll be serving on the big day, you can do all of your shopping the weekend before.  Also, you’ll be able to more easily delegate a side dish or dessert to guests who ask if they can bring anything.

Plan your shopping.  Go ahead and pick up dry goods a week or so in advance—they’re not going to go bad.  Save that day-before trip for only the essentials.  You’ll be glad to get in and out of the busy store.  Also go ahead and pick up Thanksgiving-themed napkins and paper plates if you’ll be using them.  These items do sometimes sell out.

Decorate.  For some people, this just means a centerpiece.  For others, it means going all-out with turkeys and pilgrims.  Whatever you do, plan it out and do it early.  If you’re going to order flowers for your centerpiece, you can make the order now and have them delivered closer to Thanksgiving.

The Week of Thanksgiving

Do your baking early.  Some things, like cookies and pies, can be baked a day or two early.  They’ll still taste just as good!

Delegate the cleaning.  If you’re married, assemble the troops (aka the spouse and children) and give them specific cleaning tasks to do the day or two before the holiday.  If you’re not, set a goal for each day of the week.  Clean bedrooms and other areas where your guests most likely won’t be first.  That way, if they do get a little messy again before Thanksgiving, you can give them a quick once-over and have them looking good.

Thanksgiving Events in the DC Metro 2010

Thanksgiving is Here!
Thanksgiving is Here!

Thanksgiving is almost here!  Wondering what to do in the DC area?  Here’s a list of some of the top rated events going on in the metro on Thanksgiving and the days before and after it.

There are a number of different Turkey Trots in the area.  What’s a Turkey Trot?  It’s basically a marathon or other type of run (or walk, in some cases).  Some Turkey Trots are for charity, while others are just for fun or to challenge yourself.  The Thanksgiving Day Trot for Hunger begins at 8:00 am on the 25th at the West Potomac Park.  It’s a 5K run that helps raise money to fee the homeless.  Other nearby runs include the Turkey Chase in Bethesda (Nov. 25 at 8:30 am), the Alexandria Turkey Trot (Nov. 25 at 10:00 am), and the Virginia Run Turkey Trot held in Centreville (Nov. 25 at 8:00 am).

Another way to help those less fortunate is to volunteer for Thanksgiving.  There are a number of charities and kitchens in the DC metro area that are in need of help, including SOME (So Others May Eat), Food and Friends, Bread for the City, and the Capital Area Food Bank.

Ready for Christmas?  If so, attend the National Harbor Christmas Tree Lighting on November 26 at the Waterfront Plaza in National Harbor, Maryland.  The 65 foot tree will be decked out with more than 20,000 lights.  Story tellers, hot chocolate, and live holiday music will round out the evening.  Alexandria will also hold a tree lighting ceremony on the same day at the Historic Market Square.

Finally, Black Friday shopping is another great activity to do the day after Thanksgiving.  Many of the stores in the area will have great deals, but you’ve got to get up early to get them!

Need Thanksgiving flowers?  MyFlorist has many great options!