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.