Thanksgiving Prep


I love Thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving is the blending of everything I love about a holiday…thanking God for his blessings, time with family, yummy food, wonderful decor, and the excitement of the Christmas season.  I relish the time Heath and I spend talking about the holiday and how as early as our summer vacation we’ll be discussing the details of the holidays from Thanksgiving through New Years.  We’ll start planning recipes over the summer and cooking come September (if not earlier, if just depends on how cool weather the recipes are).  I also realize that I might not feel the same as others.  For many Thanksgiving is important but it is stressful, it adds a lot to someone’s plate who’s plate is already overflowing.  My idea is to provide you with some Thanksgiving inspiration.  Perhaps it is just to help you get organized…to laugh at how over the top my organization may seem to you…or to try a new recipe, something simple I know!

This post will continue to be updated as the days and weeks go on.  For now, let’s think about some organization.  So you are going to host Thanksgiving, whether you are diving in to this excitedly, working on your thirty-third year as the host, or just found out (two days before!) that you are hosting, use the suggestions that work the best for what you want to tackle.  You know your guests and you must stay authentic to who you are.  Never sent an invite out before and think they are silly…don’t do it!  Love to make a printed menu…then do it!  Whatever works best for you, your family and friends, and the Thanksgiving you envision.

Some ideas:

1st week of November

  • Want to send an invite, search for cute templates or make your own.  I love to send an invite, but I send invites for all kinds of events at our house, I do everything I can to keep paper mail a thing 🙂

2nd week of November

  • If you are super in to Thanksgiving you may already have a recipe file or know what recipes  you want to use.  I keep all my recipes for Thanksgiving in a folder in my recipe binder.  I like to also keep the lists from the store of what I buy and receipts.  I keep recipes that may also be in my recipe binder in this folder, this way it is my one stop place for everything related to the day of.  If you have never made Thanksgiving or want to feel more organized I highly recommend you spend fifty cents at Target, get an orange two pocket folder and put copies of your recipes and notes all in here.  It will make your life a breeze.
  • This is the week you want to finalize your menu, this also allows you to share your menu if you other people are helping to cook and makes sure you don’t have 27 pies and 0 stuffing if you are hosting a pot luck style Thanksgiving.
  • Now that you know what you are serving start to make a list of everything you need.  I personally like to make the list so I can tally how many onions I really need and things like that.  Then I go through my fridge and pantry and note what I already have.  This also helps me to make sure I don’t use something I need.
  • Order your turkey if you are ordering fresh.

3rd week of November

  • Type up your menu on cute menu cards if you want to go that route.  Make your place cards as well.
  • Pick our your Christmas cards (yes folks, we are going to get these done with our dinner and you’ll soon see why I think they go hand in hand).  If you are having a Christmas or Holiday party please print off those invites too this week.
  • Consult sales flyers and take your list of supplies and categorize them by stores.  Use separate sheets of paper, color code with markers, or type up your list by store.  I personally like writing it out with a different sharpie pen color for each store.
  • Are you going to start cooking now? Consider getting some easy prep out of the way this week or this coming weekend.

Weekend before Thanksgiving

  • Finalize your grocery list, if you are going to multiple stores, organize the lists by store.
  • Go shopping!  Think about less busy times that work for your schedule or take a loved one so you can get through the mess together.
  • Organize your supplies from shopping and the items you currently have.
  • Clean your fridge, I mean really clean it, everything out and scrub the shelves, trust me you will feel so much better when you are done.  Also sort the items that are currently in there…if it doesn’t bring you joy get rid of it 🙂

Monday of Thanksgiving week

  • Try to tackle a cleaning and cooking task each day this week, here is my plan:
    • Clean bathrooms and do laundry.
    • Pie crusts, chopping of veggies (celery, onion, etc.)
    • Set out bread to dry
    • Make cornbread
    • Stuff Christmas cards and put on mailing labels when I need a break from being on my feet

Tuesday of Thanksgiving week

  • Mail cards
  • Start preparing casseroles, gratins, and cranberries.
  • Pick up turkey, brine them (if needed)
  • Vacuum and scrub floors
  • Set up Christmas trees

Wednesday of Thanksgiving week

  • Make pies and finish up casseroles and gratins (par bake if you can)
  • Set table
  • Prepare beverages and begin to cool them down in the fridge if you have space or an ice chest
  • Work on outside and inside lights for Christmas


  • Grill turkeys
  • Finish baking side dishes
  • Make the salad and whipped cream

Day after Thanksgiving

  • Relax, get a coffee, treat yourself somehow today.  The hubs and I love to go out on Black Friday, but not for the sales, for the decorations and fun the season of Christmas brings.  We always get up in the morning, grab a Starbucks, visit the stores, and end the day with lunch at Nordstroms Cafe.



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