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Thanksgiving is a time for family, gratitude, and a delicious feast. And for a lot of planning, preparing and cooking… but no worries, I have a perfect Thanksgiving checklist for you!
Preparing for this special holiday can be a real juggling act. Fear not!
I’ve crafted a Thanksgiving checklist to help you stay organized and ensure a heartwarming Thanksgiving celebration.
So, grab your apron, and let’s dive into Thanksgiving preparations!
1. Plan Your Thanksgiving Menu
The star of the Thanksgiving feast is undoubtedly the food.
To ensure you have a variety of mouth-watering dishes, start planning your menu at least two weeks in advance.
- Decide your Thanksgiving dishes, including the main course, sides, and desserts.
- Consider the dietary restrictions and preferences of your guests.
- Make a list of ingredients and necessary cooking equipment.
- Make a grocery list (+ double check your pantry.)
2. Create a Guest List and Send Invitations
Thanksgiving is all about spending time with loved ones, so planning your guest list in advance is essential.
- Decide on the number of guests you can comfortably accommodate.
- Send out invitations or make calls well before Thanksgiving.
- Ask if anyone has any food allergies or restrictions.
- Keep track of RSVPs and any special dietary requirements.
- Plan seating arrangements.
3. Prepare Your Home
A clean and cozy home will set the perfect ambiance for your Thanksgiving celebration.
- Deep clean your home or hire a cleaning service if needed.
- Gather or purchase items like tablecloths, centerpieces, and fall-themed decor.
- Stock up on extra plates, glasses, and utensils.
- Decorate your home with festive touches, such as fall-themed decorations and candles.
- Set up extra seating and tables if necessary.
4. Make a Cooking Schedule
To avoid feeling overwhelmed on Thanksgiving day, creating a cooking schedule for yourself is helpful.
- Plan which dishes can be made ahead of time and which need to be cooked on the day of.
- Create a timeline for cooking and baking each dish.
- Delegate tasks to family members or friends.
5. Shop and Prep Ahead of Time
One of the biggest challenges on Thanksgiving day is trying to cook multiple dishes at once. To minimize stress, shop and prepare as much as you can in advance.
- Shop for non-perishable items well in advance.
- Purchase fresh produce and meats a few days before Thanksgiving.
- Prep vegetables and make any sauces or marinades ahead of time.
- Don’t forget essentials like turkey, fresh vegetables, and pie crusts.
6. Don’t Forget the Drinks
No feast is complete without some tasty drinks to accompany the meal.
- Plan a selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, such as wine, cider, or sparkling water.
- Make sure you have enough glasses and ice for everyone.
7. Set the Table
A beautifully set table will add to the festive atmosphere of your Thanksgiving dinner.
- Gather all necessary dishes, glasses, and utensils.
- Set the table ahead of time.
- Add festive touches like fall-themed napkins or centerpieces.
8. Entertainment for Kids & Thanksgiving Printables
Print out some festive Thanksgiving-themed games and activities to add fun and creativity to your Thanksgiving celebration.
- Prepare games, puzzles, or crafts to keep kids engaged while you cook.
- Have a movie or storytime session for younger children.
- Create a kids’ table with coloring pages and games.
- Print out Thanksgiving puzzles – word searches, crosswords, and others to keep your kids entertained while waiting for the meal.
9. Take Care of Yourself
With all the hustle and bustle, it’s easy to forget about taking care of yourself on Thanksgiving day.
- Get a good night’s sleep before Thanksgiving.
- Eat a healthy breakfast to keep your energy levels up.
- Take breaks and delegate tasks when needed.
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
10. Delegate Tasks and Ask for Help
Don’t be afraid to delegate tasks or ask for help. Thanksgiving is a time for coming together, and your loved ones will be more than willing to lend a hand.
- Enlist the help of family members with cooking, setting up, and cleaning.
- Assign age-appropriate tasks to kids to make them feel involved.
- Ask guests to bring a dish or drinks to share.
- Let go of perfectionism and focus on enjoying the holiday with your loved ones.
11. Enjoy the Moment
Amidst all the preparation, it’s essential to take a moment to appreciate and enjoy this special holiday with your loved ones.
- Take photos and make memories with your family and friends.
- Share what you’re thankful for with each other.
- Take a moment to relax and enjoy the delicious food you’ve prepared.
12. Give Thanks for Leftovers
After the holiday feast, don’t forget to plan to make use of all those delicious leftovers.
- Have containers or bags ready for food storage.
- Plan meals using leftovers, such as turkey sandwiches or casseroles.
- Ask guests to bring their own containers to take leftovers home.
Please note: Safety Reminders
As with any holiday, it’s important to keep safety in mind during Thanksgiving celebrations.
- Keep an eye on the stove and oven while cooking.
- Check smoke detectors and keep a fire extinguisher and first-aid kit handy.
- Keep pets away from food and crowded areas.
With this Thanksgiving checklist, you’ll be well-prepared to create a stress-free and memorable Thanksgiving for your family.
Free printable Thanksgiving checklist
Here you can download and print the Thanksgiving checklist.
All designs ©SaturdayGift Ltd. For personal (or classroom) use only, not to be copied, distributed, altered, or sold.
Blank Thanksgiving checklist
DOWNLOAD: Cute blank Thanksgiving checklist
Thanksgiving checklist – prefilled
DOWNLOAD: Thanksgiving checklist – 5 pages
Happy Thanksgiving, and may it be filled with gratitude, laughter, and fun!