Hosting a Thanksgiving can be an intimidating task but don't fret just yet! We know that Thanksgiving is only days away and you may already have plans, we have put up a quick guide or a checklist to make sure you are organized and have a smooth, stress-free hosting this holiday. The key to successful hosting is to plan! Let's plan your to-do list for the next few days, and avoid cramming, so you can spend quality time with your family, and friends and celebrate the true meaning of this occasion.
A week before Thanksgiving
Putting out decors
Clean your home (living room, guest rooms, etc.)
Rake leaves if you have a chance
Prepare fresh linens for your guests
Put out games or Thanksgiving movies for kids
Put finishing touches in your living room, dining table, etc.
Check your Inventory (napkin, plates, serving bowls, cutlery)
Prepare table linens
Wash dinnerware, utensils that were stored for a long time
4 days before the holiday
Groceries. It is important to take notes on the food and things you need to buy before going to a grocery store. Check your pantry, fridge and liquor cabinet. Order a turkey if you haven't ordered one. If you already have a frozen one, it is essential to thaw it in your fridge for 24 hours for every 4 pounds of turkey. So if you have a 16-pound turkey, you will need to thaw it in your fridge for 4 days.
If you have guests sticking for a few days, make sure to plan meals and include the ingredients you need on the list. Fruits can be bought 2 days before so they will not easily perished.
To save your budget, make ice instead of buying. You can create ice cube then put it in freezer bags so you can make a new batch.
Make sure you have extra food containers for your leftovers or you can send them home with your guests when the night ends.
Start to make the soup. If guests are arriving on Wednesday, you can make and freeze a soup ahead of time. Cook your preferred soup, store it in the freezer then reheat when your guests arrive. This will allow you to save time, focus on other things and also save space in your fridge.
2 days before Thanksgiving
Start to make appetizers. There are make-ahead meals that you can do 2 days prior to the occasion. You can start peeling and cutting vegetables then store them in your fridge, you can put them in the water to avoid browning. You can set out the bread for homemade stuffing. You can also make creamy mashed potatoes or cranberry sauce if you have any. Make-head appetizers and dishes can help you save time, energy, less work and stress on Thanksgiving day. Do not forget to refill all your kitchen essentials, condiments, salt and pepper shakes, etc. Run the dishwasher so it will be empty and available for a lot of dishes.
Consider a bar for refreshments. Having a self-service bar makes less tired serving guests again and again. You can place the bar near the dining table, set out clean pitchers, glasses and ice buckets. Set the glasses upside down to be dust free. You can make an s Apple Cinnamon Winter Sangria cocktail or champagne cocktail to be more festive.
A day before Thanksgiving
Prepare the kitchen tools, dishes that you will need the next day. Most of the peeling, and chopping can be done 24 hours before Thanksgiving. You can make side dishes the night before, pies if they need to be refrigerated, and dinner rolls if they need to rise. A mashed potato recipe can also be made a night before, then refrigerate. You can reheat them before dinner, add some milk if it became dry.
An area for coffee, desserts should also be nice, that is if you have extra space. Put sugar, creamer, and of course cups so guests can have coffee anytime they want.
Ask Assistance. Thanksgiving Day has finally arrived! You cannot do everything all at once. Ask family members to assist you. Assign them tasks like, someone to answer the door, watch the children, serve drinks and someone that can help you in the kitchen.
It's time to cook the turkey! Removed the thawed turkey from your fridge for one to two hours and prepare the stuffing. Also preheat the oven. While the turkey is cooking, prepare other dishes that are not yet done. Once the turkey is cooked, removed the stuffing, cover it for 20 minutes before slicing.
Cleaning up. Cleaning up can be a daunting task but you can do it easily as long as you stay organized and have family members to help you. If there are leftovers, put them in containers and plastic bags and give them to guests if they like to take it home. Quickly start to load the dishwasher with dishes so you can finish the sooner, clean table and kitchen counters and you are good to go.
Enjoy. Enjoy your time with the family. Play games, watch a movie, do fun activities you and your family mostly do on Thanksgiving. Chat with friends, etc. The main highlight of this occasion is not only the dinner and the turkey, it is being with your family, cherishing every moment and being thankful for another year.