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Exploring Womanhood > Heart of the Home > Holidays & Seasons > Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Countdown
By Brandie Valenzuela

Now is the time to make those preparations for your Thanksgiving dinner! Here you will find a countdown that will help you to have everything ready by the big day.

~ 2-4 Weeks Prior To Thanksgiving ~

  1. Plan your menu. Think about which items that can be made ahead of time and frozen, and plan these items in on your "to-do" list (see #4 below). Have a few items listed which you don't mind if a guest brings -- delegate these items when inviting your guests.

  2. Invite your guests and get a firm commitment from them ASAP.

  3. Make your shopping list, but only after you know exactly what your guests might be bringing. Don't forget to include important items such as film, batteries, and beverages.

  4. Make a "Thanksgiving To-Do" list. List every little thing that you feel must be done prior to Thanksgiving. For example, detail cleaning, washing of serving pieces, shopping, raking of leaves in yard, cooking, decorating, etc.

  5. Take your "Thanksgiving To-Do" list, and schedule time for each item. You may wish to complete one or two items a day until Turkey Day. Be sure to get the help of your spouse and children - delegate! Work on your personal "Thanksgiving To-Do" list in addition to the items in this countdown.

  6. Order your turkey and ham, if this applies to you.

~ 10-14 Days Prior To Thanksgiving ~
  1. Take an inventory of your chairs, tables, dishes, flatware, glassware, and linens. If items need to be cleaned, do so now. If you need more chairs, arrange that at this time.

  2. Will guest be spending the night in your home? Be sure to think about sleeping arrangements.

  3. Make sure you will have enough room in your freezer or refrigerator for the turkey. If you don't have enough room, plan now to make room by eating meals made from some of the items taking up the space.

  4. Clean your refrigerator inside and out.

  5. Shop for nonperishable groceries on your shopping list, or items you know will keep until Thanksgiving.

~ One Week Prior To Thanksgiving ~

  1. Will children be at your home for Thanksgiving? Search the web and craft books for easy activities and games that will keep the children busy.

  2. Also, if you are having young children in your home, do a safety check of your home. Are medicines and cleaners out of reach? Do your outlets have covers? Do you have breakable items that might be better off on a higher shelf? Do a thorough check of each room the children will occupy.

  3. Have the children help you with some simple decorations. Create turkey's from pinecones, placecards, draw pilgrims for the refrigerator door, and more.

  4. Re-evaluate your "Thanksgiving To-Do" list. Are there any items you listed, that may be impossible to get done now? Be realistic and cross off items that can be skipped.

~ Five Days Prior To Thanksgiving ~

  1. Plan seating arrangements.

  2. To save money on bagged ice, start making your own ice cubes now, by freezing in trays, and when frozen, dump them in a freezer bag.

  3. Shop for perishable Thanksgiving items between now and two days prior to Thanksgiving.

~ Two Days Prior To Thanksgiving ~

  1. Are there any other dishes or desserts that can still be prepared ahead of time? If so, do them today.

  2. Fill your salt and pepper shakers and butter dishes.

  3. Defrost in the refrigerator any frozen side dishes.

  4. Be sure your home is clean. If any other details need to be taken care of, do them now. Is your bathroom clean? Do you need to clean your front walk?

~ Day Before Thanksgiving ~

  1. Prepare any dishes you couldn't freeze.

  2. Chill beverages in refrigerator.

  3. Buy bouquet of flowers for table or counter top, if you wish.

  4. Do spot clean of rooms that will be used during the festivities.

  5. If you have a formal dining area, set the Thanksgiving table now.

~ Thanksgiving Day ~

  1. Finish last minute details: turkey, mashed potatoes, but most of all, enjoy yourself!

© 2001 Brandie Valenzuela

About The Author: Brandie Valenzuela is a wife and homeschooling mom to three children, who also works fulltime from her home designing products and writing articles for the scrapbook industry. She is a proud team member of One Scrappy Site -- a free resource site for scrappers. She also maintains her own website at http://scrapbookingwithbrandie.4t.com

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