I love Thanksgiving. We have most of the family here, some of us wear fat pants, we reflect on our blessings, we overindulge, laugh, play games and genuinely have a wonderful time. This year, Lord willing, we will do the same. But y’all, it’s almost upon us – only one more week and I’m totally unprepared! So if you’re anything like me and need help, I’m passing on a last minute Thanksgiving checklist!
Last Minute Thanksgiving Checklist
This Friday – Figure out how many people are coming over. Do you need to borrow or purchase an extra folding table and chairs? Do you need extra dishes or glasses? Decide on what you’ll be making and baking and make your grocery list. Now is also a good time to let your guests know what they can bring. It will help take the load off of you (me) and make them feel needed.
Saturday – Clean out the refrigerator to make room for the food. Check your foil and plastic containers. Do you have enough for leftover stuffing and corn casserole? Now off to the grocery store. You probably won’t remember everything this trip so wait until Tuesday or so to get the perishables. Except the turkey. Around here, you better get one sooner than later or you’ll be eating chicken nuggets from McDonald’s. Plus, if you buy a frozen turkey, you’ll need it to start thawing in the refrigerator. It takes roughly five hours per pound, so a 20 pound bird bought today should be thawed by Wednesday.
Sunday – Figure out what games you’ll play and have the supplies like score cards and pencils ready.
Monday – If you are having over night guests, clean the bedroom and bathroom. Then tell everyone to stay out! It never fails at our house, I can scrub the bathroom and an hour later someone will use it even though it hasn’t been used in weeks. Ugh.
Tuesday – Dust your home including the chandeliers, ceiling fans, etc. If the Mother-in-law is coming, she just might bring a white glove and ain’t nobody got time for that! I’d also say today you could make the cranberry sauce because it will stay fresh for a week. But for us, we like it straight out of the can and sliced on the ridges so I will wait until Thanksgiving day for that. I can hear the sluuuuurp as it drops out of the can right now 😉
Wednesday – It’s bake and cut day. Cut up the onions, celery and wash any veggies you’ll be serving. Keep them covered and stored in the refrigerator. Bake the cornbread and break up the bread and assemble the dressing. Bake your pies or desserts and don’t forget to make the whipped cream. While things are baking, set the table and add the centerpiece. Lastly before dragging yourself to bed, check to see how long the turkey needs to cook so you can set the alarm.
Wash and/or stuff that turkey bird and get it in the oven. Enjoy a break for breakfast. Around midday, start the side dishes. About 30 minutes before dinner time and when the turkey comes out, let it rest while you make the gravy and reheat the side dishes on the stove top, in the oven, or in the microwave. Here’s where all the early prep work pays off.
I seriously hope this list helps. It has already helped me feel as though I might have a handle on it this year. I’m somewhat of a control freak about dinner parties at our house. Not sure if it’s because I want everyone to think I have it together, even though it’s family and they know I don’t, or if it’s because I want everyone that comes over to be able to relax and enjoy each other. Either way, I think I’m going to delegate a little more this year.
Oh mother, oh sister, I have an apron with your name on it! Just kidding, it’s old and raggedy but you can use it. 🙂
If you missed my ideas on how to Savor the Season, you can see those ideas here. And a quick reminder – If you know of anyone who is alone this Thanksgiving, invite them over. We all need some love and laughter and it would make their day to feel wanted.