Expectations run high on Thanksgiving. The food needs to be perfect, the table should look beautiful, and the company should be, to put it kindly, well-behaved. This guide will help you put together all the details for your meal and holiday table. As for your relatives behaving themselves, you're on your own!
Organize Your Mind
12 Strategies for a Lower Stress Thanksgiving - Before you do anything else, calm down and make a plan to avoid the stress and make sure you enjoy the holiday as much as your guests do.
10 Steps to a Less Than Perfect Thanksgiving - Well, perhaps no one will follow these recommendations, exactly. But there are lessons to be learned here.
Organize Your Plans
The scope of this meal requires planning to pull things off without a hitch. Begin as early as possible to think about everything you'll need to accomplish by the big day, then sit down with a calendar and make a plan for when it will all be done.
How to Create a Timetable for a Party - Follow this guide to see the big picture before your party.
Countdown for the Two Weeks Leading Up to Thanksgiving - Here is a holiday countdown to follow as you proceed with your plan. Fill in your own "to-do's" as appropriate.
How to Prepare a Shopping List for a Party - Thanksgiving shoppping lists are notoriously long. They are so long that you may not be able to get it all done in one trip. Here's how to prepare an organized list that won't send you back to the store at the last minute because you forgot something important, like the turkey!
Organize Your Space
How to Entertain in a Small Space - Don't let a small home hold you back from hosting this feast. With a little planning and rearranging, you may surprise yourself by how many you really can entertain this year.
How to Do a Last Minute Cleanup - Sure, we'd all like a magic wand to make our homes sparkling clean. But if you've put off the nasty job of cleaning until the end, and you're feeling stressed out by the prospect of tackling your entire home, here are tips for getting the bare minimum done as quickly as possible.
Arrange Your Table
An attractive table requires giving a little forethought to individual place settings, serving pieces, and flower arrangements. The four flower arrangments below are both inexpensive and easy to do yourself.
How to Create a Formal Place Setting - Here's a quick refresher course on what to do with all that lovely stuff you received at your bridal shower.
- Bountiful Thanksgiving Centerpiece
- Flowers and Cranberries Fall Arrangement
- Fruit and Candle Centerpiece
- Fall Spider Mum Arrangement
- Pumpkin, Flower and Gourd Centerpiece
Plan Your Meal
Thanksgiving Traditions, and Fruit Salad - On the one hand, I crave traditions when it comes to the Thanksgiving meal, and I become a little out of sorts when the dinner is turned upside down as it did one year in my family.
Updating Thanksgiving in Little Ways - On the other hand, I love trying new recipes and ingredients, and I don't mind putting a new spin on traditional dishes.
Welcoming Vegetarians to Your Thanksgiving Table - Vegetarians aren't as rare as they once were. If your family includes one, you should find out a few details before you plan your meal to accomodate them.
This is what the day is really about.
Giving Thanks and Saying Grace - You'll find a collection of prayers from a range of cultures and religions here. If you have a family favorite that's not included, send it to me using our submission form and I'll share it with other readers.
"Saying Grace, Blessings for the Family Table" - I thought this book was a terrific resource for any host looking for just the right words to say at their meal. Read this review to learn more.