If you’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year, getting everything organized and ready in time can be daunting. How early do you need to shop for food? What activities should you plan to make sure everyone on your guest list has a great time? It can be hard to know where to start. That’s why we created this handy Thanksgiving planning checklist.
So relax and take a deep breath! Here’s your list of to-do’s to make sure your gathering is a great one.
Decide on the type of your gathering. Is your gathering going to be casual or formal? Will it be kid-friendly? Asking yourself these questions and looking at your guest list will help you to determine what kind of mood to set for your Thanksgiving dinner.
Inviting guests. Make sure you invite your guests as early as you can before Thanksgiving so everyone will be on time. Let them know by early November. You can help set the mood for your occasion by sending each of your guests an invitation. We have several options for invites at the Coqui store that can help you get the word out.
Start planning out your menu. Based on who is planning on attending your Thanksgiving gathering, you will need to start figuring out what food you will need to buy. If you are having five people or less at your party, a small young turkey that’s about 15 pounds or less will do. If you have more than five people attending, you will want to get a bigger turkey. You should also decide if you would like to ask your guests to bring a dish to pass.
Figure out what help you need. Ask family or friends to arrive early to help with meal preparation or shopping.
Shop for food. Now that you have your guest list set and your Thanksgiving dinner planned out, it’s time to buy the food and decorations. Make sure you buy your turkey at least the weekend before Thanksgiving. If it’s frozen, leave it in the refrigerator so it can thaw. The turkey will need about five hours per pound to thaw, so if you buy a 15-pound turkey frozen on Saturday it should be thawed by Tuesday evening. You can keep it in the fridge for a couple of days after it’s thawed. If your turkey is much larger, buy it sooner to give it more time to defrost.
Hunt for decor. Create a tradition you can carry on going forward such as personalized place cards for each guest!
Following this planning checklist will help you to be better prepared for your Thanksgiving party. If you need any ideas for invitations, gifts or decorations, let us know by leaving a comment! We’d be glad to help you make sure your Thanksgiving is a memorable one.