The Ultimate Thanksgiving Dinner Planner

Written by , MA (Journalism & Mass Communication) Chaitra Krishnan MA (Journalism & Mass Communication) Experience: 5 years
Last Updated on

Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the holiday season and it symbolizes peace and thankfulness. It’s the time we count our blessings and share the joy of life with our loved ones. Sounds all merry, doesn’t it? However, you’d know that it’s not all that merry if you ever hosted a Thanksgiving dinner. For the host, planning and preparing dinner is a lot of trouble. But does that mean you should never host Thanksgiving dinners? Of course not! All you need to make your thanksgiving dinner hassle-free is to plan better for it.

You shouldn’t worry about cleaning the table mats on Thanksgiving day when you should be focusing on cooking the dinner. Things become a lot difficult if you don’t have much help from others. But don’t worry, we’ve got your back! This article will help you plan your Thanksgiving dinner so that you can sit and relax by the fireplace waiting for your guests instead of wearing an apron with sauce stains all over. Read on to know more.

3-4 Weeks Before Thanksgiving Day

3-4 Weeks Before Thanksgiving Day
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  • If your carpets and curtains need to be cleaned, now is the time to get that done.
  • Make a budget for the entire event and invite guests according to it. It’s better to have a few people at a great dinner than have many guests and a simple dinner.
  • Make a checklist of all the guests you want to invite and start inviting them so that you have a final count on the heads.
  • Make a separate list for kids so that you can arrange for kiddie size chairs and tables, toys, and treats.
  • Remember to cook a little extra so that your surprise guests don’t have to leave hungry, or in case someone eats a little more than what you thought they’d eat.
  • If you need extra chairs and tables at home, call the rental place and arrange for the delivery and pick up.
  • Now plan your menu and a grocery list according to it.
  • If you have guests coming from outside the town, decide what you will serve them for breakfast and lunch on Thanksgiving Day. Do not forget to add the items required for breakfast and lunch in your grocery list.
  • Keep a track on your oven space and the cooking time while you plan your menu.
  • In case your guests are bringing something over, and if you know what it is, your menu planning will become much easier.
  • Bringing something over to a thanksgiving dinner is considered to be a kind gesture.
  • Shop for all the decorations that you’ll need including candles and wall hangings.
  • Ask your relatives and friends to come in a little early on the Thanksgiving Day if the work is too much and you may need some extra help.

2-3 Weeks Before Thanksgiving Day

2-3 Weeks Before Thanksgiving Day
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  • Now is the time to finalize everything you’ve planned two weeks ago.
  • Finalize the total number of guests and change your grocery list accordingly.
  • Also, finalize your menu and decoration as well.
  • Get your dinner sets and cutleries cleaned and packed in a cover so that you can directly use them during the dinner.
  • Decide if you will fry or brine the turkey. If you’re using a brine solution, decide what ingredients will go into it and add them to your grocery list.

One Week Before Thanksgiving Day

One Week Before Thanksgiving Day
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  • Make your place squeaky clean.
  • Get all the items that you need to decorate your place.
  • Divide your grocery list into two — perishable and non-perishable items. Purchase all the non-perishable items and arrange them inside your cabinets.

Thanksgiving Monday

Thanksgiving Monday
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  • Purchase all the perishable items in your grocery list including meat, veggies, dairy, and fruits.
  • Buying the turkey a day before is a good idea in case your nearby store may run out of them on Thanksgiving Monday.
  • However, if you want your meat to be as fresh as possible, purchase it on this day.
  • Move the frozen turkey to your fridge to slowly begin the thawing process.
  • Make fresh cranberry sauce if you don’t want to use a canned one.
  • Change the sheets in your bedroom and decorate your house.
  • Set up game stations for kids with toys, juice, and snacks.

Thanksgiving Tuesday

Thanksgiving Tuesday
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  • Make a list of items that you need to get in case you’ve missed out anything from your previous grocery list (trust us, it happens) and buy them.
  • Get done with everything that needs your attention except for cooking.

Thanksgiving Wednesday

Thanksgiving Wednesday
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  • Put your turkey in a bowl of water early in the morning and change the water every hour.
  • While your turkey is getting ready to be cooked, make your brine solution (if you’re using one).
  • By afternoon, start brining your turkey and leave it aside.
  • Cut your veggies and fruits that you will need to make the stuffing and other dishes.
  • Bake your dessert and store it in the fridge.

Thanksgiving Thursday

Thanksgiving Thursday
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  • Chill beer and white wine if you’re serving them.
  • Make the stuffing, stuff the turkey and place it in the oven.
  • Bake the potatoes and appetizers.
  • Set the table with the help of your happy helpers.
  • Enjoy the dinner!

We hope this Thanksgiving dinner planner helps you plan a delicious and cheerful Thanksgiving night. And even if you feel that you could have done better or if some things get a little messed up, IT’S OKAY! Because it’s just going to be a funny story to remember and the most important part is that you’ve spent a memorable day with your loved ones. Happy Thanksgiving!

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Chaitra Krishnan
Chaitra KrishnanBeauty & Lifestyle Enthusiast
Chaitra has a triple main bachelor’s degree in journalism, communicative English, and economics from St. Aloysius College, Mangalore, and a master’s degree in journalism and mass communication from St. Joseph's College, Bengaluru.

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