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When you are in charge of Thanksgiving dinner it can be a bit overwhelming. It doesn’t matter if it is your first time or your millionth time, there is a lot to do when you are in charge of Thanksgiving dinner for the family. This Thanksgiving Dinner Checklist will have you all set and ready to go. It even gives you a timeline of when to do what to make sure that you are not left with a frozen turkey on the morning of Thanksgiving Day.
Thanksgiving Dinner Checklist
In order to have a smooth Thanksgiving, your planning will need to start up to a month before. This will give you time to decide on a time, invite family and friends, finalize a menu and assign out any dishes for others to bring to dinner.
This will also give you the ability to plan ahead to find the best deals for items you need to prep your meal. Nothing is worse than figuring out you need something on the last day of a sale, and it is out of stock. Or getting to the store and being stuck with the tiny turkey when you have 30 people coming.
Here is just a preview of some of the items covered in our checklist, plus some extra tips to make sure you don’t miss a thing.
Planning the food
When planning the food, don’t forget to plan for the number of people, dietary restrictions of your group, and if you happen to know what foods are popular among your attendees, even better.
My checklist will walk you through when to do certain tasks, such as finalizing the menu, and when to prepare certain items, but I definitely suggest making a separate list of your must-have foods.
Do you have a traditional family recipe that you can’t imagine not having on the table? Or maybe you saw that amazing new side dish on Pinterest you want to try?
Keep a list on your phone or written down somewhere to reference back to as you use my checklist.
Planning for seating
A big fail for a lot of people is inviting the entire family over, only to realize you do not have somewhere for everyone to sit when it comes time to eat.
Get a measuring tape, and plan out your seating, including where you will put any extra tables.
If you need extra tables or chairs, you can buy folding tables (great if you plan to host more events) or ask friends, families, neighbors, or even your church if you can borrow some. Same with chairs.
Some families get together for a meal and call it good. Other families like to play games, watch football, or even have family activities such as a flag football game or running a 5k (not sure who that last group is but I heard they exist).
Be sure to plan out activities if that is something you want. Otherwise, maybe have a few talking points ready to strike up a conversation in case things get quiet.
Time management is probably the biggest part of planning Thanksgiving dinner. You don’t want to have people show up only to find that dinner is going to be three hours later than what they were told.
Thankfully, if you use our checklist, that shouldn’t be too much of a problem.
Free Printable Checklist
To get the free Thanksgiving Dinner Checklist, just enter your email below. The checklist will go to your inbox, plus after you do so, you will be sent to the page to download immediately if you are ready.
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