Planning Ahead for a Simple Stress Free Thanksgiving

It’s time to plan ahead for a simple stress free Thanksgiving holiday!  Lynn and I are both hosting the Thanksgiving meal at our house this year so…it’s not too early to get started…now is the time!  Let’s start by looking at these four categories:

The meal

Table decor

Seating – Table and chairs


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Ok… first things first… we have 16 days until Thanksgiving!  Let’s look at the plan for The Meal!  Here’s what we look at:

  • Make a list… write down everything you plan to serve.
  • Will you be providing the whole meal?
  • Will each person bring something?  If so, find out what each person is bringing or ask them to bring something from your list?
  • Next, look and see what items you have on hand to prepare the meal and make a list of what you need to purchase.
  • Check for sales on the items you need and purchase as soon as possible.
  • Make ahead everything that can be and freeze if needed for the meal (Think… apple pie, pecan pie, cinnamon rolls, cookies! Also, remember to make and freeze breakfast casserole and french toast bake for overnight guests!)

Table Decor… let’s keep it simple and reuse as much as we can!

  • Look and see if you have anything left from last year.  Can you reuse it?  If so, maybe use in a different way to give it a fresh look?
  • If possible, gather things from nature…leaves, pine cones, etc. look great in a container or basket for a centerpiece.
  • Find a table cloth if possible…a solid dark green or solid orange from the Dollar Store would look nice.
  • We use fall themed, decorative THROW AWAY plates that we get at Walmart or the Dollar Store most years… it makes for easy clean up!! This is seriously a huge time-saver! If all the dishes you have are from the cooking/baking… that’s more time to spend with the family!!

Seating – Tables and Chairs – we get really creative for this… it depends on how many people are coming!

  • Plan ahead so that you have a chair for every person.  You can rent or borrow from a neighbor (wink*, wink*) if needed!  Or…have some people bring their own chairs.
  • If you all plan to sit at the table, make sure there is enough room for each person.
  • Sometimes we set up card tables or use craft tables as needed. For extra large groups, the kids can sit at their own card table so the adults can all sit together.
  • One time…I used a sheet of MDF board cut slightly bigger than my regular table and placed it on top to make a table extension.  Put something over your table to keep it from scratching it before you use the MDF board!

Budget – we watch the local sales for the ingredients that we need as much as possible and buy some things each week.  If you buy a few things each week, it is easier on your weekly budget!

We hope this helps get you started with your own creative ideas for planning ahead for Thanksgiving! It’s just around the corner!!

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