If you're hosting Thanksgiving dinner at your house this year, chances are you could use a little help planning the occasion. If your family and friends are all occupied with their own preparations, don't worry. You can use this guideline and a few of these helpful tips to make sure this year's event goes off without a hitch, courtesy of Family Circle magazine and ABC News.
Two weeks beforehand
It's never too early to start planning.
1. Figure out who's coming to dinner. Make a few phone calls or send out a couple of emails to find out exactly who will be showing up. Then, ask if there are any special requests or accommodations you need to consider. For example, are any of your guests vegetarians? Does anyone have food allergies? Write down any information you need to remember.
2. Gather up decorations. Find a nice tablecloth and break out your best china for a fabulous table spread. Thanksgiving Centerpieces or Flower arrangements could be a great idea.
3. Plan the menu. Find out if any of your guests plan to bring a dish, then gather your recipes and keep everything organized.
One week beforehand
With the event a week away, it's time to get moving.
1. Clean and organize your home. This is when you should do all the major cleaning and organization. That way, you'll only have to do a touch-up when it comes closer to the big day. This includes cleaning out your fridge - you want to have plenty of extra room in there for leftovers!
2. Make a grocery list of things that you'll need to make the meal.
3. Pick up the bird and any non-perishable groceries you need. You'll need plenty of time to defrost the turkey, and you'll save yourself the stress of a huge shopping trip a couple of days later.
A couple days beforehand
Now things are really starting to pick up.
1. Go online or call your local florist and pick out some gorgeous fall flower arrangements and have them delivered the day before Thanksgiving.
2. Assemble all of your decorations and set the table the day before.
3. Make a couple of dishes, like the cranberry sauce, while you have extra time.
The day before
Here's when things could get a little out-of-control...but you'll be ready.
1. Pick up all the perishable groceries you need at the store.
2. Assemble all of the desserts and side dishes. You can either bake them now or wait until tomorrow. Start defrosting anything you need to have ready.
3. Set the table. Don't forget to water those flowers!
It's finally arrived, but there's still some work to do.
1. Cook the turkey and bake all of the side dishes.
2. Relax and enjoy time with your family.
3. Rake in the compliments - you earned them!