Don't Get Frazzled Over Holiday Meal Planning!


Whether you're expecting a large crowd for Thanksgiving dinner or just a few family members, you always want the meal and the day to be extra special.  It can feel overwhelming.  The planning alone can really frazzle your mind.  Here are a few suggestions for how to make everything go smoothly!



1.  Take an inventory of everything you'll need for the big day.  This includes (but is not limited to) cookware, table settings, glasses, utensils, linens, candles chairs.

2.  Do what you can ahead of time.  Washing glasses, ironing table cloths, making centerpieces.  You can start these tasks a few weeks before.

3.  If anyone offers to bring something, take them up on it.  Don't turn down any help from a kind friend or family member.

4.  Plan your menu, and then keep a running shopping list. Add to it as you think of things you need.  I keep my list on the computer, so each year I can update it and print it out. 


5.  Make a shopping trip early on and buy the non-perishable items before the stores get crowded.  Then make a second shopping trip for the rest a couple of days before Thanksgiving.

6.  Keep a second list of things that need done and when you're going to do them.  Finally, a third list is a timeline for the big day of what needs done at what time.  I keep this list on the refrigerator door.  If someone asks what they can do to help, I refer them to the list.


Enjoy each task you are doing, enjoy your guests, and be thankful with a grateful heart, remembering that every thing and every one is a precious gift from God!

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8 comments:

  1. Great ideas for approaching the Thanksgiving dinner. We have always hosted this meal at our house and I love it! Since we also have a large crowd,one thing I do is use my crock pots to get things started early. This cuts down on some of the crowding in the kitchen at the crucial last minute. My kitchen always seems big until you have four people in it at once trying to get something done! I like your idea of getting the desserts and other things done ahead of time too. I also sometimes peel the potatoes the day before and keep in cold water on my enclosed porch. Thanks for helping me get excited about this year's dinner

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    1. Thank you for commenting Janet. I love having crowds, and I find the more you can do ahead of time, the better. Spread out the work, right? I like to peel my potatoes ahead and cover with cold water too. The crock pots are a good idea. I'm not sure I have one big enough for the crowd I serve, but I like the idea! Have fun getting ready! ~Katie

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  2. I am a list maker, too! This reminds me to get going on my "Do Ahead" list. You have some great suggestions, I hadn't thought about having a posted list of things to do on the day of the dinner--I will do that! I use crock pots, too -- last year I even cooked and mashed the potatoes the day before and just heated them up in the morning--they were perfect. I have also used my big roaster for the turkey, so I can use the oven all morning for other things. I think I'll go find my tablecloths and get to work on updating my lists! Thanks for a great post!

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    1. Hi Meredith. I'm glad this post got you psyched! haha I don't have a roaster, but I have a stove in my basement that I use for canning and as a second oven on big holidays. What a benefit that is! How do you reheat your mashed potatoes? Thanks for commenting and enjoy your preparations! ~Katie

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  3. Katie, your table is lovely. Your tips are wonderful and will certainly make an easier task of this daunting feast for anyone who gives it a try. One thing that I learned recently that makes our day easier is the use of the crock pot. I have a small kitchen and a big crowd each year, so we serve from a buffet;I have several crocks and use them to keep and serve potatoes, gravy, and stuffing. Crocks are also a great way for guests/ contributors to bring their hot offerings. ~Blessings upon your home and table!

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    1. Thanks so much Becky! The crocks seem to be a popular approach! I use them on Christmas as we don't have a sit-down dinner but a buffet as you said. (There are too many distractions that day.) On Christmas we set out the food and tell everyone to eat whenever you want to. But Thanksgiving is a more traditional sit-down dinner. I hope yours is wonderful! ~Katie

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  4. What a great post Katie! Thank you so much for sharing all your tips. Your table setting is beautiful.

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    1. Thank you Jenny. Will you be having Thanksgiving dinner in your house this year? Wherever you have it, I hope it is very blessed! ~Katie

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