Here’s your Thanksgiving to-do list

Thanksgiving is only a few weeks away! It’s time to get your game plan together to make this holiday as stress-free as possible for you and your family. Follow our step-by-step guide with tips that will help you figure out the menu, how to spice up your recipes, find the right flow for your gathering and take care of other small details ahead of time. Let’s begin!

At least 2 weeks before your gathering, you could…

____ 1. Consider number of guests. Think about the type of dinner you’ll be having. Is this a small dinner party or will you be hosting a big family? Make sure the number of people is manageable. Otherwise, consider tip #2.

____ 2. Think about who’s cooking. If you’re hosting a large group of people, it is wise to delegate some of the responsibilities. Download a social planning app like HobNob to make it easy for everyone to coordinate who’s in charge of different recipes or ingredients.

____ 3. Get inspiration. Start a Thanksgiving Pinterest board if you haven’t already. Think about menu items, drinks, decorations, music choices and more. You can also check out our latest magazine.

____ 4. Plan a menu and grocery list. Use our printable dinner checklist. Consider the portions you’ll be preparing for the amount of guests. You can save some money by asking guests to take care of the wine, appetizers or desserts.

____ 5. Spice up your recipes. Add a Morrocan flair to your turkey or a Spanish touch to your potatoes. Raw Spice Bar has a ton of interesting spices to choose from. You can take advantage and clean out your old spices with their quarterly subscription or you can buy individual spices.

___ 6. Get started on decorations. Think about table arrangements, place cards, your front door, the cocktail bar, the living room area and guest rooms if you’re having guests sleep over. To make it easy on you, keep it simple.

____ 7. Define your game plan. What’s happening before and after your meal? Think about cocktails, music choices, movies for the little ones and inflatable beds for those who drink a little too much.

At least one week before your gathering, you could…

___ 8. Purchase your turkey or meat. It could be challenging to find the right bird, if you wait until the very last minute.

___ 9. Get your wine. Think red wine for meats and white wine for your turkey. A dessert wine would also be wise.

___10. Make sure you have the right serveware. Do you have enough large plates and dipping bowls to serve your food? Should you get a warming plate? To save money, you can also ask around to borrow these. Also, make sure to have enough roasting pans and containers for leftovers.

A day or two before your gathering, you could

___11. Prep a few dishes ahead of time. Casseroles and gravies are some of those dishes that you can prep ahead of time and taste even better the following day. Pumpkin pies can also be reheated.

___ 12. Decorate. Do not overestimate the time it takes to get the house clean and ready for guests.

___ 13. Season and brine. Make sure your turkey or meat starts to get infused with all of those lovely holiday flavors. Cover it well and place it in the fridge.

The morning of your gathering, you can

____ 14. Warm up your oven and place your turkey. Give the turkey or meat enough time to cook properly. Do not rush things.

___ 15. Get your appetizers ready early. This is the first thing your guests will be expecting when they arrive at the door.

___ 16. Take a shower. Dress up! You can work on your side dishes after you’re ready and dressed, but it is more stressful to be rushing through things while you’re still in your pajamas.

___ 17. Prep your salad, sides and desserts. While your turkey finishes cooking, get those side dishes ready. Ask your guests for a little help.

___ 18. Don’t stress out. Enjoy your meal, your guests, take lots of pictures, drink lots of wine, and have fun. If something goes wrong, then so be it. Delivery is always an option.

Now, here's a delicious recipe to get your creative juices going! Enjoy!

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