Thanksgiving Dinner Preparation

One of the busiest times of the year for most families is Thanksgiving. Of course, you want your Thanksgiving dinner to be perfect, but each year, you seem to fall short of spectacular. Guests show up, and dinner isn't ready. Fear not! There are some simple ways to help ease your stress and have your Thanksgiving dinner go off without a hitch, which means you can also enjoy your meal with no worries!

First and probably most importantly of all, plan ahead. You do not want to run into last minute preparations. A shopping list with only what you really need for the event will cut your shopping time in half. Do your shopping at least three days before the big event. Try to avoid any last minute trips to the grocery store unless they are just absolutely necessary. And don't spend your entire day in the kitchen! Try to pace yourself and go at your own speed. There is no need to rush and you should enjoy your holiday as much as you can. If you have to be in the kitchen longer than you'd like to be, put on some holiday music. This will help ease your mind and will cut down on the overwhelming feelings that come with the task at hand. Dance around and take a breather if you feel the need. Get into the holiday spirit.

If you're ordering your turkey, order him with plenty of time for delivery. A late turkey is a disaster waiting in the wings. Obviously a turkey is the main focus and should not and cannot be forgotten. Any food that can be made in advance should be a part of your plan. Vegetable trays, dips, and a few desserts can be made and arranged a couple of days beforehand. Frozen pie crusts are a godsend. You can even buy prepared trays of fruit, vegetabls, and meat and cheese, which will eliminate the hassle of making them. Finger foods should enhance your dinner and not overwhelm it. You want your family to be waiting on dinner, not already full of appetizers.

Make sure you have all of the tools you're going to need, days before the actual event. A gravy boat and all serving pieces, as well as plates, and flatware or silverware. Though you don't realize it now, one lost minor detail on the day of Thanksgiving can turn into a major catastrophe. This is also a great time to organize your recipes, as well as finalizing your menu and setting a time for dinner to begin. Make a to-do list and check over it twice. When you complete a task, check it off, or write final next to the task. This will help ease your mind and it's one less thing you have to worry about. If you write each task down, you are less likely to forget it.

Get all of the guests involved! Have a great selection of the traditional Thanksgiving must-haves and invite your guests to bring their own favorite dishes. This will add a sense of unity to the table, and it will save you time and energy. Your immediate family can help with preparation and shopping. Do not be afraid to ask for help. Doing it alone is just too much. Remember, this is your holiday too.

It's not all about the food, though. Decorations around your home should be equally important. Focus on eye-catching pieces that will be an inviting presentation and will create a genuine holiday feel. Holiday-scented candles lit just as everyone is arriving will make your family and friends feel welcome. Utilize what you already have first, and then buy if you see a need to. Make a lovely fall basket with spray-painted plastic leaves (or actual fall-colored leaves) and pine cones. This makes a beautiful centerpiece for dinner. And pumpkins are an eternal symbol of fall.

Thanksgiving is a time to remember all that we are thankful for. And if you can cut down on the stress of preparing for the holiday, you have that much more to be thankful for!

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About The Author, Amanda Baker
Amanda Baker writes for All Things Pondered