Thanksgiving is one of the biggest holidays of the year, so you should start planning Thanksgiving three weeks before in order to make sure it’s going to WOW your guests. Bringing friends and family together over the holidays makes for a warm and special time. Thanksgiving is a time for being with each other, sharing stories, food, and laughter while celebrating the harvest. Planning your big day can seem a little daunting, however, it can also be a lot of fun. Here are a few tips for making this day one you can enjoy and share in all the festivities.
There are three things you’ll need to start planning for a few weeks prior to the big day. Keep in mind, these tips work just as well for Christmas and Easter as they do for Thanksgiving.
This is the single most important item on your planning list because frankly without food (and lots of it) your guests will be wondering where the nearest KFC is. Your turkey should be big enough to feed everyone with generous portions of white and dark meat, but there should also be plenty of leftovers. Some of the best post-Thanksgiving meals are from left-overs and who wants to cook after all the work gone into preparing such a fantastic meal. The general rule of thumb is 1.5 pounds for each person. However, birds less than 12 pounds have a smaller meat to bone ratio. In this case, you should account for 2 pounds per person. So, if you have 10 guests you will need a 15-pound turkey. That sounds like a lot of meat but keep in mind this takes into consideration all the birds bones.
Cooking time is very important as you don’t want to serve your guests a turkey that is under or overcooked. With your oven set at 325ºF, it should take about 20 minutes for every pound of the bird. When a thermometer is placed into the thick section of the bird it should read 180ºF for a stuffed Turkey or 170ºF for an unstuffed Turkey.
Most people absolutely love stuffing and gravy. You can find a ton of recipes for stuffing, but the truth is most people just love the basic simple stuffing recipes so forget about the ones that use cornbread or have apples and cherries. Best to keep it simple as not to leave a lasting memory about the stuffing that was found in your napkins.
There, of course, is a number of side meals that you’ll need to plan or as well. However to get some ideas on how t to make it easy, take a look at what Real Simple has in their “Your Stress-Free Thanksgiving Menu” post.
One thing is for sure “The Meal is the Deal” and you need to get onto the planning of it earlier rather than later.
The Guest List
Image Courtesy of HBO
This should actually be the first thing you think about however in order of importance it comes in second on this list. But think about how important this is. Will it be family only, friends only or will it be a combination of the two? If it’s a combination then you really need to consider how your friends may interact with some of your more eccentric family members. Or you just throw caution to the wind and just let things land where they land. Some of the most memorable dinners are ones when something extraordinary happens and frankly if the food is good no one will care who it is they’re sitting next to.
Another great idea you can use is making the dinner a potluck. This will remove a great deal of the work for yourself and people really don’t mind bringing a dish. To make it easy you can give them a choice of what to bring, you just need to keep track of who is bringing what so you don’t end up with 5 of the same dishes. It can also be helpful to provide your guest with a recipe of what to bring. This makes it easy for them as they know exactly what you need. For ideas of what potluck items to bring go Here.
Make sure you get your invitations out early so you know how many people to expect.
Thanksgiving Day, with the turkey in the oven, your house is going to smell like it’s Thanksgiving, but does it look like it’s Thanksgiving? Does your table setting look festive, is your front door greeting people with the feeling of the holidays, do you have decorative fall items adorning your living area? It’s wonderful and pleasing to have your home decorated in the holiday theme. It really gives your Thanksgiving dinner a look of warmth and home, leaving your guests to feel welcomed. It also shows you have gone the extra mile to make the day special for everyone. But what to get and where to get it from is not an easy task. So, Earth Gear has gathered a wide selection of Thanksgiving Decorative items that will make your dinner as special as you deserve.
If you’re looking at setting up your bar for thanksgiving entertainment then go HERE
If you’re looking to WOW your guests with amazing cocktails then go HERE