What to Do Before Cooking Thanksgiving Dinner

If you’re wondering what to do before cooking Thanksgiving Day dinner, here are six decisions to make. These holiday tips will make your holiday meal easy and delicious, reduce your stress level, and help you get organized for Thanksgiving!

Before the tips, a quip:

“What we’re really talking about is a wonderful day set aside on the fourth Thursday of November when no one diets,” said Erma Bombeck in No One Diets on Thanksgiving. “I mean, why else would they call it Thanksgiving?”

The last thing you need to worry about is dieting on Thanksgiving! Instead, focus on getting and staying organized so you can enjoy your family, friends, and turkey dinner. If you’re looking for Thanksgiving dinner recipes, get the Betty Crocker Complete Thanksgiving Cookbook — it’s got everything you need.

And, here are six decisions to make before Thanksgiving Day dinner; these holiday tips are from One Year to an Organized Life by Regina Leeds…

What to Do Before Cooking Thanksgiving Dinner

1. Is the Thanksgiving meal a sit down dinner or buffet? Leeds recommends a buffet if you’re serving a large group. If you don’t have a table big enough for everyone but you want a sit down Thanksgiving dinner, set up two or three smaller tables. My mother-in-law has a kiddie table in the living room and the adult table in dining room. Also – will you be using good china for Thanksgiving dinner — and do you have enough of it?  If you don’t care about matching dishes, ask family and friends to bring extra plates and cutlery.

2. Does the Thanksgiving dinner include wine, cider, or other beverages? How many bottles of wine will you need? What other drinks will you offer your guests? Whatever beverages you serve, do you have the requisite crystal and glasses? Do you have an icemaker or ice cube trays, or will you have to purchase ice that day? These are part of what you need to do before cooking Thanksgiving Day dinner.

3. Do you need Thanksgiving dinner helpers? Consider delegating specific responsibilities on Thanksgiving Day to specific people. Get Uncle John to bring the ice and extra glasses, if needed. Ask Uncle Bill to bring extra chairs or fold-up tables. Get your hubby to be the bartender, turkey carver, and table setter. If you’re roasting a turkey, you might find How to Roast a Turkey in 7 Easy Steps helpful.

4. Will you put a centerpiece on the Thanksgiving dinner table? Decide in advance if you’ll have fresh flowers or traditional decorative pieces. If you have a special holiday dinner tablecloth, make sure it’s clean and pressed. Remember to leave space on the table for Thanksgiving dinner platters — read 9 Ways to Make Your Thanksgiving Day Dinner Easy for help.

5. Will you have background music? Some family dinners are too loud for music in the background, while others would benefit from a live rock band in the same room. To be safe, plan to have background music just in case. This is another thing you can delegate!

6. Will you have special Thanksgiving Day candles? Do you want candles for the dinner table — and will you use scented or plain; traditional, dripless, soy, or beeswax? Do you have candlestick holders? Ask friends and family to bring theirs if yours aren’t suitable — or click on the image for a gorgeous Thanksgiving Day dinner candle display.

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For more tips, read Invited to a Thanksgiving Potluck? Ideas for What to Bring.

If you have any thoughts about what to do before cooking Thanksgiving Day dinner, please comment below…

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2 thoughts on “What to Do Before Cooking Thanksgiving Dinner

  • Regina Leeds

    I am so honored to see my book at your website!

    Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays (how can you not love a holiday devoted to gratitude?) With a little advance planning, the day can be enjoyed by everyone rather than leave the hostess in an exhausted heap on the floor.

    “One Year to an Organized Life” also has recipees and a minute by minute guide for the big day…courtesy of chef Tanya Russell.

    May it help all of your readers have a stress free delicious day!

    Regina Leeds