Thanksgiving Countdown
by Brandie Valenzuela

Now is the time to make those preparations for your Thanksgiving
dinner! Here you will find a countdown that will help you to have
everything ready by the big day.

~2-4 Weeks Prior To Thanksgiving (or now!)~

1) Plan your menu. Think about which items that can be
made ahead of time and frozen, and plan these items in
on your "to-do" list (see #4 below). Have a few items
listed which you don't mind if a guest brings -- delegate
these items when inviting your guests.
2) Invite your guests and get a firm commitment from
them ASAP.
3) Make your shopping list, but only after you know
exactly what your guests might be bringing. Don't forget
to include important items such as film, batteries, and
4) Make a "Thanksgiving To-Do" list. List every little
thing that you feel must be done prior to Thanksgiving.
For example, detail cleaning, washing of serving pieces,
shopping, raking of leaves in yard, cooking, decorating, etc.
5) Take your "Thanksgiving To-Do" list, and schedule time
for each item. You may wish to complete one or two items
a day until Turkey Day. Be sure to get the help of your
spouse and children - delegate! Work on your personal
"Thanksgiving To-Do" list in addition to the items in this
6) Order your turkey and ham, if this applies to you.

~10-14 Days Prior To Thanksgiving~

1) Take an inventory of your chairs, tables, dishes, flatware,
glassware, and linens. If items need to be cleaned, do so
now. If you need more chairs, arrange that at this time.
2) Will guest be spending the night in your home? Be sure
to think about sleeping arrangments.
3) Make sure you will have enough room in your freezer
or refrigerator for the turkey. If you don't have enough room,
plan now to make room by eating meals made from some
of the items taking up the space.
4) Clean your refrigerator inside and out.
5) Shop for nonperishable groceries on your shopping
list, or items you know will keep until Thanksgiving.

~One Week Prior To Thanksgiving~

1) Will children be at your home for Thanksgiving? Search
the web and craft books for easy activities and games that
will keep the children busy.
2) Also, if you are having young children in your home, do
a safety check of your home. Are medicines and cleaners
out of reach? Do your outlets have covers? Do you have
breakable items that might be better off on a higher shelf?
Do a thorough check of each room the children will occupy.
3) Have the children help you with some simple decorations.
Create turkey's from pinecones, placecards, draw pilgrims for
the refrigerator door, and more.
4) Re-evalute your "Thanksgiving To-Do" list. Is there many
items you listed, that may be impossible to get done now?
Be realistic and cross off items that can be skipped.

~Five Days Prior To Thanksgiving~

1) Plan seating arrangements.
2) To save money on bagged ice, start making your own
ice cubes now, by freezing in trays, and when frozen, dump
them in a freezer bag.
3) Shop for perishable Thanksgiving items between now
and two days prior to Thanksgiving.

~Two Days Prior To Thanksgiving~

1) Is there any other dishes or desserts that can still be
prepared ahead of time? If so, do them today.
2) Fill your salt and pepper shakers and butter dishes.
3) Defrost in the refrigerator any frozen side dishes.
4) Be sure your home is clean. If any other details need
to be taken care of, do them now. Is your bathroom clean?
Do you need to clean your front walk?

~Day Before Thanksgiving~

1) Prepare any dishes you couldn't freeze.
2) Chill beverages in refrigerator.
3) Buy bouquet of flowers for table or countertop, if you
4) Do spot clean of rooms that will be used during the
5) If you have a formal dining area, set the Thanksgiving
table now.

~Thanksgiving Day~

1) Finish last minute details: turkey, mashed potatoes, but most of
all, enjoy yourself!

Back to Special Occasions

©2001 Brandie Valenzuela
About The Author:
Brandie is a freelance writing mother of three children.
She is also the editor of the Family First Newsletter and
a scrapbook artist. To find out more about Brandie's
creations, visit:

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