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  • Writer's pictureLee Varhola Home

Planning for Thanksgiving

Hosting a holiday meal can be equally stressful & exciting! In my opinion, it is all about the plan & the prep work! My dad has always said, "Plan your work, then work your plan". I think maybe his middle school teacher told him that, and he totally may have been kidding, but it stuck! I have been a planner for as long as I can remember. I love it, I thrive on a plan. One of my most favorite first memories with my husband was planning a murder mystery party together. We both love a plan.

Onto Thanksgiving...

I think you can easily get carried away planning down to fifteen-minute segments of the day, but then where do you plan the time to relax? We want to plan well enough that we can relax on the actual day. This is where the list comes into play. I like to make lists, several lists that can be slowly chipped away at, and once complete, the whole day comes together! I have created a FREE printable set of lists that can really be used for any event (but we have to make it cute for Thanksgiving).

1. The Menu
  • The first, and most broad list, where you can decide who's bringing what & what you are making.

2. Shopping List
  • Simple enough with lots of space & check boxes. Instant gratification.

3. To-do List
  • All of the tasks that YOU need to get done before & during. emphasis on the YOU because the next list is coming.

4. A Delegation List (my personal favorite)
  • Make this list ahead of time. These are all things that others can do when they ask, "Can I do anything to help?" Why, yes. You can. This is also a great husband list. this keeps tasks that you want to do separate. We all like a little control, right?!

5. Schedule (which is really just a check list as the day goes on)
  • This is where you can roughly jot down when things need to be set out, put in the oven, taken out, etc. You can use the box on the right-hand side to keep track as you go.

Easy enough?

The night before, or morning of, I like to set out all of my serving pieces. I use post-it notes to write what is going in each dish. I make sure that I have the proper serving utensils to coordinate. Simple, but also offers an opportunity for people to help & they don't have to read your mind.

That is it! I think it is important to not over complicate it. Enjoy the day & have fun!

Thanksgiving Planner
Download PDF • 2.48MB



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