Thanksgiving is right around the corner and if you haven’t started planning your dinner yet this is the time!
Whether you are going to someone else’s home or you are hosting the entire dinner, it’s good to have a plan in place. Grab a pen, a notebook, and start searching Pinterest for ideas — and to give you a head-start I’ve already gathered some ideas for you!
1. Where Are You Going?
Are you attending a Thanksgiving meal or are you hosting at your place? If you have the advantage of going elsewhere this year make sure you contact the host this week and find out what you can bring. Be sure the host knows that you want to contribute something to the meal so you don’t show up empty-handed. These Honey Maple Roasted Carrots would be the perfect side dish to bring to dinner.
If you are hosting you need to decide if you are planning a formal or casual Thanksgiving dinner. Do not feel guilty about your decision (either way!) and remember that your Thanksgiving meal is more about a time to be grateful with friends and family than which type of utensil you are using. The most important thing when you’re hosting Thanksgiving is to feel comfortable with what you are doing.
2. Plan the Menu
Now that you have picked your theme, it’s time to plan your menu. You can simply make a list in your notebook of what you are planning to fix, but Clean Mama has some adorable printables that would make the planning more fun.
If people are bringing dishes as well, make sure to write down what they are bringing so you don’t make the same thing! After you make your menu be sure to follow this guide that will tell you when to start preparing everything so you aren’t stuck the morning of Thanksgiving trying to get everything done. Remember: the more organized you are the less stress you will have on that day!
Who is attending?
Who is on your guest list? Family, friends, will there be kids at your holiday? If children will be there, then be sure you have something to keep them entertained. If you already have kids then make sure you bring out toys that everyone can enjoy and you aren’t worried about breaking or losing. If you don’t have kids then ask those with kids to bring along a few things as well. Have a designated play area to keep toys out from under everyone’s feet. Make sure there are kid-friendly snacks to keep them happy while waiting for dinner.
If you’re looking for something to keep them seated for a bit then have a craft ready. You can visit a craft store and find Thanksgiving friendly crafts that are ready for the kids to assemble or you can plan one that they can help create from scratch, like this Leaf Turkey Craft from Crafty Morning. A happy, entertained child will help keep the other guests happy as well too!
Just remember that while preparing Thanksgiving may be a little overwhelming and if you have little to do the day of or end up with more than you bargained for, it should be fun! We should be thankful and we should all take time to give thanks throughout the day (you could even hang a thankful banner similar to this one from Carina Gardner for people to write what they are grateful for).
When the day is over and your last guest has left or you head back to your own home, grab a piece of leftover pie and a cup of coffee and enjoy the silence but smile because you just spent a day giving thanks for so many blessings.
What are you planning for Thanksgiving? We would love to hear about it in the comments below or tag your images #ShesIntentional on social media for us to see!