How to Plan Your Thanksgiving Party a Week Out


By Jessica D Festa

You pride yourself on your ability to plan ahead and not procrastinate—but somehow, it’s suddenly mid-November, and you’re just seven days away from hosting a Thanksgiving party at your place.

By this point, you’ve (hopefully) invited your guests and are now in the home stretch of planning for Thanksgiving. There will be a lot to do this week, but don’t stress. With the following checklist, you’ll have this year’s seasonal celebration all under control without missing a beat.

To help keep all of your planning for Thanksgiving on track, the Wall Mounted Planner Whiteboard by Mastervision allows you and your fellow Thanksgiving party planners to easily remember and check-off all tasks, or revise as needed. Here’s what you should be planning to complete with just one week until the big day:

7 Days Away

  • If you haven’t pre-ordered a Thanksgiving turkey yet, get a frozen one today. Having a little more than one pound of meat per guest is a smart move.
  • Look over your plates, place settings, and chairs and make sure there’s a coordinating color scheme. If it’s mostly white or a neutral hue, choose a fall accent color, like yellow, orange, or red. You can add some flavor with the Melilla Moroccan Design Table Runner, or by using some Paulina Short Chalkboards to let people know the evening’s menu.
  • Get your libations in check. Having a signature seasonal cocktail—such as a “pumpkin pie old fashioned,” which simply calls for the addition of pumpkin puree and maple syrup to the classic—can be a fun touch.
  • Secure a centerpiece by ordering a fun Pumpkin Spice Martini Bouquet. This will make for a great focal point on your dining table. Make sure to have it delivered on Thanksgiving Eve.

6 Days Away

  • Plan your menu, noting any dietary restrictions (allergies, vegan, gluten-free, etc.) you may need to be mindful of. Pinterest is full of great Thanksgiving recipe ideas for dishes like nut-free desserts, almond garlic mashed potatoes, and gluten-free dinner rolls.
  • Make sure you have the appropriate cutlery and cooking tools on hand by planning how you will prepare and plate each dish. The Apple & Potato Peeler by Victorio may be a wise purchase, making those typically tedious tasks much easier.
  • Create two shopping lists: one with non-perishables and one with fresh ingredients. Work from your menu outward to make sure you don’t skip any important ingredients.

5 Days Away

  • Clean the fridge and the house for the Thanksgiving party.
  • Search online and in local papers for coupons and grocery sales.

4 Days Away

  • Shop for your non-perishables.
  • Bake pie crusts and freeze them (if you’re making them from scratch).
  • Start defrosting the turkey in the fridge, allowing one full day for every four pounds.

3 Days Away

  • If you’re making homemade stuffing, you can do it anytime today up to Thanksgiving Eve. This gives you time to dry the bread and allows you to stuff the turkey on Thanksgiving Day without wasting precious oven time.
  • If you’ll be having children over, plan some engaging activities for them. Backyard games, anyone? The Thanksgiving Themed Cornhole Game Set by Victory Tailgate is sure to please guests both young and old.

2 Days Away

  • Prepare the cranberry sauce, yams, soups, and desserts to refrigerate or freeze.

Thanksgiving Eve

  • Shop for your perishable items. Wash, cut, and store tonight to prepare for tomorrow.
  • Finish making your sides and desserts.
  • If you’re brining your turkey, start the process the night before (remember, it takes at least eight hours).

g Day

  • Finally, prepare your no-cooking-required sides to ensure they’re fresh. Having a nice mix of hot and cold sides ensures you’re never freaking out about not having enough oven space.
  • Take the turkey out of the fridge about an hour before cooking to defrost the bird completely and remove the giblet bag inside. Cook the turkey, allotting about three to six hours in total, and make sure to baste every 30 minutes.
  • Reheat your hot sides and prepare the stuffing. It’s okay to leave your turkey to cool a bit while the sides cook.
  • Use the Eravo Volcano Wine Aerator by Nuvita for red wine about 30 ( for reds under eight years old) to 120 minutes (for reds eight years and over) before dinner. You can chill your white wine in an ice bucket about 30 minutes before.
  • Now, relax and enjoy! This day is about being thankful for what life has provided—including the wonderful people seated at your table.

Don't forget your 1-800-FLOWERS bouquet for Thanksgiving. They make great dinner table centerpieces!


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