Thanksgiving Countdown – Step by Step

Getting ready for THANKSGIVING can be daunting to say the least. Let’s get going …..

Your celebration can be STRESS FREE and a great success with a little planning. Here is a schedule that has WORKED for me over the years to make it manageable and to make sure I don’t forget an important thing that FREAKS me out right before the big TURKEY day.

Monday, week of October 26th

  • Send out invitations to guests with rsvp by Monday, three week’s before event

  • Make pet grooming appointments for  two days before your event. If you want some TLC before the big day make YOUR appointments TOO!

Three weeks before – week of November 2nd

  • If you have any rsvp STRAGGLERS contact them
  • plan table or multiple table layouts including seating arrangement, plates, glasses, cutlery, napkins, table cloths
  • if you need to rent/borrow tables or chairs or plates, glasses, cutlery, napkins, table cloths contact rental company or friends and arrange
  • plan and if necessary buy table decorations such as place cards, candles and candle holders, any seasonal decorations – like pumpkins, acorns, etc.
  • plan menu and contact guests to let them know what you might like them to bring such as wine, beer, deserts, sides, etc and get their agreement so you don’t have a bunch of duplicates or miss a special dish you wanted to have
  • plan what pieces of china/silver, etc you will use to serve your menu including any baking dishes that you will need and if you need to borrow something GO GET IT
  • make any arrangements you need to for yard work you want done the Week of Thanksgiving

Two weeks before – week of November 9th

  • launder/iron napkins
  • polish any flatware or serving pieces
  • wash all plates/glasses so they sparkle
  • decorate house/front door with seasonal items or other special decorations including putting up your Christmas tree – ( don’t be tempted to wait until the week of Thanksgiving to do this REALLY!)
  • if you will have overnight guests prepare rooms-fresh bed linens, towels, soaps, shampoos, some chocolates and bottled water
  • make place cards
  • shop for all non perishable items you need for your menu including all canned goods, potatoes, baking goods, frozen items, WINES AND/OR BUBBLY, etc


Thanksgiving week –

Monday & Tuesday

  • buy any perishable items for your menu
  • set all tables with the exception of fresh flowers
  • Setup your bar/drink area
  • clean house at least the areas where your guests will be
  • have any yard work completed
  • take pets for grooming(good task for HUBBY 😀)


  • pickup any rental items
  • prepare as much of your menu as possible including preparing ALL casseroles to the stage of ready to bake
  • prepare your cooking schedule for tomorrow (IF YOU HAVE TWO OVENS YOU ARE LUCKY)
  • buy your fresh flowers and that EVENING arrange them on the tables
  • buy ICE if you need it
  • set out all your serving pieces including any trivets/hot pads/serving spoons
  • go out to dinner or order something in
  • enjoy a great GLASS OF WINE  and take a BUBBLE BATH(you deserve it)


Thanksgiving day – prepare/bake the rest of your menu; make a toast, and enjoy a wonderful festive dinner! 🦃 🍁


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