Thanksgiving us probably one of our favorite holidays. There is just something magical about family and friends gathered together to celebrate everything we have to be thankful for.  The amazing feast of foods.  The festive decor.  The taste of that delicious pumpkin pie. The smell of that apple cider candle which just flickers a warm glow making you warm inside..  It could be one of the best days of the year!

With all that wonderfulness to look forward to, a sheer panic hits you.  I have to plan that day!  Dinner.  Invitations.  Decor.  Seating arrangements.  Oh my stuffing!  Hey, we are in it too.  Don’t worry. We got you!

We put together a timeline to plan the perfect thanksgiving holiday.  DOWNLOAD the FREE printable to help make your Thanksgiving awesome-sauce!

Thanksgiving Timeline and Checklist free printable

1 Month Before

Set your guest list

Put together a list of everyone who will be attending your soire.Send out invitations
Now that you know who want to come, you have to let them know.  Sending an email is a perfectly fine way to reach out to those loved ones.  Make sure you have the date, (Hey, I know.  But really seeing the actual date will help with memory) time and location.  If you would like them to bring an item for dinner, it may be a good idea to make a few suggestions.   I know I appreciate it.  However if someone has their heart set on brining a pumpkin roll, let them gift what they wish.  I am pretty sure you won’t be sorry.


Prepare Menu

Create a master plan and decide what you are serving.

Create master cooking plan

Time can be your friend if you just plan everything correctly.  Starting from dinner time and working backwards is a good way to work.  If you are serving dinner, at 4 and your  main dish takes 7 hours to cook, you need to make sure you have it in the oven by 10am.

Consider decorations

Decor can really bring a space together.  Do you want to do a fall leaf theme or maybe you love pumpkins and pinecones.  Now is the time to start pondering on what you can do to set the mood.  Need inspiration?  Check out this page for some lovely ideas.

Chose a centerpiece

As a family that day we are going to all spend a great amount of time around that table laughing, eating and sipping on wine.  Since that is going to be the place to be a stunning centerpiece will make a huge impression.   Looking for some ideas?  Ask Martha.  🙂

2 Weeks Before

Finalize guests RSVP

Call those people who did not respond or were unsure if they could attend. Get a final count for your fete.

Finalize menu

Confirm everything that you will be serving your guests that day.  Be sure to remember is someone offered to bring a dish.

Clean out refrigerator

Your fridge is going to have to store all these ingredients, side dishes and leftover.  Clean it out to make sure you have ample room.

Prepare grocery list

This is where it gets real…the shopping list!  Gather all the ingredients you will need to cook this amazing meal. Check your pantry for the items you already have.  Create a list of everything you will need to purchase to make your shopping trip less stressful. Trust us.  Writing it down will save you tons of headaches and heartache if you forget something.

Plan seating arrangements

Giving people assigned seating allows you to make sure everyone is accounted. Plus it just adds a personalized touch to you dinner.

Decorate house

Making the house festive is a great way to get in the Thanksgiving spirit.  Put up all those fall decoration to set the mood for your evening.

Monday Before Thanksgiving

Go shopping

Here is it.  The moment of truth.  This is where you grab your grocery list and head to the store.  Purchase every item that you will need for a flawless cooking execution.

Thaw Turkey if frozen

If your main course is frozen, this is a good time to start thawing it out.  Place it in the refrigerator or put it in a tray in the garage.

Decorate House

We all want to make sure our guest arrive when our house is looking (and smelling) its best.  Make sure everything is tidy, clutter is put away and everything is clean.

Plan outfit

What are you going to wear?  Depending on how formal your dinner is, which you may want to tell your guests, you can choose a proper hostess outfit.  Planning ahead will save you brain power thinking of what you are going to wear when you already have so much on your plate.  (Get it!)

Set tables

It is time to make the table look divine!  Set the table with your dishes, silverware, napkins and linens.  It will be a masterpiece of it own!

Day Before Thanksgiving

Food Prep:

Anything that you can prep before hand is going to save you a lot of precious time on Thanksgiving day.
Chop and dice ingredients
Bake pies and/or breads

Buy flowers

Flower make everything so lovely.  Grabbing a beautiful bouquet of flowers will add to the elegance of the day.

Set out centerpieces

Place the centerpiece on the table to bring the entire look together.

Thanksgiving Day

Prepare main course and side dishes
Watch the parade
Light clean of house
Chill wine
Set out appetizers
Light candles

This seems like a lot to keep track of. And it is. We love to plan so check out this printable we put together for you to keep you create the perfect plan for the most perfect Thanksgiving feast!  Enjoy!

Happy Thanksgiving