Thorough organization and planning is key to a successful holiday season. Avoid stress during this busy time by getting ready early. We’ve put together an easy-to-follow checklist to help you host like a pro and have plenty of time to enjoy the festivities yourself.
Don’t stress out if this holiday is sneaking up on you. You’re not alone. Many of us wait until the last minute to prepare for Thanksgiving. There’s still time to pull it all together with some quick planning and execution.
First – Find Out Who’s Coming to Dinner
If you haven’t already reached out to family and friends, now is definitely the time to determine who’ll be joining you for Thanksgiving dinner. You’ll need to know how large of a turkey to buy. You’ll also need to know what to include on the menu – and what to keep off.
You can also find out who’s staying over so you can prepare guest rooms if necessary.
Prepare Your Menu and Buy Food
Determine how much turkey you’ll need by multiplying the number of adult guests by 1.5 pounds/guest. Add in 1 pound portions for younger guests that won’t eat as much.
Buy your turkey 2 weeks before Thanksgiving. There’s no shortage of turkeys in 2023 so you’re in no rush, but your local supermarket may run out of the size that you need closer to the holiday. If you buy a frozen turkey, you’ll need to make room in the fridge for thawing it. You may need to start thawing the turkey beginning on the Monday before Thanksgiving. Plan for about 5 hours of thawing in the fridge per pound of bird.
Plan ahead and make room in your fridge and/or freezer for the turkey. If you don’t want to make room for a big turkey, consider buying a boneless turkey or just get turkey breasts. You’ll only need about a ½ pound of boneless turkey to feed each guest.
Decide on side dishes and desserts. Check the ingredients you need and buy what you need at least a week before Thanksgiving. The grocery stores will typically get more crowded and begin running out of some items in the days just before Thanksgiving.
Buy extra ice for beverages a couple of days before Thanksgiving. Ice disappears quickly from stores as the holiday approaches. Don’t miss out of getting your share of ice.
Clean and Organize Your Home
Cleaning and organizing your home will give you confidence and peace of mind during the holidays. Follow the expert tips in our Prepare Your Kitchen Appliances Now for the Holidays article to clean your microwave, range, fridge and dishwasher. Use the advice in our Get Your Laundry Appliances Holiday-Ready to prepare your washer and clothes dryer for the holidays. Sears can help you get all your appliances in top shape for the holidays. Schedule Kitchen & Laundry Appliance Check-up service and we’ll perform a 64-point inspection on all your kitchen and laundry appliances.
Dust all areas in your home and clean all floors. Shampoo rugs and carpet in your home. In bathrooms, clean all surfaces and cabinet exteriors. Also, thoroughly clean all sinks, showers, tubs, and toilets. If you don’t have the time to complete these tasks yourself, have a cleaning service clean your home.
Enjoy Your Thanksgiving Day
Once you’ve thoroughly cleaned your home and you’ve made all of your preparations, it’s time to peacefully enjoy your Thanksgiving day.
Organize your cooking to avoid stress. Make any dishes that can just be reheated or are okay to stay in the refrigerator ahead of time. These will be dishes such as mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, casseroles, and pasta salads.
Now, you can surround yourself with family and friends and enjoy a perfect Thanksgiving.
Christmas and Hanukah Preparations
After preparing your home for Thanksgiving, you’ll have less to do when preparing for the next holiday. Repeat the steps described above as needed to get your home ready for Christmas or Hanukah.
Here are some additional tips for preparing for Christmas.
- Set your budget. Before you start Christmas preparations, determine your budget. Consider how much you can comfortably spend on gifts, decorations, and festivities without causing financial stress.
- Start gift shopping early. Avoid last-minute shopping stress by making a gift list with recipients, gift ideas, and estimated costs. Shop online when possible to save time. Take advantage of sales, discounts, and cashback offers to save money.
- Plan your outdoor decorations carefully. Check your current decorations and replace or update as necessary. Stay within your budget. Don’t overload electrical circuits with too many lights. Always stay safe when hanging outdoor lights. Use ladders properly. Have a professional hang your lights if needed.
- Set aside time for sending out Christmas cards. Gather addresses of family and friends and give yourself plenty of time to write and send Christmas cards. Don’t stress yourself out by leaving this task until the last minute.
As with Thanksgiving, proper planning can make your Christmas or Hanukah celebration a joyous occasion – filled with peace and confidence. Enjoy your holidays with family and friends.
Happy Holidays from our family at Sears to you and yours and we pray that you have a Happy New Year!