planning | living | loving life

Planning A Thanksgiving Feast – FREE CHECKLIST!

 

I realize it’s only mid-September but I’m a planner and, in the grand scheme of things, there isn’t a lot of time.  Planning a thanksgiving feast for even a small family is no simple task.  There’s the menu, the decor, and the “entertainment” (not everyone watches football).  In this 3-part series, I’m going to document the process and share with you the tools that I use to keep myself on track.

Six Weeks Prior

The first thing that needs to be sorted is the guest list.  Nowadays, many Thanksgiving dinner invites are extended to friends, neighbors, co-workers (etc.).  The guest list is obviously preliminary but it is the foundation the event is built on.  I utilize EVITE to send out invitations or save-the-date notifications.  This way I can track who will be attending or is interesting in attending and plan accordingly.  This is also a good way to determine if any of your guests have a food allergy that you need to be aware of when drafting the menu.

Speaking of the menu, this is the perfect time to start thinking about what you want to serve.  Will you have the traditional fare including turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes?  Or, will you go a more contemporary route serving seafood or sushi?  Once you have a good idea of what you will be serving, you can start to look for coupons and deals the things you will need.

One Month Prior

At this point you’ll want to firm up your guest list as much as you can.  Once the guest list is sorted you’ll be able to make moves on the menu and start making a grocery list.  You can also begin to purchase any dinnerware and serving pieces that you will need.  I always like to have a few extras of everything on hand…just in case Cousin Eddie wants to bring his ENTIRE family and stay through the new year.  😉

You also need to start thinking about the decorations you will need.  Are you going to make decorations or buy them?  If you’re making them, you’ll definitely want to start making things now so that you have plenty of time.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve planned to make decorations for a party and waited until the day before only to find that I don’t have enough materials or my confidence in my skill was massively inflated.

Planner Checklist

You probably don’t know this about me but I’m a planner junkie.  Ever since I broke down and bought an Erin Condren Life Planner I’ve become OBSESSED with creating my own content for the planner.  I created a checklist that will fit the Erin Condren so I can keep track of what needs to be done and when.  You can download a printable copy here.  All you need to do is cut it down to size using a cutter.  I cut mine to 7”W x 8.5”H which worked for me but you can cut it to whatever dimensions you like.  This time of year can be especially hectic and stressful, so it’s nice to have something to keep you on track so you don’t forget even the little things.  For example, I once forgot to buy my turkey and when I went to buy one the pickins were slim.

Let’s Start Planning!

I really hope you find this post useful!  Sign up for my newsletter to receive notification of future posts and to be alerted when the other parts in the series are posted.  Also, if you’re interested in purchasing an Erin Condren Life Planner you can click this link and receive $10 off!

If you’d like the checklist in standard letter size, click here for a pdf.

Six Weeks Prior

The first thing that needs to be sorted is the guest list.  Nowadays, many Thanksgiving dinner invites are extended to friends, neighbors, co-workers (etc.).  The guest list is obviously preliminary but it is the foundation the event is built on.  I utilize EVITE to send out invitations or save-the-date notifications.  This way I can track who will be attending and plan accordingly.  This is also a good way to determine if any of your guests have a food allergy that you need to be aware of when drafting the menu.

Speaking of the menu, this is the perfect time to start thinking about what you want to serve.  Will you have the traditional fare including turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes?  Or, will you go a more contemporary route serving seafood or sushi?  Once you have a good idea of what you will be serving, you can start to look for coupons and deals the things you will need.

One Month Prior

At this point you’ll want to firm up your guest list as much as you can.  Once the guest list is sorted you’ll be able to make moves on the menu and start making a grocery list.  You can also begin to purchase any dinnerware and serving pieces that you will need.  I always like to have a few extras of everything on hand…just in case Cousin Eddie wants to bring his entire family and stay through the new year!  😉

You also need to start thinking about the decorations you will need.  Are you going to make decorations or buy them?  If you’re making them, you’ll definitely want to start making things now so that you have plenty of time.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve planned to make decorations for a party and waited until the day before only to find that I don’t have enough materials or my confidence in my skill was massively inflated.

Planner Checklist

As you know, I plan EVERYTHING!  Ever since buying my first Erin Condren Life Planner I’ve become OBSESSED with creating my own personalized content for the planner.  For Thanksgiving prep, I created a checklist that will fit the Erin Condren so I can keep track of what needs to be done and when.  You can download a printable copy here.  All you need to do is cut it down to size using a cutter.  I cut mine to 7”W x 8.5”H which worked for me but you can cut it to whatever dimensions you like.  This time of year can be especially hectic and stressful, so it’s nice to have something to keep you on track so you don’t forget even the little things.  For example, I once forgot to buy my turkey and when I went to buy one the pickins were slim.

Let’s Start Planning!

I really hope you find this post useful!  Sign up for my newsletter to receive notification of future posts and to be alerted when the other parts in the series are posted.  Also, if you’re interested in purchasing an Erin Condren Life Planner you can click this link and receive $10 off!

If you’d like the checklist in standard letter size, click here for a pdf.

Stay tuned for the next installment where I’ll be sharing some of my favorite places to get tableware and decor to make Thanksgiving cozy and festive!

Jen 🌹



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