Ultimate Thanksgiving Party Planner: From Preparation to Feast

Ultimate Thanksgiving Party Planner: From Preparation to Feast

Thanksgiving is a cherished holiday filled with warmth, gratitude, and a sumptuous feast. To ensure your celebration goes off without a hitch, we've crafted a Thanksgiving party planner that includes everything from house cleaning to menu planning, grocery shopping, and more. 

8 Weeks Before Thanksgiving:  

Create the Guest List:  

Begin by crafting your guest list, considering family, friends, and loved ones who will share in your Thanksgiving joy. 

6 Weeks Before Thanksgiving:  

Plan the Menu:  

Let your culinary imagination run wild. Brainstorm ideas for the main course, sides, desserts, and beverages. 

5 Weeks Before Thanksgiving:  

Finalize the Menu:  

Solidify your menu choices, considering dietary preferences and any restrictions your guests may have. {Link Blog post on Menu choices}

Plan your House Cleaning Schedule:  

Develop a comprehensive cleaning plan for your home. Create a schedule for each room's deep cleaning and repairs. 

4 Weeks Before Thanksgiving:  

Finalize the Guest List and Send out Invitations:  

Consider the number of people you can accommodate at your table for a sit-down dinner, or keep it casual and consider serving buffet style—no need for formal invitations. A phone call or email to friends and family is perfect. 

3 Weeks Before Thanksgiving:  

Start Cleaning the House:  

Begin the deep cleaning process room by room. Focus on decluttering and organizing spaces that guests will frequent. 

Get Your Gear:  

It's time to shop for kitchen utensils for the big day. Consider what was needed last year that you were missing or upgrade some of your current items. 

Create a Shopping List:  

Decide how much of each dish you'll need. List the ingredients and compare them against what you have available in your pantry. 

Order The Turkey:  

2 pounds per adult and 1 pound per child (This amount will guarantee that there will be leftovers). Order your turkey or buy frozen and place it in the freezer. 

Shop for non-perishable items  

Flour, sugar, brown sugar, canned pumpkin, rice, frozen or fresh cranberries, and packaged stuffing mix all before the crowds. 

Shop for Drinks:  

Liquor and wine keep well. Buy what you need early. Instead of playing bartender on the big day, pick one signature cocktail and make a big batch ahead of time. Always have a nonalcoholic option, like apple cider or sparkling water. 

2 Weeks Before Thanksgiving:  

Make room in your freezer:  

Cook and freeze as much as possible now to save yourself time on turkey day. Clean out your freezer to make room for everything you put in. 

Make and Freeze:  

Pie dough or whole pies! Wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and thaw them in the fridge overnight before using them. Apple pie can be fully prepped and frozen up to a month in advance. After assembling, put the entire pie-greased tin and all into a loose-fitting plastic bag and seal it tightly. Move it to the fridge the night before baking to thaw. 

Dinner Rolls are perfect to make ahead and freeze. Pick a recipe that will freeze well with a moist butter base, buttermilk, pureed pumpkin, or squash. Take them out of the freezer in the morning and allow them to reach room temperature before baking. 

Decide on the Décor:  

Think about whether or not you want to order fresh flowers or if you simply want to create a non-perishable centerpiece. 

1 Week Before Thanksgiving:  

Prep Your Thanksgiving Day Cooking Schedule:  

Organization is vital to keeping stress at a minimum on Turkey Day! Go through your recipes and create a day-by-day schedule for the week leading up to Thanksgiving and a day-of plan. 

Freeze Soups:  

Vegetable soups and those that don't have cream or eggs can be easily frozen, making them an excellent do-ahead appetizer—just reheat before serving. 

Containers for Leftovers:  

Save time and make it easy to share leftovers with your guests. Have plastic leftover containers and bags ready or remind guests to bring a reusable container if you prefer a more eco-friendly option. 

Pick up your turkey, heavy cream & hearty veggies:  

Grab your heavy cream NOW! It gets harder to find right before Thanksgiving. Stock up on your ingredients that will keep a week out from the party. This includes ingredients like butternut squash, carrots, potatoes, and more. 

3 Days Before Thanksgiving:  

Defrost the Turkey:  

Time and patience. The best way to do this is to thaw the turkey in the coldest part of the fridge with a pan under it to catch any drips. Food Safety tip: Don't thaw you turkey on the counter. 

Buy Perishable Ingredients:  

Now is the time to purchase those salad greens and perishable veggies. Go ahead and wash the lettuce and dry it well. Store it in paper towels in a plastic bag in the fridge. 

House Cleaning:  

Conduct a final sweep, focusing on touch-ups. Set up extra tables and chairs (put the non-cooking family members in charge of cleaning). 

2 Days Before Thanksgiving:  

Make Cranberry sauce & soup:  

These dishes can sit in the fridge for two days with no problems. 

Assemble Casseroles:  

Green bean or sweet potato casseroles can be stored uncooked in the fridge and baked on Thanksgiving Day. 

Bake Rolls and Bread 

Make or Thaw Pie Crusts:  

If you froze your pie crusts, take them out to defrost. If you didn't freeze them ahead of time, go ahead and make them, wrap them in plastic wrap, and store them in the fridge. Bake your pumpkin pies in their entirety. They will refrigerate perfectly. 

1 Day Before Thanksgiving:  

Set the Table:  

Put out all your place settings, décor, and serving dishes. 

Calculate Cooking Times:  

Determine what items can be cooked alongside the turkey in the oven (in terms of temperature or space). Cook those things before or after the turkey is done or on the stovetop while cooking. 

Prep Reheatable side dishes:  

Start to make those dishes that will reheat well, like casseroles. 

Prep Ingredients:  

Ready garnishes, toppings, salad greens, and stuffing ingredients. If you need stale bread for your stuffing recipe, cut it now and set the cubes on a baking sheet to dry. Prep veggies for cooking – clean, peel, and chop. Cover the ready-to-go veggies and put them in the fridge. 

Bake your apple and pecan pies. These tend not to keep as well as pumpkin pies and must be made as close to Thanksgiving as possible. 

Brine your turkey! 

Thanksgiving Day:  

Here is the perfect order to pull together the rest of your feast. 

  1. Defrost any premade bread. It needs to reach room temperature. 
  2. Chill wine and beer 
  3. Prepare the stuffing. Stuff it into the turkey or ready it to cook on the side. 
  4. Roast the turkey. 
  5. Prep additional side dishes while your turkey cooks. They can sit at room temperature for an hour or keep them in the fridge. When the turkey is done, let it rest while you make gravy, reheat side dishes, and prep salads. 
  6. Reheat anything that needs that need to be reheated. 
  7. Stage all food on the table or buffet. Don't hesitate to ask guests to help with putting food out, opening wine bottles, filling glasses, and dishing up the cranberry sauce. 
  8. Get a plate and EAT! 

With Moxie Creed's guide to planning your Thanksgiving, rest assured that your holiday celebration will be marked by seamless organization, mouthwatering meals, and an environment of gratitude and joy. Let the planning commence as you embark on a memorable journey towards the ultimate Thanksgiving feast. 


Download your Ultimate Thanksgiving Planner HERE


Did you follow this guide? We want to see how your party turned out! Tag us in your Thanksgiving pictures on Instagram @moxiecreed. 

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