Holidays · Organization · Time Management

How To Host A Stress-Free Thanksgiving Meal {Part 1: October}

Are you hosting Thanksgiving this year? For me, a big part of the fun in any event is the planning. I also believe that doing things ahead of time relieves stress and makes things much more enjoyable not only for you as the hostess, but also for your guests.

I’ve hosted Thanksgiving quite a few times in the last decade and today I’m going to share with you the five tasks I like to complete in October. Taking care of these things now really makes a difference and helps Thanksgiving Day to be even more enjoyable and stress-free.

1 – Make the guest list

I start with the family members that I know will be in attendance and then add any friends we plan to invite. I’m sure the guest list will grow throughout the month and may include a few folks who aren’t able to spend the holiday with their family. At any rate, I hope to have a general idea of how many people are coming by the end of the month.

2 – Take inventory

I look through my linens, plates and flatware and decide if I need to purchase or borrow anything.

3 – Create a Pinterest board for ideas

This might include recipes, tablescapes, crafts or games for the younger guests and anything else I want to remember.

4 – Make a rough draft of the menu

I think through the meal, appetizers and desserts and get a general idea of what I want to serve. Then I pin those recipes to my Pinterest board so that I have them all in one place.

I make notes of what items I might order from a restaurant or bakery and check with those places to see how early I need to get my order to them.

Read More: My Thanksgiving Menu from 2020

5 – Begin shopping

Now that I have an idea of the decor and food I’m going with, I can pick up items for my table as well as shelf stable or frozen ingredients that might be on sale. You know how quickly fall and Thanksgiving themed items are replaced with Christmas things, so grab those items when you see them.

I made a video a long time ago where I talked about these tasks in a little more detail. If you’re hosting Thanksgiving or any large dinner party, I think it will be helpful as you begin to plan your event. Click here for the video on my YouTube channel.

I’ll have a post early next month with the things I do in November. Until then, here are a few more posts that will get you in the Thanksgiving spirit:

Are you hosting Thanksgiving this year?


4 thoughts on “How To Host A Stress-Free Thanksgiving Meal {Part 1: October}

  1. I need to do all of these things! I’m hosting Thanksgiving this year. I’ve got a good idea of the guest list, have been collecting paper goods and now I need to work on the menu, the kitchen gear needed and then logistics of setting up enough tables for everyone to have a seat.


  2. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. But, since my mom passed three and a half years ago, much has changed. I’m the oldest, so everything has fallen on me. We normally meet at my Dad’s. It’s hard to plan as no other family members offer to help. I’m left to do everything from planning, prepping, and serving to cleaning up. Praying about how to handle things this year.


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