While you can’t make the turkey 2 weeks in advance, there are things you can prepare ahead of time and keep fresh until Thanksgiving dinner. Condiments such as cranberry sauce, gravy, applesauce, etc. can all be frozen, thawed, and still taste delicious for the meal. Consider recipes that can be prepped and refrigerated the day before your meal. Take a look at these make-ahead recipes from Taste of Home and Food Network. Keep track of everything that needs baked in the oven to make sure you have space. And don’t be afraid to share the meal responsibilities with dinner guests!
You don’t have to spend a lot of time or money to create a centerpiece that looks as delectable as the food. A simple Pinterest search will give you endless ideas fall-inspired centerpieces. Here are some of our favorite include simple lanterns, small pumpkin blessings, and a pumpkin vase!
Use paper as a tablecloth. Draw each placemat with a permanent marker. Make this ahead of time and simple roll out the paper when you’re ready to set up! Provide crayons for them to draw and stay occupied while everyone else eats and chats. If any, use simple and kid-friendly centerpieces. Check out these examples of Kids Tables:
Whether you are having 5 or 35 people for dinner, plan ahead to make sure everyone has a seat. Have 1 or 2 extra spaces set up so you aren’t scrambling last minute trying to fit someone in. Try mismatching your dining room chairs with other chairs from around the house so nothing looks out of place. Repurpose sturdy furniture into benches, chairs, and tables. Cramped for space? Set up a few folding tables in the garage to eat on or serve from. Space heaters can be used if the weather is chilly.
If you don’t have enough furniture, contact your local party rental store. Tables and chairs can be rented pretty inexpensively and will give you peace of mind!
Thanksgiving leftovers are arguably the best part of the holiday’s ending. Be sure to stock up on disposable to-go containers and Ziploc bags! Or provide reusable, microwaveable containers like this. Have masking tape and a permanent marker on hand to write names on each container.