Thanksgiving Party Ideas

Thanksgiving party ideas~
take the stress out of your Thanksgiving planning.

Although it seems like party food ideas are at the center of our Thanksgiving traditions, we should remember it for what it really is; a time to reflect on our blessings and be thankful for our family and friends.

Now, with that said, let's talk about ways to make your Thanksgiving Day stress free... and of course, the Thanksgiving recipes too!

I have a big family and Thanksgiving dinner is always pretty hectic. The day consists of kids running around, too many cooks in the kitchen, the game on too loud. It is completely exhausting! But I love it and I wouldn't change a thing!

Planning Thanksgiving Dinner

Planning Thanksgiving dinner and preparing it can be very stressful, especially if you have a large family or are expecting a number of guests. In order to make Thanksgiving more enjoyable for yourself as well as your guests, some advance planning and preparation will work wonders. Use these Thanksgiving party ideas and tips to make your holiday a stress-free, memorable occasion:

Thanksgiving party ideas count down -

10 Days before Thanksgiving

  • A week to 10 days before Thanksgiving, make your guest list. If there are any friends or family members you have not yet contacted, do so now to give them and yourself plenty of time to prepare. If any of your guests will be bringing a special dish, add it to your menu.
  • If you will be cooking turkey, decide upon fresh, frozen, or smoked. Make sure you have room in your refrigerator and oven. You should plan on one to one 1/2 pounds per person and even a bit larger if you want plenty of leftovers. There are some great turkey recipes to make with extra turkey on hand.
  • Deciding upon your final menu should be completed at least a week before the big day. Consider the number of people you will be entertaining and if you have children on your guest list, try to plan a couple of special dishes or treats especially for them.
  • The week of Thanksgiving is the time to stock up on necessary items from the grocery store. You can make certain items in advance such as bread or rolls and freeze them until Thanksgiving morning. Also make sure you have supplies such a napkins, cups, etc.
  • A couple of days prior to Thanksgiving you can prepare a few holiday recipes in advance to save time on the big day. Things like cranberry sauce or relish can be stored in your refrigerator for a few days. You may want to cut up onions, celery, and any like items and store them in plastic ware to save time on Thanksgiving morning. 

  • Make sure you have everything on your shopping list in your kitchen at least 2-3 days before Thanksgiving morning.

  • If you have children, involve them in the planning. Thanksgiving party ideas are a kids specialty. They can help organize games for the younger guests, assist with party decoration ideas, and can even help out in the kitchen if you desire.

  • If you have purchased a frozen turkey, take it out of the freezer and place it in the refrigerator 3 days prior to cooking to give it plenty of time to thaw. If you will need to iron linens, etc., do so a couple of days before Thanksgiving to cut down on the amount of work you will have to do the night before the big day.

    Thanksgiving Morning

  • On Thanksgiving morning, make sure you have your thawed Thanksgiving turkey stuffed (if necessary) and ready to place in the oven. Side dishes should be ready to cook or place in your oven and it would be a good idea to have desserts prepared the night before to save time and frustration on Thanksgiving Day. Any items you have frozen should be taken out of the freezer the night before so they can be heated easily.

  • Don't forget about sides and desserts. Thanksgiving traditions usually include cornbread, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, apple pie, pumpkin pie, and vanilla ice cream.

  • With some advance planning and preparation, Thanksgiving can be a stress-free (almost) occasion and you will have plenty of time to enjoy the company of friends and family.

    By Angela Tyler

    Fun Ideas for Thanksgiving

    Thanksgiving party ideas or celebrating Thanksgiving can be done many ways, but we have a few favorites we'd like to share with you.

    We'd like you to share YOUR traditions with us too and we'll create a page on this site just for you! After all, isn't that what Thanksgiving is all about?

    Time-honored family traditions give us a sense of family and meaningfulness that can last for generations. Pass it on!

    • Have the family help decorate for Thanksgiving. Kids always have great Thanksgiving party ideas! You can even put them in charge...if you dare!

    • Ask everyone to make a dish or desert to donate to a shelter. Then deliver your goodies together so you can share in the gift of giving.

    • Create a family gratitude journal -Each night, a family member can share something that they are grateful for. Share the highlights of this family tradition at the dinner table on Thanksgiving Day.

    • Start a family Thanksgiving photo journal and share it each year.

    • Talk about ways to show your kindness all year long.

    • Practice random acts of kindness.

    • Start your own gratitude journal and share a few things with your family and friends.

    • Show your gratitude to an unsung hero. Get together with your family and decide on a person or a group in your community who could use an extra pat on the back such as firefighters, soldiers, police officers, volunteers. Put together a special plate of goodies and a note and deliver it as a family.

    • Read a special book that tells of the spirit of Thanksgiving and make it a tradition.

    • Let the kids choose something they would like you to do with them on Thanksgiving, such as play a game, watch a movie or write a story.

    • Ask the family to write down a something special that someone did for them and share it before Thanksgiving dinner.

    • Be open to hear about new Thanksgiving party ideas.

      What are YOUR Thanksgiving Traditions?

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