It’s hard to believe it’s the 2nd week of November already! And hopefully by now you’ve made your guest list for Thanksgiving Day dinner, and you’ve planned out your menu and delegated some of the dishes at the time of confirming the invite. That is the time to let people know what you’d like them to bring.

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Remember that Thanksgiving Day is not a day to be exhausted and to try to impress people by doing it all.

It’s a day to share the load, enjoy each other in the kitchen and around the table, and to create FUN memories for the family (not horrible memories of stress and strain).

A few years ago my friend Eliz emailed me her entire menu for Thanksgiving Dinner. I was so impressed with how organized she was, I followed suit.

Do This NOW — this week!
1. Choose Recipes: Pick up a few magazines at the store or library and find what recipes you want to use, or rummage through your cookbooks or family recipes.
2. Organize Recipes: Tear out the pages or copy the pages from a magazine or cookbook.
3. STAPLE all the recipes (pages) together and write “Thanksgiving 2010” at the top; fold in 1/2 and keep in your notebook. Another option is to staple them right into your notebook.
4. Shopping List: Go through each recipe and make separate pages for different stores and record what you will need to buy.
5. Turkey: Order your turkey or have a plan for where you will buy it.

IE, create a shopping page for each:
Market of Choice

Thanksgiving Day really is a themed dinner party! Most Americans sit down together with many courses for many hours to enjoy the food and fellowship.

The secret is to be organized so you can enjoy the day with your family and guests.

My mother lived “organization” and was planner. I understand that not everyone had the same experience that I had while growing up, and entertaining can actually be painful. There is still time to learn and grow in this area of hospitality. You can read books, magazines, blogs – but the best way is to find a mentor who can teach you how. You can quietly observe a hostess that you admire in how she pulls it all together.

My parents were good role models. Our home did not have to be perfect before they invited people in. And they always included my sisters and me by having us help get ready, cook, and set the table—mistakes and all. We witnessed the benefits and happiness that living a hospitable life brought to our parents. Their happiness did not revolve around perfection. It was a matter of the heart. – The Reluctant Entertainer

I don’t know about you, but for me, I want to continue to learn how to be a gracious hostess. I am not perfect in this area, but I want to strive to have more grace in my interactions with others.

How are your menu and shopping lists coming together this week?

Come back tomorrow for an amazing GIVEAWAY from Back 40 Life … you won’t believe how beautiful it is … I have one hanging in my house! And if you are a bit behind on your Thanksgiving Day planning and you missed Week 1, you can catch up, HERE.