It’s the week before Thanksgiving and so hard to believe. I know it can be stressful if you are the one planning and preparing the feast for your family and friends. Remember the goal for the day is to be able to enjoy YOURSELF, as the hostess, and to focus on the people who are sitting around your table. It’s an honor to host and welcome people in our homes, on a day that takes much preparation and planning. For our family, we’ve been traveling with high school soccer play-offs and it’s been important for me to be organized and stay on top of my Thanksgiving Schedule! If you’ve missed my last two posts, you can catch up here:

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Week 1: Invite, Plan, and Delegate
Week 2: Organize your Recipes and Shopping Lists

This week I’m thinking ahead to the space: What I want my Thanksgiving table to look like, who will sit where, and even the conversation around the table.

Do this NOW, this week:
1. The Space: Think ahead to how many guests are coming and your dinner table space, or if you plan to serve buffet-style.
2. The Table: Assuming you will be sitting down, think about what tablecloths you will use, napkins, dishes, etc.
3. Centerpiece: Come up with a plan (KISS: Keep It Simple, Sister!) for the centerpiece. Write it down in your notebook!
4. Placecards: Again, KISS, but plan a simple place card, perhaps one that you can tie to the water goblet.
5. Turkey: It’s time to order your turkey or have a plan for where you want to buy it and how you want to cook it. Will you be brining it? Cooking it in a bag?
6. Grocery shop: You can buy nonperishable items this week to make your shopping “lighter” next week. Get your lists out and start checking off what you will buy.
7. Coolers or extra refrigerator space: Think ahead to storage of the food the “day of,” if you have an extra refrigerator or you will need to have a cooler ready.

Even if you feel behind, come up with a plan. Get your notebook out and start making lists. Get your family to help out – give them jobs and remind them that Thanksgiving is a “family affair.” The weight of the Thanksgiving meal should not fall entirely upon the hostess. I know that I’ll be asking for a lot of help to tie it all together, and my family is usually very supportive and willing to help.

Willingness is good and I will take advantage of that.

How is your week ahead looking? Have you thought about your table and the list above, or are you worried about getting behind?