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Free family Thanksgiving dinner checklist

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Yes – it IS that time of the year, Thanksgiving dinner is approaching for those of you that are in the United States. We have a global audience, so we thought that we would given something to our US readers, BUT this is a pretty good checklist for any big celebration dinner, and as it’s all about the turkey, it works just as well for Christmas as well…! Download the family Thanksgiving dinner checklist and you will be winning at organisation either for that celebration, or any you use to use it for…

Free family Thanksgiving dinner checklist

What’s included in our family Thanksgiving dinner checklist

In true KiddyCharts style, we don’t just make you download the list to see what is going on here, we are sharing with you in this article what is included within the list. Then you can download it by clicking on the circular image below, pop it on your wall, and tick ot off as you go along.

You need to start about a month before the big day…

A month before thanks giving dinner

  • Send out invitations, and
  • Plan the menu.

You might have to adapt slightly because of the pandemic – perhaps things can be online where needed this year, and you can plan a menu together – that could even be part of the fun?

Three weeks before

  • Finalise menu,
  • Finalise guest list,
  • Assign dishes,
  • Plan the seating arrangement,
  • Make the grocery list (Check what you have)
  • Watch out for Thanksgiving coupons/sales
  • Make dinner rolls, pie crusts and anything that you can freeze,
  • Order turkey (if buying fresh): estimate about 1lb per person,
  • Test new recipes,
  • Start deep cleaning home (or you could completely skip this step if you are a bit like me: deep cleaning, excuse me? 😉 😜
  • Check your china, glassware, linens, and cookware,
  • Make arrangements to borrow extra tables and chairs (if needed),
  • Test seldom used appliances (e.g. electric carving knife mixer, etc)
  • Stock up on foil, freezer bags and left overs containers,
  • Plan kids’ activities, and
  • Plan meals and activities for overnight guests (if needed).

Two weeks before

  • Polish silverware,
  • Finalise Thanksgiving playlist, and
  • Make room in hall closet for guests coats.

A week before

  • Prepare guest rooms, don’t forget to leave info on the WiFi logins,
  • Shop for groceries and alcohol (if applicable),
  • Restock supplies and check cooking equipment,
  • Make space in freezer for turkey (if buying frozen),
  • Decorate home, and
  • Take out and clean special occasion glasses.

Four to five days before

  • Clean out the fridge to make room for Thanksgiving foods,
  • Thaw turkey in the refrigerator (allow 24hrs for every 5lbs), and
  • Iron table linens.

Two days before

  • Pick up ham/turkey (if fresh),
  • Take rolls, pie crusts, and other made-ahead food from the freezer, and
  • Baby proof house (if you need to).

The day before

  • Make cranberry sauce, side dishes and pies,
  • Set the dining room table,
  • Set up a bar / drinks station (teas, coffees, soft drinks and alcohol),
  • Chill drinks,
  • Clean bathrooms,
  • Put out fresh towels,
  • Refill soap dispensers and put out fresh toilet paper,
  • Vacuum,
  • Buy ice, and
  • Recharge your camera / replace batteries.

Thanksgiving Day

  • Cook the turkey,
  • Make the stuffing and gravy,
  • Reheat/warm any dished that you made ahead,
  • Make everything else that is still on your list, and
  • Stock the bar / drink station.

After dinner

  • Put away left overs within two hours,
  • Pack up leftovers for guests, and
  • Pretreat any table linen stains.

The day after

  • Wash table linens,
  • Put away dishes, sliverware, glassware, and serving pieces,
  • Put away extra tables / chairs, and
  • Treat any carpet / upholstery strains.

A few days after

  • Make turkey broth,
  • Freeze remaining leftovers,
  • Return food dishes and anything else you have borrowed,
  • Organise and share photos. Order prints, and
  • Email any recipes that guests ask about.

Phew. We are knackered after that – are you?!?! Within the checklist, there is a bonus additional section too, covering everything that is good to have on hand. Make sure you download the checklist, so you don’t miss out on this! To download the full list, click on the circular image below.

Free family Thanksgiving

We trust you will find this useful – we really hope so anyone. If you are looking for any other thanksgiving dinner, or celebration dinner tips, then do check out some of these idea from KiddyCharts and the web:

Celebration dinner ideas and tips

Some more ideas to help with Thanksgiving, Christmas and other celebration meals you might want to host.

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Thanksgiving dinner checklist

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