Thanksgiving Checklist

Preparations made throughout the week will ensure that you'll be relaxing with your guests on Thursday, entertaining effortlessly!

With the big event just around the corner, you may be wondering how you'll find the time to create the perfect Thanksgiving celebration on Thursday! With the cooking also comes the cleaning, which can wreak havoc on your schedule if you don't have a plan.

Use my Thanksgiving Checklist to prioritize and organize so you can relax on Thursday, giving thanks for you friends, family, and all of the blessings you enjoy. Instead of feeling like you're scrambling to accomplish everything on your list, you'll be able to entertain effortlessly, and that's really something to be thankful for this year!


  • Finalize Menu – Order anything that you need (sides, wine, pies, etc.)
  • Order centerpieces and gift baskets
  • Visit wine shoppe to select the perfect wine 
  • Thaw turkey (if you’re using a frozen bird)
  • Pick up any plastic & paper products (plates, napkins, plastic forks, knives, wine gift bags, etc.)
  • Inventory kitchen, make shopping list, make a list of serving pieces you’ll need for each dish



  • Grocery shop
  • Unpack the groceries and start organizing the ingredients by recipe. If you have time to pre-measure the ingredients and refrigerate them, you’ll save a lot of time! Be sure to mark each container clearly with a permanent marker to ensure that ingredients do not get mixed up
  • Wash and dry herbs, cut onions and mince garlic (hint – do this in the food processor)
  • Wash & peel potatoes, cover with cold water and refrigerate
  • If you are  making your own pies & tarts, prepare the crust and refrigerate the dough
  • Set the table, set out place cards (if using), empty closet to make room for the coats your guests will be wearing
  • Clean the house



  • Pick up anything you have pre-ordered (baked goods & wine)
  • Pick up floral arrangements, centerpieces, and gift baskets
  • Brine turkey
  • Prepare mashed potatoes & stuffing
  • Prepare any appetizers that can be made ahead or partially made ahead.
  • Finish pies/tarts
  • Finish any last minute cleaning that remain



  • 9:30 am – Remove the turkey from the fridge, rest at room temperature for one hour
  • Prepare any recipes that have not been started, or that are only partially finished
  • 11:15 am – preheat the oven and stuff the turkey
  • 11:30 am – place the turkey in the oven and begin to roast. Baste every 30 minutes
  • Noon – chill the white wine
  • 12:15 – start to cook the potatoes
  • While the potatoes are cooking,  finish any other recipe that still remains
  • 1 pm – finish preparing the mashed potatoes, use a crock pot to keep them warm
  • Set up your bar & buffet area, be sure to set all platters, bowls, serving pieces out
  • 3 pm – set out appetizers (for a 3:30 guest arrival)
  • 4 pm – check the temperature of the turkey. If it is 165 degrees in the thickest part of the thigh, remove from the oven.  If not, check the temperature every 15 minutes until the bird is done
  • Rest turkey for 30 minutes before carving, make gravy
  • Reheat any sides that need to be warmed through, make whipped cream for pumpkin pie
  • 5 pm – Dinner is served 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.


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