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Thanksgiving Week Plan – Let’s Giving Thanks with a Full Plate & a Plan

Last year I was just not feeling Thanksgiving, and it was a spectacular mess – the solution is a Thanksgiving Week Plan.

This year I feel the spirit and I am really looking forward to a house full. You know what they say? Attitude is everything! But, just in case attitude isn’t enough I will be putting all my holiday power into making this a light stress holiday. Step One is a fabulous Thanksgiving Menu. The rest of my Stress-free Thanksgiving plan looks like this:


Plan the Thanksgiving menu, the cleaning, the decorating – basically anything in my power. This includes letting others help. Allowing guests to bring a dish takes one thing off my very full plate, frees up the oven space, and lets everyone feel like they are a part of the festivities. Giving yourself the gift of housekeepers the week before an event is also a sanity saver. Otherwise, I suggest a cleaning schedule that saves the vacuuming and mopping for last.


Most sides and desserts can be made in advance of the big day. Have you ever noticed how good leftovers are? Yeah, that basically just gives you permission to make everything ahead. It will taste better!


What gets done gets done. What doesn’t – doesn’t. There. That’s it. I’ll do my best until I’m done or tired or turning into a crazy person. Then I will stop because what I will have done will be enough and my family likes me better when I am nice and sane. They don’t really care if everyone gets a hand-lettered place card.

Thanksgiving Week Plan

The Weekend Before

Decorate & Plan: Set up your table and figure out what furniture, flatware, serveware, etc. you are missing or need. Arrange to get or borrow those ASAP.

Shop: Groceries – this is a great week to grab some frozen pizzas and ready-to-eat meals, too!


Cleanup: Bathrooms

Shop: Liquor Store

Decorate: If you haven’t already dusted off your decorations do that now and sift through what you will be using.


  • Cranberry Sauce
  • Potatoes – If mashing go ahead and peel and boil the potatoes, mash and blend recipe up to the part where you cook. Refrigerate or freeze. If the sweet potatoes have a topping or sauce you can prepare it and store it refrigerated in an airtight container.
  • Frozen turkeys should be in the refrigerator now


Cleanup: Dust Furniture & Clean glass surfaces

Decorate: As desired, make sure to put out your kids’ handprint turkeys!


  • If making your own pie dough today is the day! Make the Pie Dough and refrigerate or freeze the dough discs.
  • Pie fillings like pumpkin, apple, and cherry can be made and storee in refrigerated airtight containers.


Cleanup: Kid’s Tidy Rooms; General House Pickup; Sweep, Mop, and Vacuum

Decorate: As desired, try to be done by today.


  • Prepare as many appetizers as you can. Cheese logs can be made and rolled, nuts roasted, etc.
  • Dressing (2 – 13″ x 9″ pans) – refrigerate
  • Anything that was frozen move to the refirgerator to thaw overnight.
  • Brining a turkey? Put it in tonight.


Cleanup: Make beds; Empty Dishwasher; Take out Trash; Whatever mess is still mucking about stick it in a basket and/or shut the door.

Prep: When you finish coffee in the morning immediately clean and set up a new pot, so it’s ready to turn on after dinner.


  • Start with any slow cooker items
  • Prepare green beans or fresh vegetable and refrigerate until ready to cook.
  • Prepare to cook any other premade items like stuffing or potatoes.
  • Turkey (give yourself 15 minutes per pound – defrosted and unstuffed, as well as time for it to rest, about 30 minutes)
  • Rolls in the oven while turkey rests and you make gravy
  • Gravy (doubled: 1/2 cup fat (add butter or oil if you don?t have enough), 1/2 cup of flour, 4 cups pan drippings combined with stock, salt, pepper, and a tablespoon of soy sauce (optional)
  • Whipped Cream (doubled) – this should take less than ten minutes so I like to make it fresh after dinner. But, it could be made earlier in the day as well, this recipe will stay stable for several hours.
  • Boom! Done! Enjoy your meal.

Happy Thanksgiving!

For more ideas check out our other menus and Thanksgiving Menu and our Thanksgiving Board on Pinterest.

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