Countdown to Turkey Day 2013: Let’s Get Started

Heather says

Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite time of the year. It’s no secret that I love food and I love to cook for others and Thanksgiving Dinner is the Superbowl of company dinners. It’s a chance to gather with friends and family and indulge in the traditional and the exceptional.


Are you planning on hosting your first Thanksgiving dinner? Are you a seasoned pro, but ready to take some of the headache out of hosting Thanksgiving? Well, you’re in luck, it’s time for this year’s Countdown to Turkey Day. (Psst, it’d be awesome if you’d share this series with your friends or family who may be hosting for the first time, too.)

Don’t sweat it, you have plenty of time to plan your Thanksgiving menus and do your Thanksgiving shopping. After all, Thanksgiving is only three weeks away.

Did you see that? Three weeks. Oh boy! This year Thanksgiving falls on November 28, which would usually mean we have a little more time than previous years to get our act together, but 2013 was not a kind year.

1. Decide – When and Where

Sit down with pen and paper and decide where and what time dinner will be served. Create a tentative guest list that notes any allergies or dietary restrictions. It’s easier to plan around a gluten or nut allergy than it is to rework a menu.

Heather –  My house, day of, potential for a gluten allergy.

2. Figure Out – Seating and Serving

Before things get crazy look at your guest list. Do you have enough chairs and place settings? Are you serving a casual enough meal that sitting on the floor and using Chinette works? No? Party rental stores often allow chair, china, and glassware rental in lots much smaller than you’d imagine. I’ve rented as few as ten chairs in the past for parties. Reserve what you need ASAP.

Heather – the kids can deal with the Chinette and picnic style, there are potentially 6 under 10, the rest of us can have chairs and be seated if not around the same, table, but adjacent tables.

3. Find the dining room table.

We know what happens, laundry, homework, and life love to find the table. This year’s table is a lot like last, just with a different background. I swear I will mail that cookbook.

Clean Laundry

Let’s get this year’s conversation rolling.

Will you be cooking and or hosting Thanksgiving this year? Have you hosted Thanksgiving dinner before? Are you trying it for the first time? What are you looking forward to and what are you dreading about the holiday? How many people will there be?


  1. Melissa Jones on November 15, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    Seriously – don’t stress about the cookbook! It will be a fun surprise whenever it arrives!

  2. Debbie on November 12, 2013 at 7:44 pm

    We do the Same every year. Our family, my sister and her family and neighbors, around 20. We set up a 15×15 tent against the sliding door off the back of the house. I call it the extendaroom. It is complete with a rug, heater, four 6′ tables , 2 butted end to end to form two long tables. This allows a space for all to eat together.

  3. Patty on November 12, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    This year is similar to previous years. We all go over to my parent’s house on Thanksgiving and bring whatever my mom assigns us (there are three daughters that live locally and are all married and have families). Then on Friday, at my house I have my in-laws over and I cook and entire Thanksgiving meal. It is a lot of work but I love it. I love to cook and get all the leftovers I want :).
    I hope you and your family have a peaceful holiday season.

  4. Anna on November 6, 2013 at 11:22 am

    Our plans are still up in the air. I know we are not traveling, so that means we’re either hosting or attending at my mother-in-law’s house.
    Blessings and peace to you for this holiday season.

    • Heather Solos on November 6, 2013 at 3:50 pm

      Thank you and to you, as well. I hope you get your tentative plans settled soon.

  5. Jennifer on November 6, 2013 at 7:34 am

    It’s just us this Thanksgiving as usual: me, the hubs, and 5 kids. My favorite part about Thanksgiving is that it is the easiest meal of the year to cook because all I have to do is cook. I don’t have to cook AND do something else, like watch the kids, help with homework or be a good hostess. It’s the only meal of the year where I can really focus on cooking and the kids can play with Daddy.

    • Heather Solos on November 6, 2013 at 3:49 pm

      It is nice to be able to cook and have that the only task. It’s even better if you somehow manage to raise a sous chef. My daughter is six and already able to help with things like stirring roux (under close supervision, of course) but I can work on the trinity while she does that.

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