Thanksgiving Week – Tips to Prepare for Family and Guests

Preparing for Thanksgiving Week

Thanksgiving week will be here before we know it and it’s time to start preparing! This week we will bring you lots of ideas of what you can make to ensure you put out a great meal. We will also throw in some of our own Thanksgiving kitchen disasters. Well…I don’t know if Melissa has had any but I know I have had my share.

Here’s a little background of how I came to make Thanksgiving dinner. About 15 years ago, I decided I wanted to try to make the holiday meal for the first time. I was living in California at the time and didn’t have a clue of what to do. My sister just happened to be coming out for a visit about a month earlier and she actually taught me how to make the entire meal with all of our favorites. Since then, I have changed the sides up a bit, but never the staples. I’m a creature of habit!

Tips to prepare for family and guests staying in your home?

The holidays often come with overnight guests which can be an added stress, but it doesn’t have to send you over the top. Here are some great ideas of how to make it through the week with flying colors so you have as much fun as your guests!

*Get your house in order before everyone comes. Clean your house and have fresh towels and sheets on the bed at least a day before your guests arrive. Make sure you have enough paper products on hand (napkins, toilet paper, paper towels, etc.) and don’t forget plenty of trash bags as you’ll use more than you think.  Keep your showers stocked with soap, shampoo and conditioner.  Put out some board games or a jigsaw puzzle to help occupy guests when you are busy.

* Stock up on beverages. Load up on milk for the kids (and coffee) and bottled water. Since it’s the holidays, you will want to take a look at your liquor cabinet to see if you need to replenish any of the favorites! Beer and wine should also be aplenty! Since it’s cold, people will drink more red than white wine. Also, don’t forget the mixes and the fruit (lemons and limes) for the liquor.

* Arrival times. If you have to pick people up from the airport, make sure you check to ensure the plane is on time. If you have to make multiple trips, keep a list of when your guests are arriving with their flight information so you don’t get confused or leave someone stranded. You should also add to that list when guests who are driving will be at your house so you won’t leave them locked out!

* Make a list of all of the meals people will be eating at your house.  It’s easy to overlook all of the “other” meals when you are busy planning for a big holiday meal. However, these are the meals that can really stress you out.

Breakfast can very easy. Just have bagels, cereal, or cinnamon rolls and biscuits that are ready to pop in the oven! Bacon is easier to make for a crowd than sausage, so if you want to serve a breakfast meat, opt for the bacon! Scrambled eggs are also cheap and feed a lot of people. If you want to make things even easier, make some coffee cake before everyone comes to town and have some fresh fruit ready to pull out of the refrigerator.

Lunches can be a little more challenging, but they don’t have to be. Have some sandwich ingredients and chips on hand and let people make their own when they want it. If you’ve got little ones coming, throw in some hot dogs, applesauce and cheese sticks. Also , there is nothing wrong with leftovers!

Remember this: guests who are staying with you are more than happy to pitch in and help, you just have to ask! I have even “allowed” guests to bring dishes to Thanksgiving dinner and I will tell you…it makes it pretty easy!!!

If you want more detailed tips of entertaining, visit the entertaining section of our website.

Links to our Thanksgiving Week Posts:


Starchy Sides

Fruits and Vegetables




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