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Holiday Food Planning Guide Do It In 7 Days

Updated on April 3, 2013

Preparing for the holidays

Letting the turkey thaw in the refrigerator 3-5 days prior to Thanksgiving Day. Mine is over 20 pounds, so it is closer to 5 days.
Letting the turkey thaw in the refrigerator 3-5 days prior to Thanksgiving Day. Mine is over 20 pounds, so it is closer to 5 days. | Source
Purchase wines, drink mixes and ingredients for punch the same day you purchase the turkey. This allows plenty of time to chill them.
Purchase wines, drink mixes and ingredients for punch the same day you purchase the turkey. This allows plenty of time to chill them. | Source
Take inventory and then work on a list of items needed.
Take inventory and then work on a list of items needed. | Source
(Before decorations) Cleaning and changing decor out.
(Before decorations) Cleaning and changing decor out. | Source
Holiday decorating
Holiday decorating | Source
If your turkey is still partially frozen, bath it in cool water for the day. This one I did last year, the center of it was frozen, but perfect after it thawed half the day.
If your turkey is still partially frozen, bath it in cool water for the day. This one I did last year, the center of it was frozen, but perfect after it thawed half the day. | Source

Thanksgiving and Christmas Holiday Tips

Planning an event at home begins days before the holidays, gatherings, reunions or festive events. Take the stress out by following a seven day plan. Include a cleaning plan, shopping, lists, food planning, decorating and small details to the day of the event. Of course, there is a day after plan too. Some people do it all in the same day, up to your energy level and assistance.

Day 1 - Use a calendar or a small poster board and write out your plan for each day. Start off with cleaning, choose one-two rooms per day (depending on the size of your home) to thoroughly clean. Make it dust free, fresh, inviting and clutter free. Clean your first room today. ( I started with my living room). Finalize your guest lists, make sure you follow up with any mailed invitations to confirm your head count.

Day 2 - Clean the kitchen and dinning rooms. To maintain the cleanness of the counters, do not plan to cook any complicated meals between now and the holiday or event. Keep meals effortless, plan a night out, eat at someone else's house. It will make it much easier to maintain a clean kitchen. Get the special dinnerware out. Wash the china, shine silverware and create spotless glasses. Remove the holiday decorations or party supplies from storage. Reuse a prior centerpiece or purchase a new one. You can even update an older one with a few new touches like ribbon, leaves, pine cones or new candle.

Day 3 - The reason I start with the living room, kitchen and dinning room is so I can spend the third day decorating the house. Make it festive. It is a creative day. Play holiday music and dance around as you add beauty to your home. Food Planning begins too. Create the lists and where you need to pick those items up. Especially if, you have coupons, sales to take advantage of and for speciality items. Place the frozen turkey in the refrigerator to begin the thaw. If you have a ham or other festive meat, Allow at least 3-4 days for thawing.

Day 4 - Bedrooms. It helps if each person cleans there own everything dusted, put away and vacuumed. This is also an excellent time to wash any holiday linens you plan to use. This includes table clothes, napkins, holiday towels, etc.

Day 5 - Basement and extra rooms, decks, porches and patios. Lay out the welcome mats, so to speak. These rooms are less likely to see people, but some will venture there. Plus if it is their the first time to your home, you can feel comfortable giving a full tour. Smokers tend to go outside, so include an ashtray.

Day 6 - Clean the bathrooms. Then the cooking can begin in a clean house. Make the pies and any dishes that can be made a day ahead. Anything you can partially prepare, chop or cut up will reduce the time spent on the final day.

Day 7 - This is it! Cover the tables, add extra seating, set the tables, add the centerpiece and napkins. Now it is time to cook the turkey, side dishes, other desserts. Manage, meet and greet guests. This is the perfect time to serve drinks. Talk a bit before flipping on the TV for hours of football playing all day. Happy Thanksgiving! You did a fantastic job!

Sharing Fellow Hubbers Covering Thanksgiving Tips

I want to share my personal favorite leftover recipe I created last year. Turkey Stew by Bridalletter.

Leftovers using a potato skillet recipe by Novel Treasure .

Since food planning is such a critical part of the holidays, I want to share Best Side Dishes for Thanksgiving by Victoria Lynn .

Preparing a turkey, Roasted Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe by AshleyYoung

The Best Turkey Stuffing by K9keystrokes. This a very detailed recipe and step by step guide, it even lets you know what to do if the turkey is cooked and the stuffing is not.

There are many hubs on Thanksgiving, I just wanted to add a few to make it easier to find what you need.

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Thanksgiving Cookbooks

Planner vs. Football watcher

What is your Thanksgiving Day planning style?

See results

Planning the Menu

Flavor your way: McCormick Thanksgiving Turkey

Thanksgiving Decorating by HeyKayli

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    • Lipnancy profile image

      Nancy Yager 4 years ago from Hamburg, New York

      Wow, what an amazing plan. This is really useful.

    • bridalletter profile image
      Author

      Brenda Kyle 4 years ago from Blue Springs, Missouri, USA

      Thank you Lipnancy. I hope more people find it in time for the holidays!

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Very Useful. Sharing.

    • FullOfLoveSites profile image

      FullOfLoveSites 4 years ago from United States

      Quite an fantastic play you have. Will share. :)

    • bridalletter profile image
      Author

      Brenda Kyle 4 years ago from Blue Springs, Missouri, USA

      Thank you phdast7. Happy Holidays!

    • bridalletter profile image
      Author

      Brenda Kyle 4 years ago from Blue Springs, Missouri, USA

      Thank you Fulloflovesites. Happy Holidays!

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