Thanksgiving Prep: 12 Last Minute Tips to Make Your Thanksgiving Dinner Party a Success

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Thanksgiving Prep: 12 Last Minute Tips to Make Your Thanksgiving Dinner Party a Success

Thanksgiving is officially two days away and most of us are gearing up for the dinner party that no Thanksgiving is complete without. Here are some last-minute prep tips to make sure your Thanksgiving dinner party is an absolute success!


1.Today should be your shopping day

Thanksgiving dinner parties are definitely one of  those parties you don’t wait to the last-minute to go grocery shopping. Three to four days before your party a dinner menu should already have been thought of. And two to three days before your party you should be making your grocery store run.

2. Create your guest list

Create a list of every one you want to invite and account for how many people might accompany each person. Doing so  gives you a good idea of how many people to prepare for.

3. Make sure you have enough

Now that you have your list make sure that you have more than enough eating utensils, cutlery, cups, plates and plate settings. An easy way to make sure you are always prepared is to get at least five more extra of each just in case for unexpected guests.

4. Consider all possibilities

Although you will never be able to account for everyone’s preferences, try to be as inclusive as possible. Make sure you have included  a vegan dish for Uncle Terry, your mom’s favorite red wine, and not to include walnuts due to your best friend’s food allergies. The easiest way to do this is to refer back to your guest list and write down notes for each person.

5. Make an itinerary 

Master Itinerary


Early Afternoon [Set the table; prepare dessert; other do-ahead tasks]

3:00 [Set out mise en place for recipes; dice vegetables; marinate meat; thaw frozen stock; etc]




4:00 [Cook vegetables to reheat later; start soups; assemble side dishes; preheat the oven; finish desserts; etc.]




5:00 [Simmer sauces; boil potatoes; start roasting meat; etc.]

The key to successful dinner parties is to stay organized. Get your dinner party organized by putting everything on a schedule. Start with the arrival time for guests, all the way down to desert time. Although you can’t guarantee that everything will stay on schedule, having a time frame for your dinner party will help with flow of things.

6. Get your house in order

There is no way to open your home to guests without getting it in order. Again this is going to be something that you do way before the day of the party. Set aside some time the night before the party to finish cleaning prep. Don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to clean up your home in one day. Use these next two days to gradually get everything together one day at a time. By Wednesday night everything should be squeaky clean.

 7. Get some smell goods

No clean home is complete without the ambiance to match. Around this time of the year you can find an abundance of holiday themed candles and home fragrances. I would stick to the cinnamon and harvest inspired scents to set the tone for your holiday party.

8. Create a playlist

No party is complete without great tunes. Make a Thanksgiving play list sometime before your party to help get everyone in the mood. Keeping the music light and holiday themed is always your best bet. Take into account of your guests and the preferences, if you’re having your religious parents over and or small children it’s probably best to make sure you have the radio version of all tracks just to be safe.

9. Make sure the lighting is perfect

Nothing kills the mood more than with too much lighting. Dinner parties like Thanksgiving are an intimate moment to share with your most loved family and friends. Dim the lights and use lots of candle lighting to add warmth to this lovely occasion.

10. Be flexible

Again, we can’t plan on everything going exactly as planned. Never overwhelm yourself with expecting everything to go perfectly. Be prepared for you favorite serving dish breaking, late guests, and what ever else that might be thrown your way. The most important is your ability to go with the flow and make things happen!

11. Take a deep breath

keep calm

Remember to relax and keep calm! Throughout these next two days it’s going to get hectic but remain cool! Practice calming yourself down or taking a breather when you feel yourself becoming overwhelmed. You will not get anything done successfully stressed out so remember to chill!

12. Enjoy

The day is here and now its time to enjoy! Don’t forget to have your smile on in the midst of everything going on. Remember to enjoy this time with your family and loved ones to the fullest!

Happy Turkey day!

From Jauntel + The SOA Team

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