Figure out if you have enough chairs, seating space, and tableware. Borrow from friends and neighbors to fill any holes. Or check out a thrift store; if you don’t need or want it afterward, donate it back.
Throw some cushions on the floor around your
coffee table and let little guests eat there.
Call your guests so you’ll have a handle on how many people are coming – and an excuse to fish for contributions. People often want to contribute, especially if it ensures that their holiday favorite will be on the table.
Don’t be shy about asking for assistance before, during, and after. You’ll need all the help you can preparing the food, getting your home ready, serving, and cleaning up afterward.
If your budget allows, hire a cleaning service
a day or two before.
to have all the favorites
Honor traditions; even if you personally think that green bean casserole is disgusting and cranberry jelly out of a can a disgrace. If it’s important to someone, serve it – and let them take the leftovers home.
Consider cooking two small turkeys instead of one big one. They’re easier to handle, cook faster and more uniformly, and are more tender and juicy than a large, older bird. Plus, they provide twice as many drumsticks!
Finalize your menu and go shopping. Figure out what you can make a day or two ahead so that the big day is not such a rush. And remember: Now is not the time to attempt a dish you’ve never tried
Plan on these per-person servings: 1¼
lbs. turkey, 1/3 c. gravy, ½ c. mashed potatoes, ½
c. of each vegetable side dish, ¼ c. cranberry dressing,
½ c. stuffing; two dinner rolls; and 1/8 pie.
a simple centerpiece
Make a simple table centerpiece out of a bowl of small gourds and mini-pumpkins and line the table with votive candles. You’re all set!