My last decorating article, Prepare your Guest Bathroom for the Holidays, offered tips on getting the guest bath ready for holiday visitors. This week, I wanted to provide tips on getting your guest bedroom ready or any area that you plan to put your guests. If you are new to your place of living and want to host guests and have nothing, you can easily and on a budget pull this together.
One week before Thanksgiving! Though I love this time of year, staying organized and balancing work and fun requirements can sometimes drive me nuts. Because of that, I wanted to create a week before Thanksgiving checklist that will help offer tips and direction for those last minutes needs.
The week before Thanksgiving Checklist:
- Finish your grocery list and purchase whatever you can now that doesn’t need to be fresh, save those items for the last minute run.
- Do you have a craft to keep the kids busy or games to play? While you are working, keep the kids occupied making place tags that can be as easy as using stickers, stock paper, and markers. If the kids are older they could look up gratitude quotes and create inspirational notes for each guest. If you want something printed, click here for printable place cards, all you have to do is insert the name! Whatever you plan, keep it simple with minimal mess.
- Do you have an after-dinner activity planned? I know there’s usually a football game but if you are not a football watching family you may want to include a family-friendly movie. One of my favorite things to do is watch old home movies, play Tripoley or start a difficult puzzle and leave it on a table for all to walk by and try!
- If this is your first time hosting Thanksgiving at your home, click here for fabulous recipes and tips for a traditional Thanksgiving that will keep you organized and on track.
- If you are still unsure how you want to decorate the serving table and need some inspiration, click here to get some ideas from Pinterest.
- If you are unsure how to set the table, please click here to review the guides for the various table layouts. If you want the kids to help, click here for a printable of the table setting from Emily Post that they can use.
- If you are dealing with a frozen turkey, click here to understand how long it will take to safely thaw (in your refrigerator.)
- Do you want to serve appetizers? Since you are eating a big meal, you don’t want anything heavy, hard-to-make, or time-consuming. Personally, I like a platter of veggies and dip, nuts, and cheeses anything that can be prepared ahead of time and quickly set out as the guests arrive. Be sure to have cocktail napkins available! Another option is to ask a friend or family member to bring an appetizer.
Have a wonderful holiday with your friends and family! Enjoy yourself and don’t spend all your time working. Relax, grab a glass of your favorite beverage and connect, after all that is what this holiday is about, giving thanks for times together!
By Debbie Correale, founder and owner of Redesign Right, LLC. You can learn more about her at RedesignRight.com. Find her on Facebook.com/RedesignRight, Twitter @RedesignRight, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Houzz, Google+ and Instagram.
I like to have a plan for big dinners, I’m a list maker and have found much success with this type of organization. I come up with a timeline on what day I need to do what, so I’m not a harried mess on Thanksgiving day. We are less than two weeks from Thanksgiving what should we be thinking about to be prepared? This week and next I will be offering tips to help you out, enjoy!
- You will want to create a menu and collect all the recipes that you will need.
- If you have many family members or friends attending your dinner, assign projects to them to offload your work.
- You can order your fresh turkey or buy a frozen turkey and place in the freezer. For a helpful calculator on how big a turkey to order, click here. I like to use this information from Martha Stewart: “For a large party, you’ll need a big bird — say, fifteen to twenty pounds; figure one and a half pounds for each person. Smaller birds — twelve pounds or less — have a smaller meat-to-bone ratio, so allow two pounds per person. Remember that the larger the bird, the more likely you are to have leftovers for the next few days.” If you purchase a frozen turkey click here for a calculator to determine how long it will take you to thaw the bird. As an example, a 20lb frozen turkey will take five days to thaw, plan accordingly.
- There are many food alternatives to a Turkey for Thanksgiving, and you will want to serve your favorite dishes for your friends and family. If you are searching for ideas I like to use the Epicurious app as it offers me fabulous recipes, creates a shopping list, and I can keep my personalized recipe box on file. For more information click here, if you have a favorite app that you like to use I would love to hear about it, please share!
- Pick up drinks this week. You can plan on five servings of 5-ounce glasses of wine from one 750ml bottle. Always have non-alcoholic options for your guests and kid-friendly drinks when applicable. Click here for a fun non-alcoholic holiday drink that could also be used with alcohol for those who prefer; it’s an Autumn Chiller.
- Shop for all of your non-perishable goods now. If you plan to use already made pie shells, you can purchase all of that this week, or if you intend to make them you can do so this week and freeze them.
- Decide on your décor. I left this for last as it’s the most fun in my opinion! To inspire you, click here to view my Pinterest board for beautiful table centerpieces, etc. Gather your ideas this week, so you will know what you will need.
Have fun and enjoy this beautiful holiday of giving Thanks! If you need a last minute dining room redesign or tips on how to decorate your home for guests, call Debbie 610.955.8202 or email for all your home decorating needs!
By Debbie Correale, founder and owner of Redesign Right, LLC. You can learn more about her at RedesignRight.com. Find her on Facebook.com/RedesignRight, Twitter @RedesignRight, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Houzz and Google+.