12 Tips to Get Your Home Ready for Thanksgiving


For many households, Thanksgiving is one of the biggest holidays of the year, both in terms of the number of guests and the amount of prep work needed. Getting your home ready to host Thanksgiving dinner requires more than tidying up, dusting, vacuuming and cleaning the bathrooms.

You’ll need to consider what Thanksgiving recipes you need to prepare, make time to shop for ingredients, plan ahead to thaw and roast your turkey and coordinate who’s bringing what side dishes and fixings. You’ll probably have far more dinner guests than you would for your average dinner party, so you’ll need to plan space for everyone to eat. And, if friends or family members are coming in from out of town, you may need to get the spare bedroom and other areas ready for overnight guests.

Use these 12 tips to make your Thanksgiving holiday a success.

1. PLAN YOUR MENU

Sure, you’ll most likely be serving many of the same holiday staples that everyone enjoys on Thanksgiving – turkey, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, stuffing and green bean casserole. But many families like to mix things up with dishes from their specific cultural backgrounds, vegetarian dishes, dishes for family members with allergies and food sensitivities, trendy dishes and so forth. Plan your Thanksgiving dinner menu several weeks in advance so you have an idea of what you’ll be preparing well before the holiday arrives.

2. WRITE YOUR GUEST LIST

You may be hosting the usual suspects, just like every year, or you may even decide to extend an invitation to friends, neighbors or others who don’t have anywhere to go for the holiday. Knowing in advance who will be present can help you plan the menu and seating arrangements.

3. CLEAN OUT YOUR FREEZER

You may need some extra freezer space for dishes that can be made ahead of time and frozen for the big day. Go ahead and toss out that old tub of gravy from last year – you’ll soon have a new one to replace it with.

4. SHOP AHEAD

Assuming you’ve planned your menu well in advance, you can save money on the holiday meal by watching for sales on non-perishable ingredients in the weeks before Thanksgiving. You’ll also be able to stock up on specialty ingredients before they run out.

5. PREPARE MAKE-AHEAD DISHES THAT CAN BE FROZEN FOR THE BIG DAY

Shopping ahead and cleaning out your freezer can help take some of the stress out of Thanksgiving Day by giving you the chance to make some of the dishes in advance. Prepared dishes can be popped into your newly cleaned freezer for as long as two months, ready to be pulled out and cooked on Thanksgiving Day.

6. CREATE A COOKING SCHEDULE

One of the most difficult aspects of cooking any meal is getting everything on the table at the same time. Review your Thanksgiving recipes and create a cooking schedule that breaks down the meal’s culinary challenges day by day and hour by hour. Some dishes, like pies, cakes, and sauces, can be cooked a day or two before Thanksgiving. You’ll need to start prepping other dishes, like the turkey, several days in advance; a large bird needs to be thawed in the refrigerator for about 24 hours per four to five pounds of meat.

7. FIGURE OUT WHO’S BRINGING WHAT

Delegating some of the cooking to your guests can make hosting Thanksgiving more manageable. Get together with guests to decide who’s bringing what side dishes, desserts and fixings so you can cross those off your list.

8. TASTE-TEST NEW DISHES

Are you trying something new this year? Better take the recipe on a test drive before Thanksgiving. Trying out the recipe will let you know whether it’s really any good and will give you valuable insight into how difficult and time-consuming it is to make. You may decide to strike it from the menu after making it once.

9. PLAN THE SEATING ARRANGEMENT

If you’re having a fair number of guests this Thanksgiving, seating everyone can be a challenge. Tackle the seating arrangement sooner, rather than later, so everyone has a place to sit.

10. DEEP CLEAN YOUR HOME

It’s a good idea to deep clean your whole home a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving, so you can stick to a quick once-over the day before the holiday. If you don’t have time to deep clean your entire house, you should at least deep clean your bathrooms and kitchen.

11. PREPARE FOR OVERNIGHT GUESTS

Are family members or friends coming in from out of town? You’ll need to get guest bedrooms dusted and cleaned up, with fresh bedding on the beds and fresh towels in the bathrooms. Depending on how many guests are staying over, you may need to plan to put some people on couches or air mattresses.

12. GIVE YOUR HOME A LAST ONCE-OVER

The day before Thanksgiving, take the time to give your home a last cleaning before everyone gets there. Dust, sweep or vacuum common areas, tidy up, prepare your kitchen and clean the bathrooms.

Getting your home ready for Thanksgiving is no small chore. But if you follow this step-by-step list, you’ll host a Thanksgiving to remember.

Products That Give Back


 

In the spirit of giving thanks, why not give back to those who need the most help?

 

This holiday season, purchase gifts for your loved ones that help others as well.

 

We’ve selected five beautiful items for the home that also give back.

 

Products That Give BackNublado Throw | The Citizenry | $395

 

The Citizenry collaborates with artisans to produce one-of-a-kind, exclusive collections and donates 10 percent of its proceeds back into those artisan communities. Partnerships change from season to season to highlight different crafts and communities.

 

The Nublado Throw was made by one master weaver in San Pedro, Peru, home to alpaca wool. Each throw takes one full day to knit and is left in its pure state for a natural, soft touch and look.

 

Products That Give BackZura Floor Basket | Local + Lejos | $198

 

Curated contemporary selections are of prime importance to Los Angeles-based Local + Lejos. Beautiful handwoven baskets and textiles from Rwanda, Cambodia, Guatemala and more feature bold graphics and simple, sophisticated design.

 

Products That Give BackChabi Chic XL Ceramic Salad Bowl | The Little Market | $40

 

Lauren Conrad-founded fair trade shop The Little Market specializes in artisanal products crafted by women around the world. Purchases from the online business create opportunities for women and their families to start literacy workshops, business training and health programs in their community. This salad bowl contributes to a small business in Morocco.

 

Products That Give BackP.F. Candle Co. Juniper Terra Candle | Moorea Seal | $33.60

 

Cult favorite candle brand P.F. Candle Co. brings the holiday spirit with this juniper candle, created from juniper berries, pine, fir needle and cedarwood. Seven percent of proceeds from the candle — and all items sold at Moorea Seal — are given to nonprofits helping women’s causes, children’s needs, environmental issues, animal causes and health-related needs.

 

Products That Give BackFloral Tea Infuser Mug | Fair & Square Imports | $22.50

 

McKinney-based Fair & Square Imports scour the globe for fair-trade products for home and fashion. This handmade floral tea infuser mug from Vietnam is ceramic, avoiding harsh plastics and lets tea leaves bloom.

 

Read more recommended products on our blog:

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What do Frosty the Snowman and DPM have in common?


We’ll both be participating in the Children’s Medical Center Holiday Parade this Saturday! The Ebby Halliday Family of Companies, including Dave Perry-Miller & Associates, are proud to again serve as a sponsor of the annual Children’s Medical Center Holiday Parade which will take place this Saturday, December 4th at 10 am through the streets of Downtown Dallas!

According to Ebby’s Blog, “This parade has become a holiday tradition for hundreds of thousands of families and this year it will be lead by recording artist David Archuleta and five patients of Children’s who will serve as Grand Marshals. In addition, there will be 11 giant inflatable balloons, 5 floats, 9 marching bands, 1,000 girls from drill teams across the state, speciality units, celebrities and children’s characters such as The Grinch, Curious George and more!” Proceeds benefit the Child Life Department at Children’s Medical Center.

Be sure to watch for the giant inflatable Frosty the Snowman balloon, which will be carried by Sales Associates from each of the 30 offices of the Ebby Halliday Family of Companies. The parade is free for the public to attend, but be sure to arrive early to find a great spot – learn more here. You may also purchase reserved bleacher seating here.

If you can’t make it to the parade, don’t forget to watch it live on WFAA Channel 8!  Happy Holidays!