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How to survive hosting Thanksgiving: Day-by-day agenda

Group of unrecognizable people toasting with wine during Thanksgiving dinner at dining table.
Group of unrecognizable people toasting with wine during Thanksgiving dinner at dining table. (KPRC)

HOUSTON – Thanksgiving can be a hectic day for anyone, but even more so for those who are hosting.

The best way to prepare is to be prepared; don't procrastinate. Surprisingly, there are many tasks a host can complete starting five days before Thanksgiving.

Here's our day-by-day agenda that will leave you with little to do on the holiday.

5 days until Thanksgiving: Saturday, Nov. 21

  • Make your lists!
  • Guestlist: ask guests to see if/what they are bringing
  • Grocery lists: dry goods list to be purchased this day, food list
  • Shop for dry goods: decor, napkins, canned ingredients

4 days until Thanksgiving: Sunday. Nov. 22

  • Prep baked goods: Make dough, pie crusts, etc.

3 days until Thanksgiving: Monday, Nov. 23

  • Set the table
  • VERY IMPORTANT! If frozen, defrost turkey

2 days until Thanksgiving: Tuesday, Nov. 24

  • Set out serving dishes and determine table placement
  • Make a list of all dishes, cook times, create a cooking schedule

1 day until Thanksgiving: Wednesday, Nov. 25

  • Avoid big crowds, get to the grocery store early!
  • Prep anything that can be done in advance
  • Clean all vegetables and produce, chop ingredients for stuffing
  • Prepare appetizers
  • Finish all baking
  • Set out pan and ensure you have all cooking essentials needed for Thursday morning

Thanksgiving: Thursday, Nov. 26

  • Put the turkey in the oven
  • Utilize a slow cooker for sides like potatoes and vegetables
  • Put stovetop to use as soon as you can: reheat gravy and sauces
  • Set up appetizers and chill beverages

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