Thanksgiving Planning & Prep

With Thanksgiving just a little over a week away, it’s time to get into planning mode! I’ve mentioned before, we will be hosting lots of family & a big dinner at our house this year. I couldn’t be more excited!! The thought of all the food, fun & commotion of a house full of guests is the only thing keeping me from rockin’ around the Christmas tree at this point. 
I plan to bring all of our Thanksgiving decor from around the house all into the dining room & front room where we will have dinner. Not only will this make that room more festive for the occasion, but then it will be easy to transition right into Christmas the next day! 😉
I am going to use all of our white & gold craft pumpkins, along with the blue/green pumpkin that survived as our centerpiece. I picked up a bunch of gold chargers from the new holiday section at Target (for only $2 each!) to add a little more flair to the table. I plan to make some placecards using small kraft paper bags, that I will also put the silverware & napkins in. I also just ordered this pitcher on clearance (love how the handle matches the green pumpkin!) & will add a cake stand (with one of my mama’s pretty homemade pies) to complete the table scape.

Since we will eat dinner around 12:30-1, so Harper can join us before her nap, I want to make a lighter breakfast. I am thinking possibly pumpkin cinnamon rolls & fruit, may have to try my hand at the fruit turkey! We will serve breakfast buffet style, so everyone can take their paper plates & go picnic style on blankets in the living room in front of the fire to watch the Macy’s parade!
For dinner, our menu will look a little something like this:
Cheesy Potatoes
Mashed Potatoes & Gravy
Green Bean Casserole
Turkey
Stuffing
Rolls & Cinnamon Butter
Apple Pie & Pumpkin Pie
The recipe for cheesy potatoes & cinnamon butter can be found here. They are a holiday staple for us, so delicious. My husband will fry the turkey outside in his beloved turkey fryer, which not only tastes amazing but is also great because it frees up oven space. Harper can vouch, best turkey legs of all time! 😉
 
For stuffing, I have made it both homemade (recipe here) & from a box. And to be honest? I like the box best. I use the StoveTop brand turkey stuffing, mix according to directions, but then I bake them in muffin tins. They taste so good baked this way & make the perfect little portions.
The day after Thanksgiving, after some mad Black Friday shopping, we host a little gathering we like to call Turkey & Touchdowns. Along with our family that will be in town, some of our friends will be coming over as well for leftovers, beer & football. This is also when we do our annual pumpkin smash (or as my husband calls it, the Drunken Pumpkin) where we take all of our pumpkins from Halloween that we’ve kept & destroy them in the backyard. 
It’s a mess, but a TON of fun. Kinda like a toddler.
We will make turkey sandwiches from leftovers, sweet potato fries (made in the turkey fryer) with marshmallow dip & an assortment of desserts that everyone was too full to eat the day before.
In terms of having tons of guests at your house & lots of meals to prepare, something we do often is mix homemade & store bought. It’s totally okay not to make everything homemade, I hit up our local bakery for fresh bread/rolls, Publix bakery has the best almost homemade buttercream frosting to add to any desserts that I make & even our favorite donut shop is taking preorders for cinnamon rolls during the holidays. An easy way to still have great food without all the hassle & dirty dishes! 😉
Hope this was helpful to all of you hosting Thanksgiving this year! Please share any tips/tricks you have along with any must-have recipes! You can also find more recipes & Thanksgiving ideas on my Pinterest board here.
Happy planning!!
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