Thanksgiving is celebrated annually in the United States on the fourth Thursday in November. For many, Thanksgiving is about spending time with family members and friends and being thankful for the people and things in their life. It is typically celebrated by having a big meal with a turkey as the centerpiece. Watching the Thanksgiving Day parade, football, volunteering, and playing games are also ways to celebrate Thanksgiving.
1. Invite family members and friends a month in advance. Make a list of family and friends that you would like to celebrate Thanksgiving with. Call them to let them know that you will be celebrating Thanksgiving at your house and that you would like them to come. Letting them know in advance will allow them to make plans if they need to travel.
Be aware that some people may decline because they already have plans for Thanksgiving.
2. Choose a potluck-style Thanksgiving meal for easier prep. A potluck-style meal will help you shoulder the burden of cooking. If you choose to have this type of meal, ask your guests what they would like to contribute to the meal. Make a list of the dishes they will be bringing. Then provide the rest of the food. The host will typically make the turkey for a potluck-style Thanksgiving meal.
3. Buy the turkey two to three weeks in advance. This way you can ensure that you will have a turkey for the meal. Buy the turkey from your local grocery store or a turkey farm. Purchase a 12-pound (190-ounce) turkey to feed 10 to 15 people. Choose a 16-pound (260-ounce) turkey for 15 or more people. Place the turkey in the freezer once you get home. A typical 12 to 16-pound (190 to 260-ounce) turkey costs $21 to $25.
4. Make a grocery list. Make a list of all the ingredients you will need to prepare the meal. To beat the rush, buy dry ingredients one to two weeks in advance. Buy fresh ingredients five to seven days in advance. For example, buy bread, canned pumpkin, chicken broth, butter, and the ham two weeks in advance. Buy cranberries, green beans, rolls, corn, sweet potatoes, and milk five to seven days in advance.