Thanksgiving is one week away!
If you haven’t finalized your menu, today is the day. Also, schedule your shopping. If at all possible, avoid grocery stores between 8 and 8 on Saturday and Sunday. When I stand in lines that long, I expect a roller coaster to be at the end. Shopping off hours (even in the middle of the night) means no lines, but the shelves may not be well stocked. If you have a 24-hour store, think about shopping before 7 a.m. on Saturday or Sunday. They’ll likely have restocked overnight, but most folks will still be in bed.
If you aren’t using your dining room this weekend, set the table now. One less thing to worry about next week. You can also set up the bar and place serving dishes on the table or sideboard so that you know everything is in place.
Make sure you’ve decided on menus for Wednesday and Friday. Planning what you’ll need makes life less stressful and prevents the last minute dash to the grocery store. Even better: if you’ll have guests who want to help, assign them Wednesday dinner and Friday breakfast and lunch to give yourself a break.
Make a list of every task that needs to be completed between today and the moment your guests leave and the house is restored to normal. Now, put all of those tasks on a calendar, striving to schedule each task at the earliest possible date. The sooner things are done, the more the stress will dissipate.
Start a list of tasks you can ask other people to do. Many people like to feel that they are helping. If you don’t give them a task, they will either be hurt or try to help anyway and get in your way. You don’t want to be playing demolition derby in the kitchen while you’re trying to plate the food. So plan ahead with helpful tasks. For example, someone could be in charge of hanging guests’ coats or getting them drinks or passing appetizers or emptying the dishwasher or arranging flowers or labeling leftover containers. They should be useful tasks, not make-work.