Thanksgiving is one of the busiest holidays next to Christmas. From preparing for the feast, to decorating the house, things can get rather crazy if you don't prepare. Consider these tips to give your family's celebration a smooth run this year. Take control of Thanksgiving, and enjoy the festivities. 

1. Plan the menu and begin to gather ingredients at least one week in advance. Purchase fresh ingredients a day or two before. Waiting until the last minute results crowded stores and lengthy checkout lines.

2. Take advantage of the holiday specials. Browse through your supermarket's catalog to see if there is anything you need which might be on sale. You could also sign up with My Grocery Deals to find sales from your favorite local stores. It is a great way to save and get the items you need before everyone starts to crowd into the stores. Shop thrift stores and discount outlets for inexpensive table decorations.

3. Every Loves Potluck. When inviting your guests over for dinner, ask them to bring a special dish to share with the table. This takes most of the cooking off of you and saves money as well. Hint: figure out what everyone is good at and suggest a specific dish so you don't end up with an abundance of potato salad and carrot cake. 

4. Check linens for stains and set the table in advance. It will be to a stain on your beautiful tablecloth one hour before your guests arrive. By setting the table a few days ahead, you will be able to see any flaws and fix them in a timely manner. 

5. Don't forget to defrost the turkey. We've all heard stories of frozen turkey on Thanksgiving Day. There are 2 simple methods to defrosting your turkey; the first is by refrigeration. Believe it or not, you should actually allow 1 day of thawing for every 4lbs of turkey. This method requires the least labor, but takes more time. The second method is cold water thawing, changing the water every 30 minutes to keep the turkey chilled. This method takes approximately 30 minutes per pound. By defrosting and stuffing ahead of time, you can save more energy for the big day and have more time to relax and enjoy. 


Being prepared is quite simple. All you need to do is relax and designate the time to get everything done. Remember, as a host, it is okay to ask for help. The best events are by those who work together as a team. 


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