Are you hosting Thanksgiving Day celebrations this year and are feeling slightly overwhelmed? The invitations have been sent; everyone has confirmed; now it's all up to you!

Do not despair!

Here are a few ideas and some advice you might want to implement within your action plan:


    Plan ahead as much as possible. Know what you want and what you will need to accomplish. Create a master calendar and checklist with due dates and deadlines for each action. Write things down as detailed and clearly as possible so there is no questioning what must be done next. If certain things can be done ahead of time, please do so, and enlist the appropriate help when needed.


    Create your food and drink menus weeks ahead. Know all your ingredients and steps necessary to achieve this meal-of-a-lifetime! Go all out and make your own signature cocktails and dishes or purchase pre-made from a store. There is no right and wrong; it is simply what you prefer and what makes you happy. Do a few practice-runs (on a smaller scale) to make sure you know what you’re doing, and have a clear, detailed grocery list for efficient shopping. Plan on going to the store 3 days before the event to ensure you have everything and to defrost the turkey if need-be.


    This can be done ahead of time. Purchase your desired decorations the week before and know where you want to display them. Make sure you have enough silverware, plates, glassware, and serving ware at that same time. A few days prior, preferably 3-5, decorate the areas where the celebration will take place and pre-set the dining table completely. This is also where you would prepare the additional beds should you have overnight guests (depending on their day of arrival).


    Complete all your prep work. Cook and make all that can be done the day before, like side dishes and desserts, and double check with your master schedule and list that you have everything you need for the big day.


    Wake up early! Enjoy your cup of coffee and get ready to tackle all outstanding items on your to-do list. Cook your turkey as planned, monitor its temperature, and remember to brine. Warm up all other pre-made platters in time for dinner and don’t forget to set time aside to shower and change. Finally, be proud of yourself. No matter what you may have forgotten or mis-cooked, if anything, this celebration is about family, so enjoy your company and have fun!

We at NJ Kids Online wish all of you and your family a fabulous Thanksgiving! We are grateful to call you our readers and friends and hope your efforts in creating your family’s celebrations this holiday will be most appreciated.  HAPPY THANKSGIVING!