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Are you ready for Thanksgiving?

Industry News | Nov 06, 2015

It's officially the holiday season with Thanksgiving approaching. Retail stores across the country are gearing up, if they haven't already, for the busy shopping season. For many families across the country, these next few months are a time when everyone can get together and catch up on life's busy happenings and look forward to 2016.

Much of this chatter occurs around the dinner table. With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, retirees and seniors will want to start preparing for the occasion. When it comes to such a big event, waiting too long to prepare will lead to an inevitable holiday disaster. Here's how you can start preparing ahead of time to avoid procrastination.

"Waiting too long to prepare will lead to an inevitable holiday disaster."

Finalize the menu and get confirmation
The first order of business for Thanksgiving preparation starts with finalizing your menu and getting a final confirmation from those who will be having dinner at your residence. A simple phone call or email message are excellent ways to get a final head count. If you're active on Facebook, you can also create an event and send reminders to guests.

It is during this time you'll also want to settle on the menu for the day. For example, poll all your guests and ensure they're OK with the food dishes you have planned, especially if you'll be doing a majority of the cooking. You may find it easier to have guests bring various dishes. Your son can bring a large bowl macaroni and cheese, while your daughter can bring various desserts, such as an apple pie and cookies. You should also find out if anyone has any food allergies so you can make some necessary dietary adjustments.

Confirmation is vital, because if you do decide to have guests bring various dishes, a no-show may result in some empty stomachs.

Time to prepare
After finalizing the menu and confirming your guest list, you'll want to create your shopping list and start purchasing the items needed, such as food and cooking gear. According to Real Simple, some essential tools are a turkey baster, thermometer, baking sheet, carving board and a roasting pan, among other utensils. By covering all your bases, no surprises will sneak up on you.

After getting the necessary tools, put together a shopping list. The earlier you can head to the grocery store, the better. If you wait until the week of, you may not be able to find all the necessary ingredients or a suitable turkey for your guests. By this point, you'll have a good idea of what dishes guests are bringing, allowing you to carefully create the shopping list.

When it comes to picking out a turkey, Food Network recommended you divvy up the portions: two pounds per adult, and one pound per child. If you plan on ordering any specialty turkeys or cooking supplies, place you order ahead of time, as you may have to have the ingredients shipped.

"You can make Thanksgiving go off with minimal disruptions."

Final preparations
As Thanksgiving day approaches, start to decorate the dining room and other areas guests will be eating in. Decorations can help create a very welcoming and fall-like atmosphere, and this will also help you reorganize rooms. This is helpful if your grandchildren will all be visiting for dinner.

Defrost the turkey three days before the big day and start to buy perishable ingredients. Start to map out your gameplan for cooking and be sure to account for downtime, which you can use to watch the Thanksgiving Day parade or one of the football games. Above all, try not to stress, which is easier said than done.

By thoroughly planning ahead, you can make Thanksgiving go off with minimal disruptions or last-minute trips to the grocery store.