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Last-Minute Thanksgiving Prep

LAST-MINUTE THANKSGIVING PREP

Thanksgiving is almost here? How did that happen? 

If you’re doing the mental math to figure out if your turkey will be thawed in time or wondering how to turn your work-from-home zone into a Thanksgiving-dinner-worthy space, you are not alone. This one crept up on all of us. 

But don’t fret. We’re here to help you. 

In no time at all, you can give your home a cozy harvest vibe and set out super cinchy snacks your guests will gobble up. 

So, take a deep breath. You got this. 

Speed clean.

Don’t stress thinking you need to give your whole home the white glove treatment. Really. Just hit the high spots and clean the spaces where your guests will actually go. 

Set the timer on your phone for 30 minutes, then scrub and tidy your way through the bathrooms, kitchen, living area, and entryway. That’s it. 

Even if you have to shove things into closets or down in the basement, it’s okay-- they won’t be looking there. 

Add decor to your door. 

Greet your guests with a harvesty hello with these quick and easy fall front door decor ideas. 

  • Flank your front door with a pair of planters filled with an abundance of branches adorned with colorful fall leaves, pussy willows, or other interesting twigs. 
  • Pick up a few pumpkins from the store and handwrite Thanksgiving thoughts from you and your family with black or glittery markers. 

Blanket a barren tabletop. 

Continue the warm and welcoming look to pull your tabletop together, whether it’s set with your finest china, every mix-and-match piece you own, or cute disposables. 

  • An autumn toned plaid blanket like this one (or even a blanket scarf) is a clever stand-in for a tablecloth that will make anything you serve look extra delicious. 
  • No centerpiece? No problem. Line up mini pumpkins and gourds along the length of your table or gather them in a rustic rattan basket. 
  • A single pear rested in the center of each dinner plate is an elegant (and edible!) paperweight for place cards or conversation starter cards. 
  • Line the kids’ table with brown craft paper and supply washable markers for goof-proof fun the grown-ups will also want to join in on. 

Arrange effortless bites + beverages.  

Have plenty of nibbles and drinks on hand to keep your hungry guests happy right from the get-go -- and to buy yourself some time in case the bird takes a bit longer than you thought. 

Your guests won’t be able to get enough of these easy, effortless snacks:

  • Avocado wedges wrapped with prosciutto and drizzled with vinaigrette.
  • Skewers threaded with your favorites from your market’s olive bar
  • Your prettiest serving bowls and platters filled with kettle chips, salted nuts, prosciutto ribbons, and goat cheese logs with crackers

Keep the drinks easy and flowing all day by preparing one big batch cocktail (and seconds) ahead of time so guests can serve themselves. Fill a bar cart (or improvise by pulling in a small table or desk from another room) with self-serve soda, water, cups, napkins, and plenty of ice. 

Create comfy spaces. 

Thanksgiving is as much about the eating as it is about the lounging (read: napping). But don’t worry if you don’t have room for everyone on the couch. Turn up the ambiance and set up cozy nesting spots for your guests to curl up, snooze, or play games.

  • Place poufs, stools, floor pillows, and lots of soft blankets around your living spaces. 
  • Gather all your party games and scatter them around for impromptu match-ups. 
  • After dinner, light your pumpkin-spice candles and switch on your diffusers to fill your party with homey holiday scents. 

Give thanks. 

Our last tip is to remember to take a moment to sit back, enjoy the people you love, and pat yourself on the back for pulling off a fun and festive last-minute Thanksgiving. 

Relish in the meaning of the day, give thanks for happiness and health, and by all means, give yourself permission to save the dishes for later. 

Thanksgiving Checklist
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