Thanksgiving 2017: How To Prep TODAY For A Stress-Free Week

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Thanksgiving 2017 week is here and many of us have nothing done so far. Anyone? DON’T PANIC! And don’t you dare let the upcoming holiday to-do list steal your joy. I’ve got you… Here’s what to do today to still have a lovely, stress-free Thanksgiving week.

close up of Thanksgiving 2017 pumpkins & leaves

Thanksgiving 2017 prep

I had every intention of getting my Turkey Day planning list and grocery shopping over the weekend. BUT, Superman knew I would love a birthday weekend road trip to Athens, Georgia to watch our favorite college football team, the Georgia Bulldogs.

We left early on Friday to visit Santa Claus, Madison, and then Athens Georgia. Needless to say, prepping for Thanksgiving 2017 was a little out of the question. I did manage to clean the house before leaving and then had a wonderful birthday weekend with my family.

Now it’s Monday and you and I have to get rolling. BUT, I’m using the tools I’ve learned in the past [and sharing with you] that’ll help us get ready for Turkey Day without the stress.

#1 Choose your dishes and recipes

What are you in charge of making for Thanksgiving 2017?  Since we are hosting family at our house, I’m making a list of all the dishes on my printable AND the people that I’ve asked to help out.

In our meat column, we’ll just have ham and turkey. The in-laws are graciously bringing a fried turkey so I’m putting their name next too it. I’m baking a ham so I’m listing that with my name beside it. My daughter-in-love wants to be in charge of several side dishes so I’ll put her name beside them. Then I’ll list all of our desserts and who is making them. Here’s what we have on the Thanksgiving 2017 menu so far:

#2 Make grocery list-carefully

I’ll get out every written recipe I have for the dishes I’m in charge of and write the ingredients needed on a grocery list.  I suggest buying groceries as early in Thanksgiving week as you can.  For instance, if you are making homemade pie crust (my recipe is so easy), I suggest doing that on Tuesday, if possible.

I say to make your grocery list carefully only because it’s great to go ahead and put your grocery list items in the order that you shop in the store. For instance, if you need green beans and granny apples, I’d put apples in a produce column and beans in aisle column that describes where you’ll get your beans. This will give your grocery list a little organization as you head to the store.


#3 Buy fresh and thaw out

If you have frozen items for Thanksgiving Day, go ahead and place them in the refrigerator to thaw on Monday. Give frozen turkeys or hams three full days to thaw in the fridge to ensure that they are ready.

#4 Prep the house

If you are hosting the turkey dinner at your house, I would do any deep cleaning that you can on Monday or Tuesday of Thanksgiving week. For me, I plan to get all laundry caught up from our vacation weekend on Monday. I also want to dust ceiling fans, wipe down walls, and clean out the refrigerator on Monday and Tuesday. Don’t overcomplicate this – just do one to three tasks instead of watching as much TV tonight! Set a timer and you may get finished within a commercial or two.

I want to hear from you: Are you anxious about Thanksgiving 2017 or completely chill about it?


Published on HuffPost, Okefenokee Living Magazine, and more, Shan is a Family Travel Journalist with a passion for helping women lose the overwhelm of planning family-friendly trips in the south. She shares travel reviews & insider secrets that Women REALLY want to know about Georgia, Florida, & the Carolinas vacations.

☕️ It’s THE REAL DEAL around here ☕️



  1. Megan
    November 21, 2017 / 8:08 am

    We don’t really celebrate Thanksgiving in the UK but me and my Dad get super stressed when it comes to making Christmas dinner – no matter how well prepared we think we are, we always get flustered!

  2. Mary Leigh
    November 21, 2017 / 2:57 pm

    Sounds like you had a really fun weekend! Good for you! I plan in a very similar way with pen & paper and it makes it WAY less stressful, although we don’t host Thanksgiving at our house. We still do pot lucks for our families so we need to be sure we have all the ingredients for our dishes and travel plans nailed down in advance!

  3. Sabrina
    November 21, 2017 / 4:13 pm

    Thanks for these tips, friend! I want this to be low-stress but super wonderful with my family!!

  4. Emily Anne
    November 21, 2017 / 7:47 pm

    Thank you for this post and all of your tips!!

  5. Suzanne Warye
    November 22, 2017 / 7:41 am

    We are hosting this year and for some reason I’m not freaking out! YET. 🙂 Love all of these tips!

  6. Machelle
    November 22, 2017 / 10:11 am

    This printable looks quite useful. Thanks for all the ideas.

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