Thanksgiving may be about a week away, but time flies when there’s so much to do. If you’re the host for this year’s family feast, set the tone for a happy, relaxed celebration with early preparations.
Get started this weekend by gathering everything you’ll need for the table. Wash china, stemware and serving pieces, and give the silver a good polishing. Pull together table decorations and candles, and make sure you have a working candle lighter and backup matches on hand.
If your home’s routine and traffic allow, set the dining table a few days ahead of Thanksgiving—it’ll save you time and spare you stress as the dinner deadline approaches. Otherwise, if you can’t tackle the table until Thursday, simply iron your table linens ahead of time. They’ll stay tidy, compact and wrinkle-free if you roll them up after pressing using wrapping paper rolls or shipping tubes.
Finally, get your family’s young artists involved in the preparations—and keep them busy while you’re busy—by inviting them to create something special for the festivities. Custom place cards are a fun touch for the table, and a banner, collage or guest-participation project with a “give thanks” theme will keep everyone focused on the central meaning of the day.