Thanksgiving Prep

Create a Life Saving, Time Saving, Thanksgiving NoteBook

About ten years ago, I started my Halloween and Christmas notebooks, so I don’t know why I just thought about creating one for Thanksgiving. The only reason I can come up with is that maybe I was waiting on you so we could create it together! Sounds like a good excuse for my procrastinating anyway.

But seriously, you can create your Thanksgiving notebook right now and it will save you so much time and stress, not only this year, but in the years to come. You will be so proud and relieved next year when you open your notebook up and Thanksgiving is already planned and under control. Just follow your organized notes and recipes so you can relax and enjoy the preparation of food, the festivities and the extra time with your friends and family. Wouldn’t that be amazing?

This is actually a very simple project to accomplish and you only need a couple of items to get your holidays organized forever.

  • First, get a cheap three ring notebook. I prefer the notebooks with a clear pocket on the front where you can slide in a picture. When I pull out the notebook, it makes me happy to see the cover and brings me joy in knowing how easy this is going to make my holiday.

COVER IDEAS:

1. Let your children draw a picture each year and slide it in and the clear pocket, over the old one. So much fun to look back year after year at the different pieces of artwork they have created.

2. Print out a Thanksgiving family photo on 8.5 x 11 copy paper and change yearly.

3. Print a favorite blessing, quote or graphic on 8.5 x 11 copy paper and insert.

4. Use a piece of pretty scrapbook paper in the clear pocket.

5. Leave it empty if you choose, but that’s not fun or very pretty. Remember, pretty can be really quick and easy, just go for it!

  • Second, you will want a pack of Letter Sheet Protectors with 3 holes for the binder.  You can create your notebook without them, but I’m a really messy cook so sheet protectors are a must for me.  Good Tip: Go ahead and put several empty clear protectors in your notebook so you don’t have to try and find them or buy new ones if you want to add recipes.
  • Third, grab some 8.5 x 11 copy paper for printing, writing recipes or notes.

THAT’S IT! I know it’s hard to believe that with so little expense and with time and resources that you are already using to get ready for Thanksgiving, you can simplify your holiday season now and for years to come! Just trust me, you won’t be sorry.

Now it’s time to fill it up with great recipes and fun ideas

MENU:

Write out your menu then make a copy to file behind the current one so that if you share cooking duties you can add the person’s name beside the items they will prepare.  This way, if the people are different or want to bring other dishes next year, you will have a fresh, clean menu to start your planning.

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RECIPES:

After you have created your Cover (which I usually spend way too much time and thought on) and prepared your Menu, start collecting the recipes that you use every year. Print, copy or handwrite them and then slide into the clear sheet protectors.  BOOM!  All of your family’s favorite recipes are together and you won’t waste all that time hunting for them (especially since you haven’t cooked a real meal since last Thanksgiving, or maybe just since Christmas).  Oh, maybe that’s just me!  🤔

If you find new recipes or run across a really special one, like below, you have a three ring binder, just add them as you go.

Email & Recipe from Mom, 2000

GROCERIES:

Make your grocery list, make a clean copy for next year, and place in a clear pocket folder. This will save you hours of trying to recreate a list of things you basically need every Turkey Day! How many Thanksgiving Days have you not needed to buy pumpkin, turkey, whip cream or wine? You could probably leave wine off the list because I’m pretty certain you would never forget that anyway. But, just in case, put it on there…

That’s pretty much the scoop on how to make your Thanksgiving planning a breeze!

You can add some “WOW” factors, but this will get you started with the necessities. For my Halloween and Christmas notebooks, I usually print out a collage page of pictures, insert into a clear sheet, and add to the notebook, just because it’s fun. But, wIth or without the additions, you have basically just made yourself a “magical time saving, life saving, Thanksgiving” notebook to keep and add to as long as you have the awesome responsibility of directing this special day for your friends and family.

If you are like me, and I know many of you, so I know you are (lol), I feel like I spend most of my days looking for “things”. Let’s get it together this Thanksgiving so that next year’s Thanksgiving plans will be in one place, ready to execute with no stress.

Now, if only we can remember where we keep these magical notebooks…

HAPPY THANKSGIVING to you and your families!

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Thanksgiving is at MY House

Thanksgiving is at MY house, which is totally fair since we spend two days of Christmas frolicking at my sister’s beautiful house. However, Thanksgiving is at my house and it comes first, fast and right after a fun, easy, little night of Halloween festivities, which does not require a big meal with lots of family; only candy, drinks and a few spooktacular friends.  So here it is a couple weeks away and you want to give Thanksgiving all the attention it deserves, but Christmas ads are already running on TV, the 30’ tree has been delivered to Biltmore House and you have to RSVP to the company Christmas party.

Well, HOLD ON A MINUTE!

Thanksgiving is at MY house and if I have to clean up, buy groceries, pull rarely used pots, pans and dishes out of storage, then we are going to pause… and focus on Thanksgiving.

If you want to skip over Thanksgiving and move on to Christmas, I guess you’ll just have to celebrate somewhere other than MY house. We will be enjoying each other’s company and giving thanks for the many blessings God has given us until the last piece of Pumpkin Pie has been devoured!

So, that being understood, I’m going to give you a few fun, easy to do, easy to clean up and put away ideas for your Thanksgiving celebration so that you can quickly move on to Christmas AFTER your Turkey Day dinner without feeling like you’ve cheated Thanksgiving…

1. Have a chalkboard available for your guests to write things that they are thankful for this year. Since you can’t keep chalkboard writing, just snap a picture for memories and erase! Easy, easy! Ready for your Christmas quote!

2. Use Fall colored Christmas balls, which are already available in every color imaginable, and put little clear sticky dots on the bottom (the ones you use to keep items from scratching your furniture). Cut slips of cardstock or scrapbook paper and supply a black sharpie for your guests to share a blessing, prayer request or Thanksgiving praise. Use a piece of clear tape to attach the note onto the wire ball hanger or punch a hole in the paper and tie to the wire ball hanger.

3. Buy a cheap roll of brown contractor’s paper at the hardware store and cut placemat size pieces. Don’t take time to measure; you know that’s not my style. When you have one about the right size for your table, use it to get the others pretty close to the same size. Then, take a sharpie and draw squiggles around the edges, write Bible verses or quotes, use a stamp or draw turkeys on your placemats (if you have more artistic ability than this girl). Crumble up and toss after Thanksgiving dinner!

4. Buy an old tray at Goodwill, a thrift shop, or more likely, use one from your secret stash of Someday Wannado craft supplies. Paint the center with chalkboard paint. Let dry. Write on. So simple, I’m sure you didn’t need me to figure that one out. Erase and get ready for “# of Days ‘til Christmas”!

Now, I can’t help you much with the “big” family meal, but if you are supplying the location and the fabulous décor, maybe you can do like I do and have your guests bring their “specialty” dish that ONLY they can make (wink, wink)!

Then, PRAY. EAT. ENJOY… Thanksgiving at MY house is almost over and now we can get excited for the next big thing, my birthday (lol).  Seriously, more importantly, Christmas (which is not at MY house)!!!