Between now and the big day, there are a number of do-ahead chores that you need to plan to do. Between work, family life and activities, these special chores are likely to be forgotten unless you get organized and get them on your calendar.
From polishing silver to pressing linens and from making place cards to thinking about the centerpiece, you’ll have a less stressed holiday if you plan ahead and start on it as soon as possible.
Below, you’ll find a general to-do list for creating that beautiful table. To stay organized and on task, you will need to grab a pen and your calendar. Write the chores on the calendar, spreading them out among the coming days.
Ask yourself whether you have enough tables and chairs. Compare seats to headcount and decide if you need to rent or borrow tables and chairs. Call and make arrangements for them. Try to arrange to pick them up a few days ahead of time so you don’t have to rush about on Thanksgiving Day setting tables that could have been done ahead of time.
Consider your selection of tablecloths and napkins. Do you have enough? Look to see if they need freshening. They may need washing or ironing. Perhaps, they can be fluffed in the dryer. Keep them wrinkle free by hanging them, vertically, on a hanger.
If you don’t have enough tablecloths or the right sizes, consider using placemats. If you have some sturdy placemats that aren’t the right color or pattern, cover them with some fall wrapping paper or even with brown butcher paper. Tying the napkins with jute and tucking leaves and acorns into the knot can make an inexpensive yet attractive natural display.
Silver and Silverware
If there was ever a time to break out Great-Grandmother’s pretty serving dishes or your wedding silverware, Thanksgiving and Christmas are the occasions. Check it over and give it a good polish.
Using place cards for seating is a great idea and can certainly be finished ahead of the big week. A few ideas include:
- Cut out the right size and let the children color them.
- Use a hole punch and tie a tag to your napkin or the stem of the water goblet.
- Cut out a bright leaf from construction paper and put the name on it. Place a different colored bright leaf on each dinner plate.
- Buy a bag of miniature pumpkins or a similar seasonal item. Tie the name or write the name on each.
Consider what you will put on the middle of each table? If you are having a buffet, you may also wish for some kind of decoration for the buffet line. Decide whether you wish to call a florist or make your own.
Children have a short attention span and different needs. Decide on how and where to sit the children. Plan some activities for their table to keep them busy when they lose interest in the grown-up conversation. Puzzles, colors, pictures to color and stickers are good ideas to include in your planning.