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2021 Thanksgiving Preparations: Top 10 Best Things to Prepare

By Catalogs Editorial Staff

Contributed by Info Guru Lindsay Shugerman

It’s not even Autumn yet, and already the stores are filled with plastic skeletons and painted pumpkins. It might seem a little soon to be shopping for Halloween, but Thanksgiving? Surely I’m not going to tell you to start shopping for Thanksgiving preparations at the beginning of September!

But I am! Now while the back-to-school sales have just ended is one of the best times to start planning and shopping for your family’s Thanksgiving dinner. When it gets closer to the big day, the prices of almost everything except the turkey will start to go up. And you’ll be overwhelmed with everything you need to do. Still not convinced? Here are ten things to buy early for Thanksgiving preparations this year to make your celebration even better.

10. Airfares

thanksgiving preparations
If you don’t have your tickets for your Thanksgiving trip yet, don’t put it off even another minute. Prices will only go up, and seats will disappear for those non-stops. Lots of people delay buying until later this month or even into October, and end up on expensive flights that leave at three a.m., with six hours of layovers. No fun!

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9. Dishes

Now is the time to take an inventory of your special occasion dishes and make sure you have enough plates, cups, glasses, and bowls for everyone who will grace your Thanksgiving table. Count your guests, then add a few for last-minute additions or things that break between now and then. You don’t want great-Aunt Sophia eating off that old plastic Superman plate, do you?

8. Flatware for Thanksgiving Preparations

thanksgiving preparations
Flatware has a way of vanishing. One day you have place settings for 16, and the next you’re down to three teaspoons and eight forks. I have no idea where they go (although I suspect school lunches and plates scraped into the trash a little too energetically might be to blame.) Count your pieces now, and see what’s gone on walkabout, then buy extras.

If you have a sterling, silver plate, or just a favorite set of fine flatware that’s missing pieces, there are replacement services that sell out-of-stock and discontinued flatware to fill out your set.

7. Serving platters and bowls

thanksgiving preparations
You might need to wait another week or two if you want a platter decorated with turkeys or pretty sayings. But if last year’s dinner included serving food on foil-covered baking pans because you ran out of serving pieces, you might want to add some basic options now. Pick a solid color that coordinates with your china, choose beautiful hand-painted platters or opt for the elegance of crystal bowls and platters. Get one or two extras just in case…you never know when a guest will show up with their family’s famous version of green bean casserole in an old potato salad container!

6. Chairs for Thanksgiving Preparations

Seating is an issue at so many Thanksgiving preparations and gatherings. And someone always ends up trying to look dignified on that rickety plastic patio chair. You know it’s true!

This year, start looking around for sturdy, attractive folding chairs that will work for holidays and get-togethers, then stash away neatly when everyone goes home. Finally, you’ll be able to leave that patio chair outside where it belongs.

5. Craft Supplies Thanksgiving Preparations

thanksgiving preparations
If you’re a Pinterest fan, you’re probably already planning which adorable place cards or table decorations you’re going to make. So what are you waiting for? You know once November rolls around, you’ll be too busy to get to it and it will get pushed back to next year. Or you’ll stay up all night the night before Thanksgiving, crafting them while trying to also bake three pies and assemble the dressing.

Figure out what craft supplies you need, and buy them now. Then start working on your table decorations a little at a time.

4. Table linens

If you’re planning on using real tablecloths and napkins, the abundance of Autumn color choices in stores now will make it easy. Or shop online for table linens that match the colors of your china. Either way, you’ll have them on hand well before the shelves run dry in mid-November.

3. Bakeware and baking dishes

thanksgiving preparations
If you’ll be baking your own pies and cakes for Thanksgiving, make sure you have enough pie pans and cake pans to let you bake everything without having to wait for pans to cool down — or needing to remove pies from their pans (a messy choice… I tried it. Once!)

Also, check and stock up on baking dishes for stuffing, sweet potatoes, or whatever ever else you’ll be making. If you use disposable pans for some of those, buy now. Last year they were so hard to find in any size except the giant turkey ones once November started.

2. Pantry staples

Ease the pain of buying everything you need for Thanksgiving preparations by starting your food shopping now. Watch for sales on the canned goods, baking supplies, and seasonings you’ll need and buy a few at a time. If fresh cranberries are a good deal in your stores, buy now and freeze them. The prices typically triple right before the holiday.

1. Ingredients for new recipes

If you’re planning to include some new Thanksgiving recipes on the menu this year, now is the time to buy the ingredients and make a trial run. What sounds good in a recipe book or looks so pretty on a Pinterest post might not work so well in your kitchen. And you want everything on the table to taste delicious on the big day.

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Take the stress out of your Thanksgiving this year. It will be one more thing for which you’ll be truly grateful.

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