It may seem like Halloween barely took its last breath before you saw turkey decorations and Thanksgiving menus cropping up everywhere from your in box to your local supermarket. But now is the time to put aside your resistance and figure out what you’re doing for Thanksgiving, where, and of course, what’s on the menu. Trust us: Don’t procrastinate, and this will only hurt a little bit.
TO DO THIS WEEK
1) Think about your Thanksgiving menu. What are the staples? How can you save money by purchasing them now, or make them affordably and better with simple homemade versions? Watch for sales and buy your non-perishables now. This includes booze and wine (unless your family wine connoisseur is in charge—see No. 3).
2) Locate and wash all your annual holiday cooking/baking essentials. The hiding places of the turkey baster, gravy boat, pie plates, rolling pins, and that army of extra wine glasses have a good habit of perplexing their owners from year to year.
3) Delegate. Is someone really, really good at making dip and appetizers? People love to contribute, especially during holiday meals, when they may feel like fish out of water in the kitchen. Let the wine snob take care of the Beaujolais, the hunter and gatherer the turkey carving, the funny cousin the pre-dinner games for kids.
4) Buy your plane tickets, if you haven’t already. Seats are rapidly disappearing, and you don’t want to miss out on the times you need. Save money by traveling on Thanksgiving Day, if you can.
5) Make a pretty, unique table setting or autumnal wreath. It’s easy and affordable, and no plastic fruit need be harmed in the process. Best of all, you can double purpose your handiwork for other holiday meals and celebrations—just add sparkle!