20 Ways You Should Get Ready for Thanksgiving Right Now

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It seems like it was only yesterday that we were shaking beach sand out of our shoes and grilling burgers in the backyard. Now, all of a sudden, there’s a chill in the air and it’s almost Thanksgiving — the quintessential autumn holiday. 

Things move quickly this time of year. The number of festivities in store between Oct. 31 and Jan. 1 somehow seems to speed up the clock, and suddenly we realize that turkey day is less than two weeks away.

Thanksgiving is the most important American food holiday of the year and the logistics can be daunting, especially if you’re having a large group over (and especially in pandemic times), so if you haven’t already made a checklist and started getting ready for the holiday, now would be a good time to start.   

Among the essential steps in the process are making a guest list, planning a menu, and drawing up a budget. This is important: The price tag of a full-scale Thanksgiving feast has hovered between $40 and $50 per person (adjusted for inflation) for decades, and that’s not counting drinks, decorations, or your valuable time. (Take a look at the cost of a Thanksgiving meal the year you were born.)

Concerns about the coronavirus and the associated disagreements over vaccines, masking, and testing are yet another thing for hosts to worry about. Difficult decisions might have to be made, and the sooner you assess the situation and decide how best to deal with it the better.

You don’t need to tackle everything at once, of course. But if you begin working your way through these chores in the next few days, you’ll be happy that you got a head start when you realize that Thanksgiving is only a day or two away. (And don’t forget these 15 rules for thawing and roasting your turkey.)