Countdown to Turkey Day: Time to Check In

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Eight, eight days to go.

You have now been getting ready to host Thanksgiving dinner, a little at a time, for three weeks. If you’ve ever wondered why hosting a dinner or party has felt overwhelming in the past, maybe this series has made some of the unconscious labor that goes into hosting more apparent. Do you have to break it up into four weeks to do it right?

Of course not.

The goal of this series has been to keep everything in bite-sized tasks to keep hosting Thanksgiving from overtaking your life in an already busy season. If you need to check your progress, here you go.

It’s time to check-in with those you have invited to firm up your guest count.

You can then use your guest count to finalize the amounts you need for ice and beverages.

Speaking of ice, I have seen two conflicting guidelines: 1/2 lb per glass or one – two pounds per person. I find the second guideline easier to remember when I’m at the store; we’ll have ten people total, so I’ll grab one bag of ice. No, we will not talk about our ice maker. It’s just too frustrating. The larger estimate seems to include the ice you will need to keep drinks cold, too.

In addition to ice, don’t forget you will need beverages.

Lemonade and iced tea, both sweet and unsweetened, are excellent, budget-friendly options.

Juices are a nice option if there will be children, but check with the parents. Most considerate parents of very young children will bring what their kids need. However, you know your guests and can try to anticipate what may happen. Sodas can be fun, but please consider having an option without caffeine, especially if it will be a dinnertime meal.

Will you be serving coffee? Do you need decaf? Generally, you can estimate one cup per person; the same goes for hot tea. These beverages are often served with dessert. Don’t forget to have sugar, cream, etc., on hand.

Note: Regarding alcohol today, we’re just touching on quantity estimates. Tomorrow, we will discuss serving guidelines and parameters that should be implemented, and we’ll share a few recipes.

If you will be serving wine, estimate approximately one bottle for every two adults who consume it. Just don’t open them until you need them.

Beer – estimate two bottles or cans the first hour and one each subsequent per guest.

Champagne / Prosecco – one bottle will fill six flutes. If you only make a toast and then serve different beverages, you only need the initial serving plus a little extra for the one auntie who prefers prosecco. She gives the best Christmas gifts. Plan accordingly.

Hard alcohol – To control your budget, you may want to limit what is available to one festive or signature drink. If you have a relative/guest with a specific preference, e.g., Uncle Jack’s rum and Diet Coke, and it won’t break your budget, by all means, have those ingredients on hand.


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1 thought on “Countdown to Turkey Day: Time to Check In”

  1. I believe you may be underestimating the amount of alcohol some families in attendance may be planning on consuming.

    Not saying it is right! Just saying, “have you met my family?”



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