A Thanksgiving planner.

Day 16.

16 consecutive days of writing.

It’s not over yet.

Day 23 is Thanksgiving in the United States.

Day 23 requires planning. Day 23 brings out the foodies, the NFL fans, the Pilgrim lovers, the shoppers, and any person that hates their job and wants a long weekend off. Day 23 sends the masses to a place on the internet known as Pinterest.

I am a fan of Pinterest. I use it a lot for dinner ideas. I use it for school parties. I use it to plan a rehearsal dinner I’m hosting the Saturday after Thanksgiving (Day 25, that’s another post).

I’m also quick to call bullshit on Pinterest.

A Thanksgiving Planner

Two weeks before

  • Plan a menu.
  • Select dishes and serving ware.
  • Tell yourself to stop stuffing your butterball ass with leftover Halloween candy. Jesus, get ahold of yourself.
  • Wash the sheets and towels for your house guests. Prepare the beds and bathroom for their stay. Say a prayer to sweet baby Jesus. “Dear baby Jesus, please don’t let the kids and pets urinate, defecate, puke, spit, let a runny nose run, slash someone’s leg with a butter knife, or let blood splatter on the fresh sheets and towels. I cannot do any more laundry. Thank you and amen.”

One week before

  • Get organized with lists. Make a grocery list and arrange the ingredients by location in the store.
  • Make a seating chart and place cards.
  • Prepare the kitchen. Clean out the pantry and fridge to make room for groceries and leftover dishes.
  • Clean your house. If desired, decorate.
  • Tell the kids you will send them to their room if they continue to whine about the kids table.
  • Throw out the seating chart because someone wrote  “is poop,” “is a butthead,” “pees her pants,” and “mommy is mean” on all the place cards.
  • Convince your kids that you weren’t trying to kill them with a barbecue sauce that expired last winter.
  • Or the ranch dressing from 2015. Good God, what is in here.
  • Don’t bother cleaning. You’re still a week out. Have you seen what kids can do in seven days? They urinate, defecate, puke, spit, let a runny nose run, slash someone’s leg with a butter knife and let blood splatter. They are walking crumbs. They pick their nose and wipe it on the walls. Oh, I went there. I went there because you’d be a fool to clean a week out.
  • Hide the evidence of Halloween decor. And the Halloween bags of candy. We already discussed this last week, butterball.

The Monday before

  • Purchase all nonperishable groceries.
  • If frozen, defrost the turkey.
  • Panic. You have a storm of people arriving from all over the country and you haven’t done shit. Snap at your spouse and scream he hasn’t done shit. Scream at the kids for not picking up a shoe. Apologize to your child for blowing up. Flip off your kid behind her back when she says, “it’s just a shoe, Cinderella’s evil stepmother.”
  • Give your spouse a grocery list and regret this decision as soon as he pulls out of the driveway.
  • Send your spouse back to the grocery store when he says he forgot the green beans, fried onions, cranberry sauce, corn, milk, and juice for the kids. But he did get in his beer run. 

The Tuesday before

  • Make pie dough.
  • Make cranberry sauce.
  • Cut the bread for stuffing into cubes.
  • Order a pie from the local bakery.
  • Check to make sure you have boxed mashed potatoes.
  • Scream at the family for eating all the groceries. Ask them if they can please stop eating for two days. Now you have to go to the store again.
  • Sit and pour yourself a glass of merlot. Rip open a slice of Kraft American cheese and cut the bread. It’s a wine, bread, and cheese dinner kind of night. You’ve worked hard this week.
  • Tell the kids it’s a cereal night. 
  • Realize you’re only two days into the week and laugh at yourself.
  • Might as well finish the bottle of merlot because you don’t want that turning into vinegar two nights from now.
  • Tell yourself you should be a damn scientist for remembering wine turns into vinegar because you’re drunk now.

The Wednesday before

  • Chop veggies. Place in bowls of water in the fridge.
  • Shop for remaining groceries that spoil easily.
  • Prepare any side dishes that can be made ahead.
  • If you’re making a fresh turkey, pick it up from the market.
  • Make a list in your head of all the crap you have to do while laying in bed watching the Hallmark Channel’s Christmas movies. You have a monster headache.
  • Scream at the kids to stop fighting. They’re out of school now.
  • Feel the lightening pain shoot through your head after screaming.
  • Get your ass out of bed.
  • Pick up some pre-made sides from the grocery store. 
  • Navigate through swarms of people with your shopping cart. Contemplate running into their heels with your cart. Remind yourself how much you hate people.
  • Walk down the grocery aisle and wonder if you could shoot a turkey if you were a pilgrim.
  • Wonder if the pilgrims had guns.
  • Wonder if the pilgrims strangled turkeys.
  • Tell yourself, no, that’s what the Native Americans were for.
  • Wonder if Native Americans celebrate Thanksgiving. God, the pilgrims and white folks were assholes.
  • Make a mental note to browse the history channel’s website because you completely forgot what we’re celebrating.
  • Pick up the pie from the bakery you called in.


  • Remove turkey from the fridge in the morning and let come to room temperature.
  • Make the stuffing.
  • For dinner at 5 p.m., put turkey in at noon.
  • Reheat cranberry sauce.
  • Mash the potatoes.
  • Make appetizers.
  • Chill wine and cocktails.
  • Have a fabulous time.
  • Wonder if everyone is going to get massive diarrhea after eating a turkey thawing at room temperature.
  • Chill wine and cocktails – that shit was chilled last week. Cross that bitch off your list.
  • Heat up all the appetizers and sides you bought pre-made. Keep an eye out for the side-eyes. I see you, KAREN. 
  • Wonder who the hell eats cranberry sauce.
  • Yell at your spouse for watching football and not helping with cooking. Explain to him that this is 2017 – get his ass up and help. God damn.
  • Apologize to Grandma for the profanities but if any generation is going to break this sexist chain of Thanksgiving customs, it’s yours.
  • Pour yourself a glass of wine because there’s too many people in your kitchen. And now Grandma is giving you a side-eye.
  • Tell the kids no one gets pie unless they stay at the kids table. Separate your daughters because one is stabbing the other with a fork. 
  • Take a picture of your plate. Add it to Instagram once everyone says “amen.” Hashtag Thanksgiving dinner. Hashtag thankful. Hashtag family. Hashtag blessed.
  • Have a fabulous time. Thanksgiving is over until next year.


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And don’t forget to buy my book, “But Did You Die?”