Thanksgiving is right around the corner. That means it’s time for turkey, football, and family time. While this holiday is one of the most enjoyable of the year, it can be a bit more stressful if you’re in charge of planning. And COVID may toss us all a curve, so plan for THAT too.

Making sure dinner is in order and guests are entertained is enough to make any host jittery. Using an online calendar can alleviate some of the stress and help you organize the perfect Turkey Day.

Invite the Family

Thanksgiving is best spent with the people you love. You may prefer to spend the holiday only with those under your roof, but many families look forward to the larger gatherings. Direct relatives, close friends, and neighbors are all eligible for a Thanksgiving invitation.

If you do plan to invite guests, you can coordinate schedules with an online calendar. Simply share an event with your Thanksgiving itinerary, so they’re on the same page. They’ll know just what time to show up and what to expect throughout the day. Want them to bring a side? Use this invitation as a reminder to bring something to share.

Schedule a Prep Day

Don’t leave all your Thanksgiving responsibilities for the day of. There’s so much preparation that can be done beforehand. Schedule a prep day in your online calendar, and you’ll set the stage for a perfect Thanksgiving.

There are many ways you can do Thanksgiving prep in advance. Making the stuffing, organizing ingredients for cooking, and even setting the table can all be done the night before. Accomplish as much as possible during your prep day, and Thanksgiving will be a breeze.

Shop ‘Til You Drop

You probably don’t have everything you need for Thanksgiving dinner sitting around your house. A shopping trip will need to be put in the works so you can get all of the ingredients you need. Those Thanksgiving fixings won’t go on a pilgrimage to your front door, after all.

Plan out a shopping list and schedule a day to hit the store. Look for when turkeys are on the shelves and go as early as possible. With such high demand, those birds will be gone before you know it.

Get a Game Schedule

For many American families, Thanksgiving means football more than anything. A slate of Thanksgiving games is classic entertainment and must-see TV. To make sure you catch every game, add kickoff to your online calendar.

With game times pinned down, you can schedule the rest of your day with ease. If you don’t want the TV on during dinner, look for a time between games to gather everyone at the table. You can also find strategic times for any games you might have in mind for the family.

Organize a Turkey Bowl

The only thing better than watching Thanksgiving football is organizing a game yourself. Turkey Bowls, as they’re called, are a classic Thanksgiving tradition practiced by more families than you might think. A good friendly game of football connects family members and works up appetites for the upcoming feast.

A good Turkey Bowl will need some planning. What time will it be held, and where? How’s the weather forecast? These questions and more can be addressed in your Thanksgiving itinerary.

Set Turkey Reminders

It isn’t a true Thanksgiving without a turkey. However, turkeys can be difficult to cook. They take a lot of time, and one wrong move could ruin the entire main dish.

To ensure a smooth Thanksgiving dinner, set some turkey reminders in your online calendar. First thing’s first: know when to begin thawing your frozen turkey! This could take days if it’s a big one! Forgetting to take it out of the freezer would be a disaster. On the big day, checking its progress periodically will help you catch it from overcooking. You don’t want to get sucked into the football game only to be reminded of the turkey by the smell of smoke.

Look to Give

Thanksgiving is all about expressing gratitude. Sadly, not everyone has as much to be grateful for. On a day where you’re supposed to be thankful, you can count your blessings and look to give others a reason to be grateful.

Several organizations will be hosting Thanksgiving events to help the less fortunate members of your community. Soup kitchens and churches will need volunteers to help carry out their benevolent efforts. Look for an event near you that you’re interested in attending and use your online calendar to schedule some time to give.

Ration Out the Leftovers

Thanksgiving leftovers are almost as great as the meal itself. You get to taste that delicious food again, bringing back fond memories of the holiday. For the chef of the home, leftovers mean they get a needed break from cooking.

You can use an online calendar to meal plan. After all, turkey and mashed potatoes for every meal might get tiring. Plan out who will get leftovers for which meals to go through it all promptly without inducing Thanksgiving burnout.

Make a Black Friday Plan

Every year Black Friday sales seem to start earlier and earlier. You can now do some of your Black Friday shopping on Thanksgiving day. While this might defeat the purpose, this might form part of your Turkey Day plans.

First, decide how you want to approach Black Friday. Do you want to go on Thanksgiving Day, rush to some stores at midnight, or not even go at all? Whatever you decide, your online calendar can be added to finish out your Thanksgiving Day plans.

Thanksgiving only rolls around once a year, so make the best of it. Use this guide to plan out the perfect day for you and your family. Be sure to give thanks for everything you have throughout the event.