Simplifying Thanksgiving: Free Planner/Cookbook

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Do you need to simplify Thanksgiving?

Simplifying Thanksgiving: Free Planner/Cookbook 

If so I have  gift for you. (Keep reading, I’ll be brief.)

Through the years, our family has done Thanksgiving differently depending on where we were living at the time. Sometimes I’d cook for us and my whole side of the family (around 30 people).  Sometimes we lived closer to my husband’s side and his mom did all the cooking (not that I didn’t offer to help but I think cooking is her love language). And then there are those times that we’ve lived far away from both and we’ve had Thanksgiving to ourselves and I’d do all the cooking again, just a lot less of each dish!

Either way, whether cooking for just us or my entire extended family, it’s a lot of work. And I decided a few years ago I wasn’t going to spend all of Thanksgiving Day  in the kitchen. Not that I mind being in the kitchen some. That’s the day I break out the Christmas music, and I do enjoy some “me time” while I bake up some delicious food. But the whole day? Nope. No more looking at pictures the next day of my husband and kids playing in the woods and knowing I missed the whole thing. No more lamenting at the end of the meal that it took me all day to cook it and only 15 minutes for us to eat it!

So I made a plan.

Now, I begin cooking our Thanksgiving dinner on Monday. I cook one or two things each day, and only have a few easy things to do on the big day. I love how much freedom it has given me. I still have that holiday feeling because there is still some cooking to be done, but I also have time to just enjoy my family (and maybe even a Christmas movie to kick off the season).

I love Thanksgiving because it helps to prepare our hearts for Christmas, and it comes without all the fuss and hassle that Christmas can bring. So why not make it even less fuss and do some of the work ahead of time?

Many of us use the month of November to express our gratitude for the many blessings in our lives. I’d like to use this post to express my gratitude to you, my readers, for helping to make this blog a success. It is my heart to help moms have smoother evenings and stay on a budget by having a meal plan and not defaulting to take-out. Your visits here, your willingness to share by pinning my recipes and sharing on Facebook and Twitter, has helped to make that possible.

 I want to soak up this season of thankfulness and begin the “season of giving” by thanking you with a gift. 

Today through next Wednesday (November 26, 2014) you can get my Thanksgiving Meal Planner for free. All you have to do is click the photo of the cover below and it will instantly download. (Be sure to save it in a place you can find it once it downloads.)

A Lovely Thanksgiving: Free e-Book Start cooking on Monday so you can thoroughly enjoy Thursday!

The first page will be the menu. I’m guessing you won’t make your Thanksgiving the same way I make mine. Feel free to make substitutions. My hope is that this planner will help you get a jump start on your Thanksgiving Day cooking so you too can enjoy more time with your family. Use it in whatever way is helpful to you. (Oh, and please don’t send a copy to your friend: Please share this article instead! I’d love for your friends to have one by coming here and clicking the picture and get their copy.)


Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas to you!


Linking up with other great bloggers here:


  1. says

    Looks like a great planner, Beth! Thanks for sharing :) I love making things ahead of time for Thanksgiving, too! And I think I just may try your Christmas breakfast casserole for the morning after …because, you’re right, who wants to cook the day after Thanksgiving?! lol

    • says

      I know I’m looking forward to getting up Friday to a delicious meal that I don’t have to cook! (And I’m pretty excited about sitting on the couch Thursday, watching a movie–something I never do–waiting for the turkey to cook!
      I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  2. says

    So glad you linked up to #Fellowship Fridays at CMB! This meal planner is awesome. I’ve already shared it with a few friends. Thank you also for including menu items for the other meals of the week too – that is always a struggle. Hope to see you next week in the link up :)

  3. says

    Hey Beth, I love how you talk about “Thanksgiving prepares our hearts for Christmas.” I’ve always felt that way but a lot of times people roll their eyes at me whenever I say as much. Of course it could be because I’ve already driven them crazy with Christmas carols for at least a month BEFORE Thanksgiving. But another point you struck home with, even though I’ve never handled Thanksgiving cooking completely on my own, I have noticed that staying on a grocery budget is much harder for me at holidays – especially holidays I’m passionate about. Love that you decided to create and share a resource to help folks out with that. I’ll be pinning this for sure!

    (PS I found your post through Christian Mommy Blogger’s link up. And I’m really glad I did!)

    • says

      Shirley, I’m so glad you found my site! I can’t imagine why you’d get strange looks for saying that Thanksgiving prepares your heart for Christmas. When we get our hearts focused on being thankful, what is there to be more thankful for than Jesus? Now, about those Christmas carols a month before Thanksgiving, you may want to grab some earbuds for that!

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