Cooking,  Gratitude,  Organizing,  Thanksgiving

How To Hack the Heck Out of Your Thanksgiving Turkey Day


Photo by Gemma Evans on Unsplash


No boring twine and brine reminders here. I dug deeper, scoured the sites and compiled a list to make your turkey day a tad easier. Some of these items I own, some I’m buying, and some I’m loving from a distance, but they are definitely mother-in-law approved.

Most of us are about to host or join a gathering that begs for planning, cooking and manners, but fear not. You still have time to order these helpful goodies from Amazon and get them way before Aunt Nelda pushes your buttons doorbell.


Affiliate Lingo: Purchasing these products costs you nothing extra, but swings a little kickback to me. Gracias!


For the Kitchen & the Table

Slow Cooker Liners: Open bag, line pot, insert food. They can easily handle four hours of high cooking or six hours of low, and the cleanup makes my heart sing. Even when I’ve accidentally punctured the bag with violent stirring, washing out a tiny bit of liquid beats scrubbing burned-on crustiness any day. With BPA-and-PMS-free plastic, these will most likely change your life.Tiered Oven Rack: Only have one oven? Same. This will make you feel like you have two.

Women’s Fitness Pumpkin Pie Shirt: Once you’re done cooking, don this goodness and scoop/spray the whip.

Men’s Pumpkin Pie Thanksgiving Shirt: I have a hunch Pac-Man and the ’80s will both live forever.

Happy Thanksgiving Tablecover: Plain butcher paper gets boring. Kick it up a notch and hold the kids’ attention for more than three minutes with these creative activities. Teens and tired women welcome too.

Thanksgiving Straws: Trendy cuteness for ages 2 to 102.

And for those celebrating with amigos: Friendsgiving Straws

Tinksky Party Hanging Banner: Perfect for your mantel. Or a mirror. Or a window.

Need some cute table decor or a hostess gift? Turkey Tea Light Holders to the rescue. I love mine! Keep a few, give a few, and watch your table light up with gobble. (Is that a thing?)

For the Dogs:

In Mexico, about 99% of dogs are for guarding and nothing more. Our friends down there would probably have a cow if they knew what kind of toys and treats Americans buy for their dogs, but whatever.

Chew King Rubber Belly Turkey: Feel free to write “Bite Me” across his rubber belly so your dog knows what to do.

Blueberry Pet Collar Thanksgiving Moonlit Turkey: Duke and Roxy will be the hits of the party.


Woof Bakery Thanksgiving Dog Treats Turkey Feast Gourmet Biscuits with Yogurt Icing: You know your pooch will gobble them up. (Sorry–had to work that in.)

Party Ideas

Tired of watching the kids go straight from the table to tech? Break out these entertainers and watch the fun begin! Bonus points if you can jostle Uncle Larry out of his food coma to be in the photo booth.

Thanksgiving Bingo: T-R-K-E-Y, and Bingo was his name-o. (Works better in Spanish.)


LEGO Pilgrim Set: At 5 1/2 inches tall, this ain’t no mini-figure.

“I’m Thankful For” Photo Booth Props Kit: The perfect way to document your gratitude!

…after you put these on your face, of course. Thanksgiving Party Photo Booth Props for the win.


Veering away from Amazon, have you seen the Trader Joe’s Gingerbread Turkey Kits? Super cute activity for those who can’t wait for the gingerbread houses. And for only $7.99, you can buy one for grandma too.


Thanksgiving DVDs

After sitting up straight and making conversation, you might want to slouch, space out and let the food baby settle. Check out these classic flicks with Thanksgiving themes:

Thanksgiving Books

For the gift-givers and lap-readers, these books will teach the littles all about gratitude:

Bonus Tip!

Grab a Lint Roller for last-minute dusting: couches, chairs, your pool table, curtains/drapes, inside your car, broken glass shards, lamp shades, drawers, the cat, the dog, blankets, your pants, your friend’s sweater….

What did I miss? Do you have any helpful Thanksgiving hacks? Share with us in the comments!


“Let all things now living, a song of thanksgiving,

To God the Creator, triumphantly raise.”

~ Let All Things Now Living Hymn


Know someone who might like this post? Don't hoard it like a secret family recipe, share it...




  • Allison Whitted

    Miss you, Amiga! How has re-entry been going? I have been thinking about you and praying for you and your crew. I love Thanksgiving, it’s one of my favorite holidays. Our family always does a “thankful tree.” We go out and cut down a small branch from a tree and we put it in a jar with some small stones. Then we cut some Fall shapes (mostly leaves, sometimes turkeys or acorns, anything cute from our Cri-cut). Then we have each family member choose a shape and write what they are thankful for and then sign their name. We then hang these meaningful messages on the tree and display throughout the day or days that we are together. We have been doing this for three years now and it is so fun to look back on what we wrote in the past. To store our “tree” every year, we actually don’t. We usually collect the messages and put them in a Ziplock bag and label them whatever year it is. We get new branches every year. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and we thank the Lord for you all!❤️

    • Carrie Talbott

      Hola, amiga. Re-entry is… weird. Going ok, but still weird.
      Love your “thankful tree” idea. So fun and creative.
      Happy Thanksgiving to you too!

  • Susan Pruitt

    Thanks Carrie! I am not hosting this year but for the record Slow Cooker Liners are connected to my sanity every day of the year. Oven-tiered rack?! I really should have had one of these for years. My tip to share: once a year I become my mother and save nice plastic containers from fast food places or Costco chicken to wash and send leftovers in for our guests.

    • Carrie Talbott

      Seriously–they’re such time-savers.
      I hadn’t heard of the tiered rack either but it makes so much sense.
      Ooo… great idea for leftovers.
      Thanks for chiming in, amiga!

  • Sherry Brinkerhoff

    We always set up a card table with a 1000 piece puzzle. What didn’t get finished at Thanksgiving got brought out again at Christmas 🙂

    Thanksgiving dinner is one of the easiest (if not most time-consuming) meals to fix. I write out a plan and hang it on a time-frame and all goes smoothly (mostly!). A few years ago I learned to make gravy while the turkey was roasting so I don’t have to wait till the turkey is done to make that part of the feast.

    • Carrie Talbott

      I love me a good puzzle, but my three guys don’t share the same excitement.

      You sound so calm and organized; I think we all need to come learn from you. Great idea about the gravy. Thanks for chiming in, Sherry!

      • Sherry Brinkerhoff

        I am old so calm and organized is the way I have to roll. 🙂 Seriously organization is one of God’s gifts to me. I do as much ahead as I can. Even when it is just Jim and me, we still do the whole turkey dinner. One preparation–lots of meals!

        • Carrie Talbott

          Ha! You are not old, but I AM impressed. I always have such good intentions about being calm, organized and prepped way ahead of time. It works out occasionally. 🙂

  • Nicole

    I’m with Ellen.

    Having never hosted Thanksgiving at our house, I’ve never thought about the rest of your items. Usually a few decks of cards will do at our place.

    Are the counting down the days till Thanksgiving Break?… (a first for your South-of-the-Border Americans!) 🙂

    • Carrie Talbott

      Someday, Nicole… someday. You might be called upon to host, and I’ll be right here for ya. 🙂
      Yes–celebrating Thanksgiving up here is a huge bonus for our boys ’cause they don’t have to go to school or take homework with them. They’re still amazed that they get a whole week off.