While it may feel like we were just slathering on sunscreen and packing a bag for a long day at the beach, summer is sadly behind us. Now, leaves are falling from the trees, seasonal wreaths are hanging from our doors, and holiday planning mode is officially beginning. For me, as soon as my kids start suiting up for the big trick or treat, I have one thing on my mind: Thanksgiving.

It may sound like I’m jumping the gun a bit, but Thanksgiving is quite honestly my favorite holiday of the year—the one day everyone celebrates with enthusiasm. And while it doesn't involve any gift-giving, it does require some thoughtfulness and preparation in other ways. As the annual host for my large family's Thanksgiving dinner, I have learned that I can't start planning early enough.

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* This article was originally published here

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