The Complete 2018 Thanksgiving Guide (including Black Friday Sales)

This year, we’re spending a few days in Lake Tahoe before coming back to Davis to spend the holiday with friends and family. Aron will be on call, but we’re crossing our fingers for no emergencies. We’re also looking forward to some much-needed rain headed our way!

If you celebrate Thanksgiving, what will you be doing? Here’s a round-up of my favorite travel suggestions, cooking resources, and style ideas (including some tips from the archives). I’ll also be keeping the list of sales below updated in the coming days.

On Traveling
Tips for flying with kids and ways to keep them entertained in the car.
When to leave, according to Google, from your city on your drive out of town.

On Establishing a timeline
A complete game plan, from a most-trusted resource. Time to get started…

On Etiquette
Sam Sifton literally wrote the book, Thanksgiving. Examples: “Keep drinks flowing. Start serving drinks the minutes your guests arrive, no matter the hour. Thanksgiving is not a time to judge.” P.S. This is the pre-dinner drink I want to try.

And, “If you’re lucky enough to have someone else hosting, be sure to note how much work it is and say thank you.”

On Choosing the Wine
There’s no wrong wine for Thanksgiving, so check out these suggestions from a former French Laundry sommelier.

On What to Wear
Some of my picks, and the GQ guide.

On Setting the table
Thankful placemats and mini rosemary wreaths. And more full-size wreaths.
Setting up the Kids’ Table (DIY: enlarge coloring pages from books)
The Emily Post guide.
And a Pinterest board with more inspiration.

On keeping everyone (food )safe
The five most common mistakes. Wouldn’t it be a nightmare if everyone were sick the next day?

On our new favorite method for cooking the turkey
Jacques Pepin’s Steamed Turkey (sounds odd, but so good—and so much faster)

On Troubleshooting
One year, I listened to much of the America’s Test Kitchen Thanksgiving Special on NPR, “Turkey Q & A and The Real Story of The First Thanksgiving,” and loved hearing them answer the top ten Thanksgiving day questions they get.

On Menu inspiration
Many families have their sides set in stone, but if you have some flexibility and are looking for inspiration, Saveur has a wealth of sample menus.
My favorite leek and mushroom tart
A simple (but delicious) autumn harvest salad.
Ideas for garnishing the turkey platter
A savory galette with eggs (that could be for breakfast)
How to bake root vegetable chips or compose a shaved brussel sprouts salad
An alternative to cranberry sauce, the famous Stamberg cranberry relish
Cutting and cooking with chestnuts
Easy as Pie: Desserts for Thanksgiving
And just for fun, how the menu has changed at the White House over time.

On what to watch (rather than football)
AMC’s top ten list, (including my favorite). And a list of movies for kids that inspire gratitude from Common Sense Media.

On Making Conversation
The New York Times guide to what to talk about on Thanksgiving.

Use the get together to record family history with these Suggestions from Story Corps. Check out its Great Thanksgiving Listen project, where kids interview their elders about their lives. Anyone with a smartphone can participate. (Check out the great questions list, A-11)

On Leftovers
Using the ones everyone forgets (like overstocked onions, pecans, herbs…)
How to repurpose leftovers for the ride home

On Sales, sales, sales. 
Black Friday & Cyber Monday deals: 
As a blogger, I get sent all sorts of announcements from stores and brands, so while many of these are still TBD, I’ll continue to update this with some of my favorites as more details are confirmed. These are the ones I like watching. Tip: Pre-load a cart if you’re shopping early, but some sales have already started…

ABERCROMBIE & FITCH: 50% off site-wide

ANN TAYLOR: 40% off now, 50% off everything with code CYBER2018 11/25-28

ANTHROPOLOGIE: 30% off everything! (A really good one! Last year was just 20% off home items.)

ASOS: 25% off everything starting the morning of Thanksgiving with the code EPIC25

BAGGU: 20% off entire store! (or 25%-30% off if you spend $50-100). Time to stock up on packing cubes and finally go for that leather satchel option.

BITTE: 20% off everything with code BLACKFRIDAY2018

BODEN: 30% off through 11/26, and free shipping and returns over $49. Love their holiday dresses and kids’ clothes.

DERMSTORE: 30% off on Friday with code FRIDAY (some brand exclusions).

FOOD 52: Get 20% off $100+ with code EXTRAHELPING

H&M: 20% off and free shipping through 11/22. (I’m guessing it will be extended.)Discount offer combinable with sale and already reduced items. Use code 3237 when placing your order.

JCREW: 40% off your purchase with code TOGETHER

LEVIS: 40% Off Sitewide, Plus Free Shipping with code INDIGO, through 11/26 (Try the Wedgie fit!)

MACY’S: 20% off Black Friday Sale with code BLKFRI & Free Shipping at $49. Valid 11/21-11/24.

MADEWELL: 25% off everything with code DEALWITHIT

MINTED: 20% Off holiday cards, gifts, art. 15% off everything else. CODE: BF2018, EXP FRI 11/23.

NEED SUPPLY: (TBD, but last year’s sale was 20% off Sitewide)

NORDSTROM: Up to 60% off! (Tip: You can sort by percent off in upper right of the webpage.)

OLEN ORGANIC: 4 special days of discounts starting Saturday (And 25% of all profits to @PaidLeaveUS on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving).

POPPY & OAK: Gift Boxes will be 15% off, with a portion of proceeds going to Camp Fire Relief.

SERENA & LILY: 20% off with code GATHER 11/22-25

SHOPBOP: 15% off orders over $200, 20% off orders over $500, and 25% off orders over $800. Another one with a huge selection.

SHUTTERFLY: Ends Thurs, Nov 22 SAVE 50%, 40%, OR 30% ON ALL ORDERS* Code: GREATDEALS

TOPSHOP: Up to 50% off, 11/21-26 (a 10% student discount can be added)

URBAN OUTFITTERS: Buy One Get One 50% off sitewide, Ends 11/23

and of course there’s AMAZON, where new deals appear and disappear every day, sometimes for just a few hours through November 25th. I.e. They don’t want you to leave.

Any holiday tips or sale notices you would add? 

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