I mentioned defrosting the turkey, but I forgot to share with you the best pre-feast preparation tip. Put into each dish a slip of paper with the name of the food that belongs in it. Into this dish “cranberry sauce,” onto that platter “turkey,” and so on.

This way, you will not forget to polish an essential tray. You will not forget to put out the special casserole that you made ahead and set in your freezer. You will not get to the sideboard with a pot full of hot potatoes and discover that you have no serving dish for them.

At this point, I invariably feel stirrings of sympathy for the dishes that get passed over. Can we really leave the punchbowl in the cabinet? Since my mother gave me a devilled egg plate last Christmas, shouldn’t I use it? And if so, what will I put in the center space? I expect there is some official thing that is supposed to go in there, but I don’t know what it is. And what of the matching vegetable dish? I’ve made gingersnaps and cheese wafers to go with the pumpkin dip (and will cut up fruit for the third section of the epergne), but perhaps some cranberry bread would look nice on that vegetable dish. But it also has three sections — at this point, you have to get hold of yourself and quit.

#1 daughter is intending to go to a restaurant for her turkey dinner, way up there in the Frozen North where she now lives with her husband. I don’t blame her. But I may have to send her a devilled egg dish for Christmas.