Often, the meal is started with the ceremonial carving of the turkey. The turkey is the center of attraction at many Thanksgiving Day repasts. Some families are so large, a single turkey simply is not enough. But, the turkey is tradition.
Serving should start with salad, but a wise person minimizes the portion. People tend to eat a large meal at a Thanksgiving dinner, so starting with a large salad may be counterproductive.
The turkey is often baked, although fried is an option. If you insist on a fried turkey be careful, the process of frying a turkey is dangerous. We had one once, a turkey fried by a supermarket, and it was too dried out. So, I recommend baking the turkey. Remember, it should not be frozen when baked, so the choices are to thaw it out in a refrigerator for the recommended time, which is days, or to buy a turkey that is not frozen.
The turkey is accompanied by gravy and cranberry sauce. Cranberry sauce is the one thing we are most likely to forget to buy, then it is too late. Gravy can be found in the supermarket, and that is the easiest way of getting turkey gravy.
There also must be dressing. There are at least four options for the dressing, and you may elect to have more than one kind of dressing available, especially if there are two people who insist on bringing their special dressings. You can have a meat based dressing using ground meat, a cornbread dressing, a bread dressing, or an oyster dressing. After deciding on the dressing you still have to decide if it will be cooked inside the cavity in the turkey, or in a casserole dish. There are annual warnings concerning cooking dressing inside a turkey because it prevents the meal from cooking at a proper temperature in the same amount of time. Undercooking is a health risk.
The rest of the meal consists of dishes that complement the turkey and dressing. Some dishes you can use are eggplant casserole and mirleton casserole, also spelled mirleton, and in some areas called chayote. Of course mashed potatoes, green peas, and candied yams also work. You could use macaroni and cheese as well. In fact, the companion dishes are as numerous as you like. These are just suggestions.