We've been working hard in the EatingWell Test Kitchen the past couple of weeks testing and retesting recipes for the holidays. It feels odd roasting a turkey when the temperature outside is over 80 degrees. But now that it's officially fall, I can only think of one thing: Thanksgiving.

I know it's early, and the last thing we need are the holidays encroaching on our lives sooner than they already do. But before you know it, Turkey Day will be right around the corner. Thinking about Thanksgiving this early in the game has some advantages. Here are 4 things you can do right now to plan ahead:

1. Pick your menu. It's easier to come up with a plan when you're not pressed for time, and if you pick wisely you can save money too.

2. Order your turkey. Turkeys are for sale everywhere in November, but if you want to order a special turkey (like a heritage breed) or a turkey from a smaller farm with limited supply, now is the time to order one.

3. Buy the right tools. Is your roasting pan in need of replacing? Do you have a meat thermometer or a gravy separator? Buying things you may need now will prevent a last-minute dash out the door when the day draws near (and you'll get the tools you need with plenty of time to spare).

4. Invite your guests and ask them to bring a dish to share. Draw up your guest list and think about what they can bring and write it down. That will help you round out your meal and will prevent everyone from bringing the same dish. If you want them to bring something specific, don't be afraid to ask.