Kitty, Kitty!! Don't go away mad!!! It's not that I'm uninterested; it's that I'm not one of those ppl with the gift of hospitality . . I'm more a "let's all go out to eat somewhere" entertainer, lol, so I don't have many suggestions!
I'm awed by your entertaining project, and wish you much success. I think it's a VERY nice thing you're doing, to provide a cozy family-type gathering for your best friend.
Myself, I've never cooked a turkey (grilled, boiled, fried or baked!!), as I'm pretty much vegetarian, so I have no suggestions re: meat. However, the dressing sounds great, and what a good idea to do it in the crockpot! Cooks always suggest using chicken broth for more flavor, so I imagine it would provide good flavor for the dressing. I suggest you google/yahoo/ask jeeves/vivisimo search recipes, using the words "cornbread dressing recipe crockpot" and see what happens. You might find something wonderful!
I'd love to be up at a cottage on a lake during the holiday season (do you have a lot of the miniature lights you can string up?? might be pretty)! How about some chairs for sitting outside, enjoying the fresh air and knockout view (or would it be too, too cold that time of year???). Is there a fireplace for a nice roaring fire??
Give the others a chance to respond; sometimes it just takes time to mull some ideas over, and then you'll get more responses. Best to you, and let us know how it goes! --- Diana