Thanksgiving is sort of a tough cookie, decor-wise. It’s not known for the grandiose, macabre decorations of Halloween, it’s not one that I like to go all out for, and if you’re entertaining, you’re certainly not taking the winter and Christmas decorations out before Thanksgiving has passed. So, where does that leave us
I’m a big believer in the philosophy of “less is more” when it comes to Thanksgiving. A beautifully decorated dining table or sideboard, and a couple of fall touches are all you need to get right into that Thanksgiving spirit.
When you’re trying to create your own Thanksgiving decor, I must recommend that you begin by Googling. There are a ton of ideas and images you can use to inform your own decor choices. Find a color palette that works in your home, decide whether you prefer simple or elaborate, and then select only the perfect pieces.
Find a piece or two for the living area that you love and build from there. While good old brick and mortar stores may be light on the Thanksgiving-themed decorations, the internet is your friend. Virtually everything can be found with a little easy searching. Start with your favorite brick and mortar establishments—they often have a much wider selection on their website. For something a bit more unique, consider browsing a site like Etsy, which features a vast array of independent vendors, some of whom are truly gifted craftsmen and women.
Take, for instance, this beautiful hurricane from Pier One Imports. I especially love this set because you can adapt them for any occasion. In the spring, add bright greenery, in the summer, a selection of seashells, for Thanksgiving, a bevy of fall leaves, or a coil of berries, and for Christmas, perhaps a bit of glittery snow. Even something as simple as changing the candle color can be an easy way to accent your holiday or themed decor. Add flameless candles for the easiest execution imaginable—and no fire danger if the kids get a little too close.
I’m the hostess for Thanksgiving in my family and some of my favorite traditions include involving my children in setting the mood for dinner. They make place cards and we use mini pumpkins or gourds to stand them up at each person’s place. We begin a “thankful” wreath and ask our guests to add to it over the course of the afternoon and evening, and this is something that you can recreate every year, or reuse from one to the next. I found beautiful paper in rich fall colors to create a wreath, the kids added a few colorful leaves, and then we cut thick, high-quality paper into small banners and add something we’re thankful for—health, family, friends, and so and so forth.
Over the years, we’ve added a few touches—pumpkin serving platters and bowls, fall foliage table linens—small things that set the mood and fit in with the rest of our decor.
If you’re hosting, or just decorating for the first time, keep in mind that the years go by quickly, and there’s no need to buy everything in one fell swoop. Allow yourself to choose only the pieces that you absolutely adore, and to curate a Thanksgiving decoration collection over time, rather than settling for numerous pieces that you like, but don’t love.
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