Have you ever heard that piece of advice about what to wear to a dinner party? You could wear your jammies and slippers from the waist down because all anyone is going to see is what you are wearing above the table. This same nugget of wisdom holds true for decorating your Thanksgiving table. Don’t worry about scrubbing baseboards or making beds if you are having everyone over to your home this holiday season. Instead, make sure the table, where everyone will sit, is epic and interesting.
“Epic and interesting” does not mean spending a ton of money. I like to check what I already have around the house first. Thanksgiving tables do not have to be decorated with all things turkey and Pilgrim. Think of fall colors as your inspiration and go from there. Do you have orange chairs at another table in the house? Woven baskets hanging on a wall that could be placed on a table? Quilting fabric that could be used as a tablecloth? I did.
Super Seating Ideas
If you are hosting a lot of people, you have 2 choices. If you have the space, you can rent tables and try to put everyone in the same room. Or, if you’re like me, you might prefer to have several different tables around the house for people to choose from. The problem with dinner parties – and let’s be honest, Thanksgiving is much like a dinner party – is that where you choose to sit determines who you will spend the rest of the evening getting to know. That can be a good, bad or boring thing. Encourage guests (maybe even make place cards) to sit next to relatives or friends they do not get a chance to visit with often. Maybe everyone sits at a different table and next to a different person for dessert. If your gathering is extra large, consider name tags. For the rehearsal dinner at my wedding, everyone had a name tag with one sentence below about how we knew them. These sentences acted as great starting points for conversations: “My name is Leah – I live in NYC and went to school with Jennifer in London for college.”
A quick and easy way to free up space is to have a designated kids’ table. Consider putting crafts or coloring sheet placemats on the kids’ table. Keep the kids busy in between turning their noses up to green beans and cranberries. The more occupied the children are, the more time the adults will have to chat. If you have very small children who are still messy, consider setting up a picnic in the backyard – weather permitting. The whole family could sit outside if you wanted. In Texas, the weather is still very temperate at Thanksgiving. I typically have my turkey in a barn with my extended family in East Texas, and the informal atmosphere always works great.
Make Your Décor Uniquely Yours
It is not where people sit, it is what they see while they are there. Make it memorable, make it your own and make it different. Chairs don’t have to match; mine never do. If your Halloween pumpkins have not begun to rot, use them to dress the table. Have no qualms about using paper plates and napkins and combining them with expensive vintage dinnerware. Buy a $5 bouquet of flowers because fresh flowers make everything better. No need for a crystal vase – consider a pumpkin planter or pitcher instead. My entire house is eclectic and kitschy, so why would I set a Thanksgiving table any differently?
My vintage-style tablecloth (only $24.99) and tribal quilting fabric (only $19.99 for 5 yards) used as a tablecloth came from Tuesday Morning. Make your table Pinterest-worthy with the help of scrapbooking picks ($1.99) in pumpkins, again from Tuesday Morning. The woven baskets (only $14.99) adding texture to my table are from, you guessed it, Tuesday Morning. Check your own house for Thanksgiving table décor first and then head to Tuesday Morning for a few fun and funky supplements. Check out our Thanksgiving Table Essentials pin board for more ideas.
The Season of Giving
Can you believe it’s almost Thanksgiving? To kick off the holiday season, we’re launching a series of giveaways every Friday! Details appear at the end of each blog post on Fridays, so keep checking back for a chance to win a unique set of products every weekend (entries accepted Friday through Sunday). This weekend, we’re giving away a Thanksgiving Basket stuffed full of goodies to dress your table: a Lenox platter, 2 serving bowls, salt and pepper shakers, treat bowls and napkin rings, a Towle 65-piece flatware set, and turkey bowl server with serveware! Sign up below to enter!