It’s such a wonderful time of year when the leaves start changing colors and falling from the trees. Our kids love playing in the fallen leaves! They toss them high in the air and love to run through them. Even our dog gets involved and loves to jump around as leaves fly through the air. And when a new pile is neatly raked? They find it hysterical to undo it. Ah, the sense of humor of three year olds…
This walk in the park got me thinking – Thanksgiving is just around the corner! And without some pre-planning, it can become an overwhelming time. If you have kids like me, you’ll agree with me when I say that organizing these holidays can be stressful.
We’re going to change that!
Thanksgiving should be a fun and joyous time of year, and so should the planning. So today I’m going to take you through some ideas to make the holiday easier for you on the day of entertaining family and friends.
Let’s get ready for Thanksgiving!
Placement of Food and Drinks
Of course, we have to start with the food and drinks situation! It’s really important to decide how you are going to serve food on the day. Are you going for a buffet-style for people to serve themselves? Or will you all be seated around the dining room table? There’s no right or wrong for this, it’s your personal preference and will largely depend on how many guests you’re entertaining.
For serving buffet style, put the plates first and the forks/knives/napkins/spoons last and after the food, so that people don’t have to hold them when serving themselves. Make sure to have plenty of napkins available.
For a more formal arrangement, you should emphasize the dining table decor and layout of the plates. Always think of this in terms of layering. For the table, start with a runner, trivets for hot trays and dishes, and then add decorative pieces around this.
Then you can look at the table settings for your guests! Again, in terms of layering: start with the placemat, serving plate, main plate, and cutlery to the sides. You can dress the plate with a folded napkin gathered together with string and faux foliage. Always remember place cards with your guests’ names too!
No matter which style of entertaining you’re going for this year, be sure to have Thanksgiving-inspired tableware at the ready! For tablecloths, consider using a natural linen color or go bold with burnt orange to truly reflect the holiday. Having plenty of serving plates and dishes ready will help with food preparation and bringing it out into the dining area. Large, deep bowls and large serving plates are great for this!
If you are serving the main meal at the dining table, it’s important to have a trivet to protect your table and decorations from the hot dishes.
General Gathering Tips and Tricks
As with any Thanksgiving celebration, you’re likely to have lots of people at home to enjoy the holiday. It’s important to encourage movement in your guests and placing food and beverage areas around the house can help with this. In these areas, have napkins and small side plates available for guests to use.
You can create these areas of food and drinks by setting up a small table in key rooms. Add a small table cloth to dress the table and organize food and nibbles on serving plates and dishes.
With many kids enjoying Thanksgiving it’s important to know in advance who will be bringing their kids and be prepared for them. Having a few strategic corners of the home prepared for the kids with age-appropriate games and activities, you can easily keep them busy while the adults socialize. Depending on the age, this could be a playmat, some board games, books, bric-a-brac or an area for kids to bring their own favorite toys.
Decorating Your Home
If you haven’t already read my Fall Decor blog post, I share some beautiful fall decorating ideas and many of them can also be used for decorating your home for Thanksgiving!
As Thanksgiving is the holiday of celebrating the harvest, use colors associated with this to bring texture and appropriate colors into your space. Burnt oranges, yellows, reds, and natural tones help to bring the focus of the holiday into your home.
I love decorating my front door with a harvest-based wreath and using complimentary garlands up the staircase and around the fireplace mantel. You can also swap your decorative pillows for Thanksgiving-based colors, and swap your faux flowers for naturally dried pampas and other grasses to coincide with the Thanksgiving theme.
Thanksgiving is such a wonderful time of year so make the most of it and embrace the holiday through your home decor!
I hope you have enjoyed reading through this blog post! And has provided you with some ideas on how to get ready for Thanksgiving this year. How are you getting reading for the holiday? Are you going all out or keeping it paired back this year? I’d love to hear all about your ideas and plans in the comments below!