I’ve taken up creating unique Thanksgiving table scapes as a simple passion every year. I somewhat used to dread creating them, but over the last few years, I’ve been getting a little more realistic about the scenes that I enjoy instead of feeling overwhelmed with Pinterest ideas (although I love them). The one pictured here was created alongside a friend of mine for a Friendsgiving that we put together. The Friendsgiving after that one I created another one on my own, and the flowers were crazy expensive. This year I am going a bit more dialed down with a simplistic look and staying true to our modern home decor. I want the ambiance of the Thanksgiving tablescape to take the spotlight and allow everything else to fall into place without feeling overly styled. I also know how it feels to want a beautiful setup while wanting a table setting that is affordable, functional, and practical for life with kids. I personally don’t have the time that I want to spend putting hours into Thanksgiving table settings.
How do you host an amazing Thanksgiving?
1. PLAN THE MENU
Choose a menu that suits the occasion and your guests’ preferences. Comfort food and classic dishes often work well for a cozy dinner, but it’s okay to ask each person to bring a specific dish or in general ask everyone to bring something. I no longer believe that the host has to cook every single item on the menu! Keep the portion sizes moderate to ensure that everyone leaves the table satisfied but not overly full.
2. SET THE AMBIANCE
Select a cozy and intimate setting, preferably in a dining room with a dimmer or a living area with comfortable seating. Use warm lighting, such as candles, to create a relaxed atmosphere. Play soft, background music that complements the mood but doesn’t overpower the conversation.
3. THANKSGIVING TABLESCAPES
Choose a simple and elegant table setting with comfortable chairs, quality tableware, and cloth napkins. Use tablecloths, placemats, or table runners to add warmth and style to the table.
4. COZY DECOR
Incorporate cozy elements like throw blankets, decorative pillows, and area rugs to make the seating area feel welcoming. Place extra cushions on chairs to ensure comfort during the meal.
5. START WITH APPETIZERS
Serve appetizers and drinks to welcome your guests and set a relaxed tone for the evening. Charcuterie and small bites are ideal for starting the meal.
6. DRINK VARIETY
Provide a selection of beverages, including wine, beer, cocktails, and non-alcoholic options. Offer a choice of hot beverages like tea and coffee for after dinner, or a classic such as espresso martinis.
7. ENGAGING CONVERSATION
Encourage open and engaging conversation by creating a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Have conversation starters or games ready to break the ice and keep the discussion flowing.
8. HOMEMADE DESSERTS
Delegate this task to another guest if you need to, but offer homemade desserts like pies, cakes, or puddings for a sweet ending to the meal. These really do make a difference when made from scratch or purchased from your local bakery that makes everything in-house.
9. HAVE AFTER DINNER ENTERTAINMENT
Encourage guests to stay a while, relax, and enjoy themselves with a fun and lighthearted game, football game, or a movie that you put on every year for tradition. Ours is the Godfather, but with kids, it has gotten harder to play that until later in the evening!
10. BE PRESENT
The holidays in society come and go so fast. This is your reminder to slow down, put your phone away, or be on airplane mode if you still want to take photos and be present at the moment. Buy a Polaroid or simple camera if you need to, to help you fully embrace the season and slow down.