In a turbulent year, where many of us can expect to see a smaller gathering of friends and family at our Thanksgiving tables, or simply will be spending most of the season in our homes, one way to bring some joy and autumnal warmth for Thanksgiving is to decorate those homes. Despite such a trying time, many of us have a lot to be grateful for, and what better a way to spend time reflecting on those areas of life that we are blessed with, then when decorating our homes for Thanksgiving. For parents, this can also be a great way to keep your kids entertained whilst social activities are limited, and a wonderful way to spend heartfelt quality time together.
Pumpkins, Fall leaves and foliage, what says Thanksgiving better than the natural world? Try decorating your table with a rustic, outdoors theme, gathering pumpkins, autumnal flowers, candles and wooden placemats. Even adding in apples and pinecones to your centerpiece or cornucopia, adds a simple but effective touch that can be achieved with things you may already have around the house. Think oranges, reds, ambers and so forth to give your table that warm and cozy feeling perfect for fall. Decorate mantles with garlands and pumpkins. A current trend is to swap flowers for sheaves of wheat, or fill a vase with foraged branches and fresh flowers.
You can also make a door wreath or a floral hanging, from branches, foliage, wheat, pinecones or whatever you fancy. These can be used for both inside and outside and adding in scented potpourri is a great way to give your home that extra touch of autumnal warmth.
If you have children, or you are crafty yourself, look into making your own decorations this year, with a Thanksgiving theme. One popular activity is making a ‘Thanksgiving Tree’ or ‘Gratitude Tree’. It makes for a beautiful seasonal display and gives you and the kids time to reflect on what you are grateful for. Gather together some branches, clearing them of foliage and add them to a stable vase or pot. Using different coloured paper, (fall colours work best) cut out leave shapes. Ask your children/friends/family to write a note on each leaf to signify what they are grateful for and attach to the branches to create a tree – write several leave and fill the tree up!
Armed with your imagination there is a cornucopia of different decorations you can make for the Thanksgiving season. Cute Turkey placeholders for the table, made out of coloured paper or card, cutlery holders made out of hessian and decorated with leaves, paper chains and painted pumpkins… the list goes on and on. If you live near a forest or park, you may like to take a walk to gather and forage nature’s gifts, from branches to leaves to pinecones for all of your crafting escapades.
Use what you have
Americans faithfully recreated similar menu’s for Thanksgiving each year, and used the same place settings, table clothes, dishes, silverware and candles to decorate the thanksgiving table. This timeless style is beautiful and effective, so rather than going out and buying a whole host of new decorations, utilize what you already have. You can even try to spruce it up, finding new and innovative ways to switch up your decor by using items that you already have around the home – you may be surprised by what you can do. Try a different arrangement, or in the run up to the big day show off the apples, fruits, pumpkins that will later be used for the dinner in a display.
You can add new touches to your existing paraphernalia, for example, still use your old napkins but give them an extra flare, by rolling them up, tying them with string and adding a cinnamon stick or a sprig of greenery. If you are throwing anything out whether from generally around the house or old broken decorations, see if you can upcycle it into a new Thanksgiving decoration. Don’t worry if your décor doesn’t match, embrace it, often rustic and jumbled collections of décor (such as candles) can look really effective.
Set up early
The main decorative aspect of Thanksgiving is of course the table, so if you have room to spare, why not set up the centerpieces early. On side tables or mantles you can even set out the table decorations in a display, utilize cake stands placing them on cabinets or shelves, placing pumpkins, fruit or decorations on them instead of desserts. If you have taken the time to make your own decorations, or spruced up existing décor with a fall theme, (such as candle holders) place them out too. Fill your home with as much autumnal and thanksgiving warmth in the run up to the big day.