Tag Archives: Pinterest

Set The Thanksgiving Table

Well, I have waited until the last minute to set my Thanksgiving Table and write this table setting post. I must admit I have been side tracked with a large scale home organization project and have been more focused on Christmas parties and getting ready for Christmas. Thanksgiving really is my favorite holiday because I get to spend time with my family, eat traditional foods and watch football ( I have 2 boys and a husband who love sports!). It is usually more of a relaxing time before the big Christmas rush.pillar candles painted glasses

Table decoration use to mean a nice floral centerpiece and possibly a few candlesticks.  Today’s table can be considered decorated with even less for a minimalist or rustic look and can be decked to the nines with anything and everything you can imagine.
This year for my holiday table I used things I had on hand with the exception of a silver pumpkin I found on sale at Hobby Lobby. I had some other cheap pumpkins from the dollar store that were very fake looking and some dollar store gourds as well. I spray painted them in copper metallic and gold metallic. I would love to have a large cornucopia arrangement for the table but I didn’t have time to make one this year and I decided I really didn’t have room to store it. I did buy a bag of real white pumpkins at the grocery store and put them in a decorative bowl on the kitchen table and will use them for the “place cards” with each persons name on them for Thanksgiving dinnerpumpkin place settingI have china with both gold and silver trim so I used some of each.  I think the more different things you mix together to make it your own design and the use of things at different heights makes your table all the more interesting.

pumpkins and gourds tableBuying live mini pumpkins, using a vase for natural twigs and berries or a hurricane or large glass jar with a pillar candle surrounded by nuts or unpopped popcorn are great for last minute table décor especially if you have no place to store decorations.
If there will be young children at your Thanksgiving table you may want to opt for kid friendly décor. Cookies or cupcakes decorated as turkeys in the middle of the table or at each place setting create a fun and festive theme. Thanksgiving morning have construction paper, water soluble markers and scissors and ask the children to make turkey decorations by tracing around their hands. There a tons of craft ideas for children on Pinterest that will include them and take the decorating challenge out of your hands!

We are having a small family gathering for Thanksgiving this year so I am contemplating doing a turkey breast in the crockpot with orange juice, whole cranberry sauce and Lipton onion soup mix.  I will have the other traditional sides to accompany my turkey but I am planning on a scaled down version this year.

If this is your first time to cook the Thanksgiving meal and host the dinner prepare some of the dishes ahead.  Many years ago one of my family members was so excited to host the family for Thanksgiving and had worked for weeks preparing dishes ahead and freezing them.  On Thanksgiving day she took them out of the freezer shortly before we were planning to eat.  That was before microwaves were as good at defrosting as they are now and instead of eating at noon, we ate very late that night.  So, I tell you that story to say time planning is key.  Also, I would advise that you don’t try some new recipe you have never made unless you have had it prepared by a family member or friend.  I have tried some recipes that look and sound fantastic that just aren’t.  Stick with what is tried and true and ask your guests to bring a dish or help you in the kitchen if they make something everyone already loves.


Going back to the memories of childhood special occasions other than the usual birthday party or family holiday gathering my most vivid memories were when my parents had bridge club.  Even though it wasn’t a party for me and my sister, Jacque, we always liked bridge club at our house.  When bridge club was at one of the other couples house we had a baby sitter and our usual bed time.  When it was at our house we had special treats and could stay up later playing games or watching television.

My mother was not the typical “June Cleaver” mom like most of my friends.  She worked full time so we didn’t have homemade cookies and cakes very often but when bridge club was at our house she always made Nestle Toll House cookies or Rice Krispie Treats.  In those days you had to make them from scratch (no pull-a-parts in the dairy case or microwave directions). I remember her making meatballs in the oven from scratch and cocktail wieners in barbeque sauce on the stove and keeping them warm on a hot plate or in a fondue pot.  Yes, those were special times with toothpicks adorned with hearts, clubs, spades and diamonds and napkins and scorecards to match at each place setting.  I can still remember begging my mother for a chocolate chip cookie fresh out of the oven and having to wait for it to cool a bit.  As a kid that was sheer torture!

Fast forward a few years and I was a busy working mom with 2 boys involved in after school activities, church activities and I was active in the business community with my husband.   I remembered how special it was to have hot cookies and home cooked meals and decided to figure out a way to make that happen for my boys even when it seemed there wasn’t enough time in the day. I discovered Nestle Toll House refrigerated dough.  I kept it on hand along with parchment paper and would make just a few cookies at a time so the boys could  have a fresh warm cookie even if I hadn’t been home all day.  I used meatballs from the freezer section instead of homemade and made Rice Krispie Treats in the microwave and learned to adapt tons of recipes for the crock pot.

Today I use all the tips and wisdom from family, cooking shows, Pinterest and a few secrets of my own to bless my family and friends with food and fun!