This is my absolute, hands-down, favorite, favorite, favorite time of year. When Summer comes I always say that I never want it to leave, and then Fall comes with it’s cold days, cozy blankets and warm candles (a fireplace if I had one) burning inside and just that cozy air of it all, now I never want Fall to leave. I just LOVE it. And while I’ve already got my Christmas music playing and my tree is up, Thanksgiving is tied for my favorite Holiday. I think I say every year when I write about my Thanksgiving table that I just love what Thanksgiving is about: gathering with family, reflecting on all of the things that we’re grateful for, and of course, EATING (and drinking ). I love that it’s a pause between the crazy Halloween and Christmas season to reflect and focus on the things that are really important. SO, today Kelly from Live Laugh Rowe and myself have gathered some of our favorite, talented ladies to share lots of beautiful ideas for your Thanksgiving table and I’m showing you my Simple Thanksgiving Table.
When it comes to entertaining, and well, just about everything else in life, I’m a simple, laid back kind of girl. I love a pretty table and place setting, but I also want it to feel casual and inviting and not too stuffy. When I started putting together this year’s table, my mind went to a picture that my cousin posted this Summer of a trip they took to Spain. It was like something straight out of an Anthony Bourdain episode. A long table set up outdoors, lots of beautiful food on the table, and lots of happy faces, laughing and enjoying a meal together. That’s what I want gatherings at my house to be about: the company and the meal.
At my table, that starts with the fact that I don’t own any “special” dinnerware or China for fancy dinners. When dinner is done, I want to be able to throw it all in the dishwasher. I’m not exactly going paper plates here (though I’m not judging if that’s your jam), but however nostalgic and happy the Holiday commercials make family standing around a sink, washing and drying dishes after Thanksgiving dinner, I’m not buying it. I’ve already slaved over a meal all day, and probably have a huge mess to clean up in the room where I shoved everything before my guests arrived, so I’m trying to participate in a family nap after dinner, not stand around the kitchen sink mmkay. *end rant* When you see my tabletop posts, you’ll notice that the dishes almost never change. They are my everyday dishes, which I purposely purchased in white so that I could work them in for every occasion whether it be a weeknight dinner, or a fancy dinner party (you know, because I throw tons of those).
Continuing with casual theme, I wanted a centerpiece that was easy to put together, but also easy to take off the table when that whole food part of the dinner happens. So I used a couple of bunches of seeded eucalyptus (my current obsession) from Trader Joes, scattered it on the table and then just set some heirloom pumpkins in the middle of the table. Man I can’t get enough of those heirloom pumpkin colors this year. I’m going to be sad to see them go.
Then to add a little “mood” I hit my hoard of candlesticks and scattered them throughout the table. I’ve inherited a lot of things from my mom and my grandparents, and I always like to add some of those things to the table when I’m setting for a family dinner. A bit of a remembrance of those loved ones who are no longer with us, but we know are there with us in spirit. At this year’s table, wood coasters that my grandpa made me, and candlesticks and peach napkins that were my grandma’s. I always loved that metal and glass candlestick when I was at her house.
And speaking of napkins, if you’ve been here before, you know my rant about how expensive cloth napkins can be, so I have lots of my own that I’ve just made from fabric, and this year, I brought the toile ones out again and mixed them in with some of the other ones that I had. The napkin rings were from the Dollar Spot at Target.
Another favorite alternative to fancy linens: muslin. I use this “runner” a lot, and it’s just a piece of muslin that cost me about $2.00, and I tore the edges to fray them. You can buy muslin in huge sizes (like 10 yds wide) at the fabric store and it’s awesome for tablecloths because if they stain, you can just throw it away rather than stress about an expensive tablecloth being ruined. I purposely made this one more of a runner, because I kind of like the wood from the table showing off a bit. Is that like a total sin to not have a full, fancy tablecloth at a formal dinner? I think my grandmother would say that it is
I did buy some new glasses and silverware this year, because I’ve been wanting something a little different than my everyday silverware, and I know gold is “IT” right now, but I love the rustic look of this twig flatware from World Market. And, I love when you see pictures of a dinner in Spain or Italy, that everyone drinks wine out of small tumblers, rather than fancy wine glasses. One of those weird little details I notice that make me happy, so I grabbed some inexpensive ones at Target.
I’ve seemed to acquire a cute little assistant these days who’s been very into helping me with projects and making sure things are just right, and right before I started taking pictures of the table she said, “Mom, wait, let me make sure everything is perfect before you start.” Then she walked around the table and straightened and primped. Heart melt.
And that’s my Simple Thanksgiving Table. Casual and collected can be its own elegant, and when you can shop the things you already have, or purchase a few inexpensive things like fabric, it doesn’t add to the cost of Holidays, which we all know can get a little crazy.
I can’t wait for you to go see the rest of the beautiful tables that these ladies have created! Be sure to take the tour and stop by each one for LOTS of Holiday inspiration.