Places In The Home For The Holidays: Setting The Thanksgiving Table

Decorative options are a lovely thing!  It’s those options that allow us to take a slight step or total turn from traditional and/or expected decor choices.  The holiday table begins as a blank canvas ready to reflect a personal interpretation of holiday style and splendor.  Setting the tone for holiday magic begins with setting the Thanksgiving table.

holiday tablescape ideas

Traditional colors, shapes and accents associated with the Thanksgiving and Christmas tablescape have lead the way for years as the hallmark of holiday distinction.

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Martha Stewart. Who else?

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Traditional is timeless, but the updated classic beauty of new traditional style proves there’s a new and stylish sheriff in town.

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The mixing of styles, patterns and presentation invites rave reviews. Begin a new tradition by one or two updated classics to your holiday tabletop and home decor accessories.

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It is guaranteed to keep guests guessing and the holiday tabletop decor festive and fresh.  Holiday time “presents” the perfect reason to update tabletop and home decor accessories.

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What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the term casually elegant?  Beautifully understated?  Comfortable?  Cozy?  Warm?  Inviting? Simple sophistication?

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Stunning does not have to be expensive or labor intensive. Simple is the whole point behind the concept of simple sophistication.  The above examples demonstrate how free, inexpensive and clever ideas produce elegant results.  Craft paper makes a super easy table cover. Use a Sharpie to write heartfelt messages or quotes on the craft paper to be read by your guests.  I love the free place card template from Martha Stewart.  Martha is such a giver!  Now you know I couldn’t do an idea post without mentioning the Dollar Tree.  The free wheat bushel and ornate frame printable from The Graphics Fairy will make a wonderful header for a printable Thanksgiving menu.   Type it up,  place it in a Dollar Tree decorative frame,  and place it on the table or sideboard as an informative accent.

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Happy decorating!

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There’s No Place Like Home For Holidays Dinner: Holiday Checklist

Time to mull over the There’s No Place Like Home for Holidays dinner holiday checklist.  Festive gets a lot of mileage at our house, and why not? It’s a wonderful time of year that should be embraced for what it is- a time to celebrate with family and friends that are like family.  Decorative tablescaping and delicious times are upon us, and some of us need a holiday helping hand.  From the kitchen to the turkey to the table to the tinsel to the tree, things are beginning to get busy.  The more holiday helper help and hints I can offer, the merrier and less holiday rushed things will be.  It’s never too early to begin the holiday checklist plan and prep.  Here’s holiday hoping the There’s No Place Like Home For Holidays dinner holiday checklist comes in holiday handy.

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2 weeks to go:

Plan menu and guest list.

Find out from guest who would like to help what dish they would like to bring.

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Take inventory of pantry stock and recipe ingredients.

Make out grocery list.

1 week to go:

Plan tablescape theme.  Traditional? New Traditional? Vintage?

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Take inventory of place settings making sure to have enough on hand. Placemats?  China?  Crystal?  Flatware?  Linens?

Time to go to the grocery store for the turkey and non-perishable food items. When deciding on how big of a turkey to purchase, allow 1 to 2 pounds of meat per person.

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Make sure roasting pan is large enough to fit turkey.  Consider using a meat thermometer to help take the guesswork out of when the bird is done. Now is the time to purchase these items.

Let the dessert planning begin!  How about adding a new or vintage cake or pie plate to this year’s holiday finery?

Take a beverage inventory.  Stock the bar.  How about a new beverage dispenser or vintage pitcher for an impressive look with a nod to convenience?  Stylish convenience works!

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5 days to go:

Prep dishes, flatware and stemware.

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Take a chair inventory.  Uncle Joe and Aunt Betty don’t want to sit in the kid’s beanbag chair.

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Fill salt and pepper shakers, sugar bowl and sweetener dish.

3 days to go:

Turkey Time!  Remove turkey from freezer and place in refrigerator to begin the thawing process.

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Company is coming!  Clean house accordingly. Helpful hint: Decorative baskets and storage cubes come in mighty handy as a stylish storage solution.  All eyes on the decorative basket= a clutter distraction.

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2 days to go:

Take inventory of holiday hospitality guest room essentials.  Clean and stock guest bedrooms and bathrooms with fresh linens and paper goods.

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You know that lightly damp dishtowel left over from last night’s KP duty? On your way to the laundry room with it, hit the holiday table and chairs dusting high notes.  Two tasks taken care of with one swipe.

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Set out candles, arrange centerpiece, set table with linens, placemats, chargers and place cards.

1 day to go:

Make cornbread for dressing.

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Chop vegetables and store in Ziplock bags in refrigerator.

Let the dessert baking begin!  Cakes really do taste better the next day after baking.  All the flavors and spices do their thing and the result is next day taste fabulous.

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Fill soap dispensers and paper towel holders in kitchen.

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Set out dinnerware, glasses, serving pieces, dishes, bowls and platters. Turn over or cover with dishtowels until next day.

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The Big Event!

Preheat oven.

Take turkey out of refrigerator, season to taste, and place in roaster. Approximate roasting time for a thoroughly defrosted 12-14 lb. unstuffed turkey is  3-3 ½ hours roasted at  325°F until done.

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About a half hour before the turkey’s finished, take it out of the oven. Insert a meat thermometer into the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast. You are looking for a temperature of 165 degrees F.  If you don’t have a thermometer simply pierce the turkey with a fork.  The juices should run clear. Allow the turkey to set 20 to 30 minutes before carving to allow juices to saturate the meat evenly.

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Chill beverages.

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Prepare other side dishes, salads and desserts while turkey is roasting.

Prep coffee maker for after dinner coffee.

Above all, remember to enjoy the beauty, food, fellowship and fruits of your holiday labor of love!

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Planning For The Holidays

Now that the calendar has turned to November I am no longer under obligation to avoid the elephant in the room.  I’ve contained my excitement long enough.  By all accounts we are in the presence of the Holidays, and I’m ready to get the planning, decorating, baking, cooking and tablescaping underway!   I don’t know about you, but I would have no problem settling in, getting cozy and planning for the holidays in this gorgeous space.

Laurel Nestvia

Holiday oversaturation is something I guess we all come in contact with in one way or another.  I came to better understand the commercial aspect of holiday shopping when the subject of holiday open house planning and prep rolled around. A beautifully crafted holiday celebration complete with decoration and culinary delights does not just happen overnight. Planning and budgeting for holiday gatherings and celebrations begins weeks in advance. When the first leaf hits the ground so do my feet.  I’m running full speed ahead straight towards fall, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.  It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

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I find what works best for me is to evaluate what decorative and tabletop items will transition beautifully from holiday to holiday.  Take color palette choices for example.  A red vase filled with black roses used at Halloween can reinvent itself as an appropriate accent in complementing holiday color on both the Thanksgiving and Christmas tablescape. Another wonderful option is to go with gold and silver accessories for the all important touch of elegance. I refer to the metals as the holiday neutrals.  Orange goes a long way as a color consideration for fall, Halloween and Thanksgiving decorating, but have you noticed the different shades of orange being used in all forms of Christmas decorating?  Verdant, eggplant, mocha and curry are also finding a place on the holiday color wheel.

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The Kerr jars I used on my fall tablescape will soon be filled with homemade pear preserves and a dual decorative purpose for Thanksgiving.  These chalkboard style fall food gift labels designed by Lia Griffith and hosted by worldlabel.com are designed for your own text.  I’m giving the pear preserves in decorated jars as “I’m thankful for you” gifts, and the  labels will serve as the place cards for our Thanksgiving tablescape.  Click on the image below to download the PDF.

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Over the next few weeks I hope you will join me for the Places In The Home For The Holidays series.

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I will be featuring  new and classic posts full of  home decor accessory resources, ideas, tips, talking all things turkey, recipes and helpful holiday suggestions for feathering and decorating your home for the holidays nest.

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