I am getting SO excited to host Thanksgiving this week! Thanksgiving and Christmas are my two favorite holidays of the whole year. Thanksgiving might actually be my very favorite because I love all the food, getting together with family, and no pressure to buy/exchange gifts. It's like, the best.
My husband and I have had the tradition of hosting Thanksgiving since we moved to California together more than ten years ago. Back then, we were flat broke and couldn't afford to fly back home for the holidays. That first Thanksgiving with just the two of us was a little sad. I insisted on making all the traditional food and we invited a handful of friends that we knew-- Friendsgiving, if you will, but before that was a thing. Only one of our friends ended up coming, late!
Over the years living in LA, our Thanksgivings grew. I always made all the traditional foods, we had friends over and sometimes our families would fly out to see us too. One year, we probably had 20 people over. Of course, the disposal in our 1960s apartment broke. My mother-in-law had us doing dishes in the bathtub! Haha... so many treasured memories.
Nowadays, we like to go ALL OUT. I love a good tablescape and lucky for me, my little sister is basically a pro at it! But seriously, her job in our family since she was very little was to set the table for Thanksgiving. These pics are from our tablescape last year that she helped me put together with what I had on hand! She's clearly upped her game since childhood ;)
I'm a firm believer that a little bit of thought into setting your Thanksgiving table can really improve the experience of your meal. So, here are a few tips for an effortless Thanksgiving tablescape this week!
1. Create a center focal point. It doesn't have to be a traditional centerpiece. In this tablescape, we repurposed the white pumpkins from October, added the gourds, and then just bought bunches of greens from the grocery store. Notice how everything is low on the table so everyone can see each other. Pro Tip: the greens, sometimes called "filler" are much cheaper than a bunch of flowers and can be used in so many ways! Eucalyptus, especially, smells amazing.
2. Layers make it more interesting. Again, rather than just plopping down a pre-made centerpiece and some silverware, you might want to layer your table up a bit. Last year, we decided not to use a tablecloth and instead used this runner + the foliage. Pro Tip: We added geometric candle holders for visual interest and the napkins placed on top of the plates for added texture.
3. Do buffet style. After you create your center focal point, you wouldn't want to add a bunch of extra things on. And, you probably won't have room! Everyone can get their plate, load it up in the kitchen, and then sit down together to a beautiful and clutter-free table.
4. Do assigned seating. Some people may feel this is too formal, but believe me, your guests will appreciate it. Guests don't want to worry about taking the spot of another person! Making simple place cards with each name will have your guests all seated and ready to eat in no time flat.