Decorating Ideas for Thanksgiving

thanksgiving-westmont-ilThanksgiving will be here in just two weeks.  I am not hosting Thanksgiving, so right now I am not freaked out about preparing for it.  What does freak me out is that the Christmas season “officially” begins the day after Thanksgiving (or in mid-September if you are a retailer) and despite retailers attempts, I have not even thought about shopping, decorating or baking yet (I have even been in the Container Store twice without so much as looking at the wrapping paper).

But…before we get ahead of ourselves I wanted to focus a bit on Thanksgiving.  I like the holiday because

  • there are no gifts involved,
  • everyone in the US celebrates it so you don’t have to worry about whether you should wish someone a happy Thanksgiving, and
  • it’s about food and family and giving thanks for what we have.

Where’s the stuffing?

Thanksgiving is a day where there are no rules, diets are set aside and we are allowed to just enjoy a bit of overindulgence.  I tend to be a traditionalist when it comes to Thanksgiving food and there are certain things I must have (even though I rarely host, I do make a “Thanksgiving” meal at some point over the long weekend)…mashed potatoes with gravy and green bean casserole top the list for me.  Oh, and stuffing.  It’s not Thanksgiving without stuffing.

As much as I love decorating my house for Christmas (my tree goes up right after Thanksgiving and comes down Jan 1), I have never been one for decorating for Thanksgiving…I guess if you aren’t hosting it seems like a lot of effort for nothing.  But if you are hosting,  decorating is all about the table.  And I found some beautiful ideas on Pinterest (almost makes me wish I was hosting).

Do you all like Pinterest?  I LOVE Pinterest.  I got hooked when I bought my new house and began working on buying some new furniture for it.  Pinterest was a great way to collect ideas in folders, and to share those ideas with my friend Linda, who was working with me on the decorating.  It is also a great place to collect recipes…I used to find recipes and print each one out…now I can stick them in a folder on Pinterest…much much better.  I love wasting large amounts of time finding inspiration on Pinterest, and I have found some beautiful holiday decorating ideas.  I tend to be only marginally creative…so my focus was on finding ideas that seemed relatively simple for those of us who are creatively challenged, or who just don’t have a lot of Martha Stewart time on our hands.

pumpkins and candles centerpiece 3The first one looks really easy….I think the hardest part might be finding a board or tray to assemble this on.  The creator said she used a “baguette board”…like I would have one of those…but I suppose this combination of candles and mini-pumpkins could be used in any kind of arrangement.  Anyway, it seems simple and yet pretty.


pumpkins and candle centerpiece 2

Continuing with the “pumpkin as centerpiece” theme, this too looks pretty simple.  White pumpkins seem to be the decorating rage this year.  They aren’t painted, they are actually naturally white.  I haven’t actually seen any for sale, but I haven’t looked…I am sure they are out there.  Wrap a bit of bittersweet amongst the pumpkins and viola, instant table decoration!


I am a sucker for all things glitzy when it comes to the holidays, so this next one spoke to me.  Of course, this one will require some basic crafting skills…namely an ability to use a can of spray paint (start and stop the spraying off the object you are painting for best results…I learn that on a DIY show).  Pumpkins, some pinecones and some glass votives and you have an eye-catching centerpiece (I am ignoring that cut piece of log the middle pumpkin is resting on…seriously, where am I going to find that?).


Here are a few more ideas, using simple things from the supermarket and some candles (yes, the raffia might require a trip to the craft store).  Cinnamon sticks wrapped around a candle…easy peasy.


And this one takes even less effort…do they still sell popcorn in a bag?  The blog poster says she bought popcorn at Walmart and the glass candle jars at the Dollar Store…I’m sure HomeGoods and The Christmas Tree Shop would also be good bets (for the jars, not the popcorn).


So, are you feeling inspired?  I know I am…I might decorate my table even though I’m not hosting Thanksgiving!  If you like these ideas, why don’t you check out my Pinterest page and follow me?  I have an entire folder of “Thanksgiving Decorating” ideas that I have already collected for you.  You’re welcome.

I am going to wrap up this post with a few bits of decorating inspiration that remind us what Thanksgiving is really all about…giving thanks.  I’m not sure I could pull off the fancy handwriting, I might have to type mine in some flowery font.  But I like the simplicity and gentle reminder.


And this one would be fun to do with children (I told you those white pumpkins are everywhere!).


Happy decorating!

About Lisa Van Dore

I have lived in Sherborn, Dover and most recently North Walpole, for a total of 15 years (and counting). Having recently been through the process of selling a home and buying (and renovating) a new one, I understand the conflicting emotions of excitement and anxiety inherent in the process, whether you are a seller or buyer, whether this is your first home purchase or your tenth. I have a BA from the University of Michigan and an MBA from Indiana University. My early career found me working as a CPA, and later as the controller of Crate & Barrel. More recently I spent seven years running my own personal training business. I understand the hard work and dedication necessary to build a business and a reputation...most of my personal training clients came to me by referral and my first client was still with me when I decided to leave personal training. This speaks to the level of effort I put forth for my clients, week after week. On a more personal note, I raced triathlon for seven years and more recently completed my first half marathon. In my free time I enjoy cooking, reading, Maine, hiking and, in the fall, following college teams are the University of Michigan (Go Blue!) and Texas Christian University (Go Frogs!).
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