Shopping, cooking, cleaning, decorating… most holidays are so frustratingly difficult to organize, you need to take a week off after the holiday just to get back on your feet after all that stress. But Thanksgiving is an exception – a true family holiday, a day to relax and unwind and spend quality time with the loved ones. If Thanksgiving takes a hard toll on your budget and your schedule, it’s time to take a step back and analyze what you need and what you want for this celebration.
First of all, you don’t need to get excessively creative. Doing too much and going too far can take away the simple charm of this period. It’s all about the wonderful colors of the fall, and the simple shapes of nature.
Before spending big on decorations, consider the things that you already have, and which can be recycled for Thanksgiving. Many Halloween decorations can still be used – in particular pumpkins that were not carved, or small or irregular pumpkins that were unsuitable for carving. After Halloween, a lot of people will give these away, and many stores will have discounts, so it’s a great time to check around and see what’s available.
You can also re-use some Christmas items, if you want to. Everything that’s orange or green goes – just mix them among other decorations, and nobody will figure out they weren’t meant for Thanksgiving.
Autumn holidays are all about the riches of nature, so simple bowls of fruit make great replacements for a complicated and expensive centerpiece. If you want more details for your improvised centerpiece, use leaves, branches, and pine cones, for the extra added effect.
Soft light is another characteristic of fall. Candles are always best, but don’t stress out if you don’t have any, or if you can’t find away to decorate safely using candles. Regular lamps with shades in orange and other earth tones will do just fine, after all, people will want to see what they’re eating, and not just enjoy a cozy atmosphere.
If you have a fireplace, now it’s the best time to start a nice fire and enjoy the effect. Of course, this just adds to the workload, especially if it’s the first time this year when you use the fireplace, and it needs to be cleaned and prepared. On the other hand, winter is just around the corner, so you have to do this sooner rather than later anyway.
Because Thanksgiving decoration is simple and straightforward, it’s a great time to get kids involved in the projects. From gathering leaves to creating wreaths, they’ll find something to do, and it really doesn’t matter if things aren’t exactly perfect, as long as the entire family is having fun while things get done.
Most often, a simple table setting is better than an overcrowded one. The emphasis should be on good food, and etiquette can wait for a different time. If you can find the time, napkin rings and place cards are quite easy to make, using things you already have in your home, but if it’s too much, nobody will miss them. You don’t have to prove you’re the perfect housekeeper – the turkey itself will bear witness to that.