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  • Writer's pictureJena - The Grocery Gal

Turkey Time: Dressing your home and table for Thanksgiving.

I don’t know about you, but as I get older Thanksgiving is quickly becoming one of my favorite holidays. I love the chance to spend some uninterrupted time with those I love most. I enjoy not having to deal with the ruckus of stopping in the middle of the event for gifts like Christmas or egg hunting for Easter. I just enjoy the good quality time around the dinner table, eating my Oma’s Thanksgiving meal and then catching a little football on tv or playing a game of Phase 10. I know this year, many of our holidays have looked different than years past. I think that this will give us some more things to add to our “what we are thankful for” lists. I know that I personally have seen numerous posts from friends who are military families or supplanted from their home states for job opportunities that have been pointing out that this year many of us might experience what our military families go through every year. Reading those posts really hit me hard, I see my family every day at work and most weekends are spent visiting my grandparents. Like many people Covid stay at home procedures were and are hard for so many of us. I know that I always thought I was so lucky to have such a close family but Covid has made me all the more aware of just how precious that time is and makes me appreciate my family even more. It got me thinking about the holidays and what ways we can still make our Thanksgiving feel festive even if we aren’t spending it with all of our loved ones and how we will bring our yearly traditions together this year on a smaller scale.

One way that I like to make every holiday special is with table decorations and place settings. If you are someone who usually goes to another family member’s home for Thanksgiving you may not have festive Thanksgiving tableware at the ready. I have found some very inexpensive table dressings online at Amazon, Hobby Lobby, Target, Michael’s and even some local stores like The Enchanted Door in Altus, Oklahoma who started carrying the cutest line of disposable plates and napkins for

your holiday feasts (The Enchanted Door has a website as well as take call in orders and will ship too). Make sure to use what you have such as tablecloths, placemats, place settings and then add in some festive touches. This year I grabbed up a few things myself. I found sets of four autumn plate chargers, set of four cloth napkins and then I added the cutest turkey place card holders from Hobby Lobby for 50% off. The napkins can be used throughout the season, I love how versatile plaids are. I always find myself drawn towards a plaid because you usually can pull from a wide range of colors to match any existing decor. I paired all of these items with my day to day plates. My daily dishes are Southern Living Alexa Collection from Dillard’s. I have found that white plates give you the widest range of options and you can use them for virtually any kind of setting or holiday.

Dressing up your table is a great way to bring the holiday feeling home. Something else I like doing is to have a fun table setting for your kiddos as well. Every single holiday I always make a festive breakfast for Drew. Its become a tradition and its one that he looks forward to every year. This year I found some of the cutest place mats, plates and napkins for our Thanksgiving breakfast. All of the items seen here

are from Target. A lot of the times, I will make my own with craft paper, poster board or whatever I can get my hands on but I thought this year, I would take it easy on myself. Being a grocery store worker during the Thanksgiving holiday is chaos to say the least so I liked the option of store bought decorations this year. I always fold the paper napkins into a fancy shape too just for added fun. Drew‘s favorite is this pinwheel style. You can google tutorials on how to fold and there are lots of videos on YouTube as well. For the final touch add a box of crayons so your little can spend the morning coloring their place mat, turkey hat or their list of things they are thankful for. You could even tie a few crayons together with some matching string if you didn't want to give them an entire box. I think this exercise is so important. It can really give you insight as a parent into how your little one sees the world. I think that we all as parents have those moments where we wonder if our lessons are getting through to our children and I have always found that our kids will surprise us with just how thoughtful they can be. I love looking at our life through the eyes of my little guy. Its such a joy to hear his perspectives on things. Maybe your child will surprise you as well.

Now on to my porch decor flip from Halloween! I told you then that I use a lot of the same decor for both Halloween and Fall decor. The metallic Jack O’ Lanterns can be flipped around to a plain pumpkin side. These were a find at HomeGoods last year. I also flip the galvanized Jack O’ Lantern from (TJMAxx several years ago) at the end of my pumpkin stack to show the plain side. I use bushel baskets to place my mum pots in for a fall feel. You can pick up these baskets at most craft stores. I also order them in at the grocery store from time to time out of our supplies section. Next I layer a fall football doormat over my year round mat that was a must have for Drew last year (Hobby Lobby, they have the same mat this year) Switching out my wreath for a cotton wreath and my skeleton for a sweet scarecrow (JoAnn’s). This completes my porch switch for the fall holiday, its quick and easy. I think it takes me all of 20 minutes to replace items and call it a day. I plan on fancying up my little scarecrow this weekend, make sure to watch on my Instagram page for his glow-up! Check out the slider below to see my easy porch transformation.

Like I've mentioned in previous posts, I tend to throw all of my holiday decorations in two main points in my home. First and foremost is my front porch, this is the spot where people enter your home giving them the perfect first impression. The next place I continuously decorate is my kitchen area. My main area in my home is open concept and the focal point is my kitchen. I feel like this high traffic area gives me more bang for my buck so to speak when decorating! One trick I use is to take different things from around my house and rearrange them to use for my holiday decor. This year, I took an arrangement in my office to use in my kitchen and gave it a fall touch with some floral picks I've had on hand for years. Adding fall colored floral picks and a pumpkin pick really change the look of greenery and it is an inexpensive way to decorate. I have used the same greenery arrangement in my Christmas decor as well just by changing the center picks. Its really neat how greenery can be used across seasons just by adding accent pieces. I completed the look with a wooden pumpkin from Kirkland's (past find) and a metal script piece. (Gather Script piece is a usual staple in Hobby Lobby decor, they have similar styles this year) As you may notice, I use things in my decor for many years. At the end of every season I pack them up in plastic storage tubs labeled by season. Using your seasonal decor for years makes decorating for the season very affordable. I started by adding a small piece every year until I had the effect that I wanted. I also encourage shopping seasonal sales after the holiday has passed. I used a fall garland to wrap around the base of my vent hood, a turkey on my cake stand and of course a couple of fall themed decorative hand towels for my dishwasher and stove to complete the look. Simple and makes a big statement. I always have themed paper napkins in my napkin holder during the season as well.

Now, for those of you that also have businesses... let's talk about an easy way to make your offices festive too! Most every year we have our windows painted to match the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. I paint ours myself but usually you can find an organization or group of people who paint windows for the holidays. This small change will gain you so much positive attention from your customers or passerbys. There are so many tutorials and ideas on the internet that anyone can paint a nice festive scene. making pumpkins are always my favorite because they are so simple! Take a weekend and involve your family or coworkers for a group project. I use acrylic paint from our local craft stores to make mine. At the end of the holiday clean up is simple. Just take a box blade or scraper blade and it will easily scrape away, a little Windex afterwords and your windows will look back to normal!

I would love to hear how you decorate for the fall and Thanksgiving holiday! Let me know what your plans are and how your spending Thanksgiving this year. I am always interested to hear everyone's traditions. If you are having Thanksgiving with just your immediate family, let me know how you're bringing your traditions into the day on a smaller scale. Are you learning how to make your favorite dishes via Facetime or text instructions from your favorite cook or are you making something completely different this year?

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