Autumn / Fall / For the Holidays

Thanksgiving Dinner Party Essentials

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Thanksgiving is without doubt my favorite holiday — beautiful tables, great food, and none of the stress associated with the winter holidays. This is the perfect time to reconnect with loved ones whether they be family or friends. So first things first, if you haven't yet made your travel arrangements, the time is NOW! ..

Thanksgiving Dinner Party Essentials

Thanksgiving Dinner Party Table Decor

Last year we hosted Thanksgiving in San Diego – here is a peek at our tables! In complete disclosure – since we live in San Diego, beautiful weather made it possible for us to host Thanksgiving outdoors.  Simple solar powered patio lights and lots of candles provided enough light even after sunset.  As you can see, we tried to mix elegant with fanciful touches.

ThanksgivingTable Setting
ThanksgivingTable Setting
Thanksgiving Floral Centerpieces
Floral Centerpieces
Thanksgiving Wild Turkey Place Cards
Thanksgiving Wild Turkey Place Cards

Truthfully, we had a tough time choosing which Thanksgiving design aesthetic to go with since like most of you both sides of our family have their own unique visual tradition.  We wanted a look that would unite both sides yet mimic neither.  Matt's family has traditionally been involved in the wine and liquor business hence I choose the wine bottle candelabras to add drama and height to the table.  I played with different color candles but ultimately settled on ivory – sometimes, simpler really is better. The mini Wild Turkey place cards were designed mostly to engage our large crowd of twenty-somethings and to serve as ice breakers for a group of cousins who don't see  one another often enough. I picked up the mini – bottles at BevMo.  I could not find them anywhere online so ended up driving from store to store throughout the county to gather enough.

The centerpieces I fell in love with instantly when I saw them the week before at our local farmer's market. Thank goodness I ordered them because my original idea of making my own on Thanksgiving morning would have added way too much to an already full day.  As it was I needed to cook 3 turkeys and all the fixings fresh that morning.  At the last minute I ordered a few  water pitchers to add color to the table and to resolve the constantly re-filling water glass issue. I ordered them from Plow & Hearth but just checked and although they still have Harvest Blessing Hand-Painted ceramic dishes, the pitchers are no longer available. I also added a few small gourds and pumpkins to the table that I picked up at the grocery store.

Not surprisingly, I did not have enough fine china to set all three tables so I decided to rent the extras.  My fine china pattern is Lenox Autumn which looked beautiful on the table and I supplemented with extra fine china solid ivory dishes. At each place setting I either used my Lenox salad plate or dinner plate so that every place had a touch of color.  In the end, I went with champagne colored satin napkins, sterling silver flatware and sterling silver napkin rings (that was my big splurge) and choose not to use my Waterford Lismore Crystal Stemware in favor of cleaner-lined Riedel glasses.

As we said before, there are so many great looks – mix and match to create your own unique Thanksgiving style!

Thanksgiving Dinner Party Invitations

It has taken me a bit to get used to but my husband's family always sends Thanksgiving invitations.  Although this tradition may seem a bit formal, it is actually quite lovely.  Each year the invitation itself sets the tone for that year's Thanksgiving festivities.  Moreover, the actual receipt of the invitation ignites conversations and anticipation about seeing aunts, uncles, and cousins galore.  We even look forward to guessing what valuables the new batch of toddlers will inevitably break.


Flowers & Table Centerpieces 

It doesn't take much time on to figure out we love fresh flowers. The deep, warm hues of autumn make for some fabulous flower arrangements. Here are a few of our favorites!

Place Cards & Holders

Mini Wheat Sheaf-Natural Thanksgiving Place Cards

Mini Wheat Sheaf-Natural Thanksgiving Place Cards (These fabulous Mini Wheat Sheaf-Natural Thanksgiving Place Cards are back in 
MoonflowerNatureArt‘s Etsy shop in time for Thanksgiving!)

Thanksgiving Dinner Place Cards

More Thanksgiving Place Cards 

Thanksgiving Place Card Holders

Another option is to DIY and print your own Thanksgiving place cards. It really is quite easy to make professional looking cards, just make sure you use good quality card stock paper.

Printable Thanksgiving Place Cards

Printable Thanksgiving Place Cards

We made these Wild Turkey Thanksgiving place cards last Thanksgiving.  They were a real hit with all the 20-something cousins! Warning >> It took a bit of planning to track down enough mini bottles of Wild Turkey.

DIY Thanksgiving Place Cards

DIY Wild Turkey Thanksgiving Place Cards >> Name ties made with Post-It Removable Tape and a single red self-adhesive rhinestone to give it a finished look.

Thanksgiving Menus

Holiday menu cards are not only an elegant addition to your table, they will help your guests pace themselves and will help your guests with dietary restrictions and “picky eater syndrome” plan their meal options (yes, we made that term up – but you all know friends and family who all into that category.)  Minted offers some beautiful menus or design your own.

Serving Dishes & Utensils

Pick and choose from a variety of woodland animals in the quintessential holiday dinnerware. We love using this pattern both at Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners.

Dinning Essentials

With everyone feasting on so many delicious dishes there will surely be way more dirty dishes than any of you would like to wash. Try going with some festive disposable plates and napkins, especially for your appetizer and dessert courses.

Thanksgiving Party Supplies Crated

Happy Thanksgiving Party Supplies >> ShopCrated

Paper Plates for Thanksgiving Entertaining
Paper Plates for Thanksgiving Entertaining


We are loving these fun, festive Thanksgiving beverage napkins >> perfect for cocktail hour and desserts.

Festive Thanksgiving Cocktail Beverage Napkins
Festive Thanksgiving Cocktail Beverage Napkins

Recently, we have been using tea towels as napkins at our dinner parties. We generally lay them over the top of our dining room chairs but have also placed them underneath our plates and let them hang off the dining room table.  What we like best is we can re-use them every Thanksgiving.

Or, if are up for the dishwashing challenge and yes, we pretty much always use china when entertaining, consider using one of these lovely Thanksgiving or fall themed dinnerware sets. And of course don't forget your fall themed cloth napkins and napkin rings!

Lenox Autumn

Lenox Autumn

Thanksgiving Turkey Dinnerware SetFall Leaves DinnerwareGolden Foliage Dinnerware Set


Add chic modern vintage charm to your Thanksgiving celebration this year with bunting banners, centerpieces, table signs and more designed by Minted's community of independent artists and customized by you.  This design will also work for most autumn parties.

Thanksgiving Dinner Party Recipes 

Every family has its own Thanksgiving Day traditions. Some prefer a casual atmosphere, others have a more formal supper, and many add their own ethnic flavors to the traditional American fare.

The Menu Turkey Stuffing (our family has an ongoing debate as to whether you should cook it inside or separate from the bird) — there are many, many different recipes from which to choose Turkey Gravy Sweet Potato Casserole Mash Potatoes Vegetable (the traditional green bean casserole is now often replaced with a healthier mix of grilled vegetables including asparagus, brussel sprouts, beets, green beans, and whatever else is fresh and available — lots of color is key) Cranberry Sauce and any family favorites (ie you might want to throw in Yorkshire pudding or something distinctly British, just to personalize the dinner) ..

Desserts Apple, Pumpkin, and Pecan Pies | Drinks

Thanksgiving Dinner Party Games

Nowadays there's nothing that shouts USA tradition louder than football! Bring family and friends together with some light hearted competition indoors with football video games or outdoors with a short football scrimmage.

 Or, bring the fun directly to the dinner table with some get-to-know each other better games or thanksgiving bingo. For the thanksgiving printable games try purchasing a bundle of various different games then break your guests up into teams and compete to see which team can complete all the games first!

Thanksgiving Photo Booth Props

Printable Thanksgiving Photo Props

More Thanksgiving Essentials!

Party Hearty!

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