Last year, we found ourselves scrambling to make Thanksgiving plans amidst a global pandemic. Unable to gather with local family and unable to travel to out of state family, we decided to host our very own Thanksgiving celebration at home for the four of us.
While I am a decent cook, I’m not a chef. I’m far from it. No one at my house is going to go hungry, but I’m not used to cooking large holiday feasts.
Dinner turned out well, and it tasted great, but there are still a few things I would like to share to make your life easier.
1. Plan ahead!
Do as much as you can ahead of time. Plan your meal in advance. Make your shopping list early and buy the ingredients a week in advance- that way, you have plenty of time to make changes or pick up additional ingredients. If there are any dishes you can make a day early, do it. Save yourself some time and last minute planning.
2. Not everything has to be made from scratch.
Not everything tastes good premade but you can get away with using some canned or premade goods. Why not save yourself some time by using frozen yeast rolls or canned yams? If it works for you, and your family is happy, why does it matter?
3. Make sure you have extra cookware on hand
Most of us don’t typically use three or four pots at once to cook dinner, so a lot of us don’t have that many pots. Try to calculate when you will be cooking what so you can ensure you have enough pots before you get started. This way, you can borrow or purchase extras in advance.
4. Research unfamiliarrecipes
Never cooked a turkey before? No problem! Just research the recipe that meets your needs! We are a busy family with small, picky children who won’t eat just anything. I searched for a few weeks before I found a turkey recipe I thought everyone in our family would enjoy!
5. And lastly, don’t stress over the small details
Your kids and your family aren’t going to remember whether everything is perfect- they are going to remember how much they enjoyed family dinners with their loved ones. Don’t stress on the small details- remember to relax and have a good time with your family.
Christmas will be here before you know it. Typically, we’d be planning our get togethers and deciding who to invite and what to prepare. Of course, this year, Covid has changed EVERYTHING. No dinners, no gathering and NO typical celebrations. Enter Zoom and intimate family gatherings within your bubble.
BUT. Just because your family gatherings have been drastically reduced and nothing is as it usually is, it doesn’t mean things have to be boring. In fact, they can still be amazing.
So, how do you set the perfect Christmas table?
1. Start with a beautifulcenterpiece
Our centerpiece is simple but pretty. We have a rustic wood box that I made awhile back. The box is filled with vases of greenery, candles, pine cones and Christmas ornaments. There’s just something about the reflection of candle light on the glass vases and ornaments that makes the room seem so cozy.
2. Use some festive linens
These holly placemats are pretty, yet simple. Plain placemats would work well, too. The plaid cloth napkins you see are actually tea towels, but no one will ever know that if you don’t tell them.
3. White dishes for the win!
I love Christmas China but separate sets of dishes for each holiday take up an amazing amount of space. I prefer to use my everyday white dishes and spruce them up with some chargers in Christmas colors.
4. Add an unexpected detail
These sweet little wreaths were found in the Target Dollar Spot last year. Aren’t they cute? I love how detailed they are.
Even though your gatherings this year are far from what you usually plan, they can still be beautiful.
I can’t believe November is already upon us. I am furiously working to finish some house projects so we can concentrate on the holiday season- our fireplace project is coming right along, and our back porch project is coming together as well.
I have begun to plan for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and I’ll soon be sharing some free printables you can use to plan your holiday seasons.
In the meantime, I’d love to share some Pinspiration concerning my absolute favorite Thanksgiving table scapes.
1. Pottery Barn simple pumpkins, birch candles and greenery
This Pottery Barn photo is meant to feature the table runner, but there are so many things in it I love. The simple dishes paired with the gold flatware, the unique place setting markers, and the candles paired with the greenery and white pumpkins looks nice without looking overdone. So many good things happening here.
2. Farmhouse Mallory, simple place setting with typography
This beautiful place setting inspires me so much. I love the linens, the greenery, and the textured placemats with the woven chargers. Everything goes together and plays off of one another so well. And you know I’m a sucker for word art, typography, and quotes, so those little “thankful die cuts” are my fave. That’d be a neat gift for your guests to take home as well.
We can’t leave out the littlest turkey eaters- if your family is like mine and there are many tiny turkey consumers in your midst, you can create a super cute, super functional table just for them. Here, the placemats do double duty- they protect the table and add a little cuteness, but they also give those tiny tots something to do while they wait for dinner to finish. Just provide the crayons and let them work away at their next masterpiece. They can even take the pumpkin home as a favor.
What if you didn’t want to use pumpkins for Thanksgiving decor, and you chose to use oranges or apples? I think this table scape from Williams Sonoma has a great balance of greenery, color, and neutral tones and textures. Simple, yet elegant.
Have you ever made lists for Christmas? Making lists is something most of us already do without even really thinking about it. But did you know you can create a binder to help you organize and simplify your Christmas season?
I keep a binder with a December calendar, shopping lists, recipes, grocery lists, address lists, and holiday to-do lists. I also include any pictures or magazine features I want to utilize. I use tab dividers to keep the binder organized and easier to use.
I used this cute, green polka dot binder to store my Christmas printables and goodies.
I decided I’d share my handy printables with you all today. Below you will find recipe cards, holiday planning checklists, contact lists, and more. All are available to you for free, but you may not use them for commercial use.