I’m super excited to host Thanksgiving at our house this year. We alternate holiday locations every year and we’re typically on the road for turkey day. But due to a variety of reasons our family is coming to Dallas to celebrate. We love Thanksgiving because it’s just a bit more low key than Christmas. Shorter lead-up, less expectations and maybe even more about friends and family.
I love cooking and entertaining, but I get that not everyone else does, and holidays can get out of control in a blink of an eye. There’s nothing worse than a holiday martyr, so if you don’t like hosting, don’t do it. And if you don’t like cooking, don’t! Relax, love on your family, watch football – Thanksgiving really is about stepping back and recognizing whatever it is that you value and are thankful for. Easier said than done, I know.
But for those of you who are hosting – either by choice or assignment – you’re probably thinking about a Thanksgiving centerpiece. I’m hoping I can at least take the stress out of that to-do list. Here are two options that anyone can pull off.
Bring the Outside, In.
The best thing about this Thanksgiving centerpiece is that it’s easy. The next best thing is that it’s completely buildable. It’s really a foundation from which you can customize based on your style. I wanted to feature one thing that was so simple and good to go in just minutes. If you’re focused on cooking and just want something simple but special, I think this is perfect.
You could easily add flowers if you wanted more color or texture – just tuck a few in with the branches. Whole pomegranates would add great color, as would cumquat branches. You could also weave in sparkly garland in any color or metallic. Make it work for you!
Start by staggering the magnolia branches on top of each other, almost like you’re making a garland. It works best if you start them all facing one direction and then flip sides in the middle, making sure to fill in any blank spots. I didn’t actually tie them together, but if you wanted something more stable just use wire or string to connect the branches at a key intersection points.
Next, I layered in a bit of eucalyptus for some texture, and added few pinecones and pecans from my front yard to help break up the green. Add in a few candles and you have a great basic fall tablescape. I liked the gold spiked candleholders with the orange pillar candles to add some height, but thicker candles in a lantern would look nice or even glass votives would work if you wanted to keep everything level.
It really is that easy. I found these branches at Central Market, but I also could have just clipped a few from the tree in my backyard! I bought way more than I needed – I think I only used four for the whole table. I added the eucalyptus because I had it for another arrangement, but you could use anything from your yard, really.
I’m using my new Le Panier plates from Juliska this year and the woven chargers are cheapies from Ikea. I added the pumpkins to add some texture to the place setting and if you wanted to use place cards, the stems would be easy to tie on a flat card using a white or orange ribbon.
If you’re going for a fancier Thanksgiving centerpiece, it’s hard to go wrong with all white. It’s simple and sophisticated and typically pretty easy to pull off. If you are set on flowers but not quite sure what do, monochromatic arrangements are a safe bet.
For this table, I mixed pumpkins with flower arrangements. I borrowed the pumpkins from my front porch, and the little pumpkins from around the house. I used my go-to hydrangea and rose combination for the flowers, but I always like to add a bit of texture so I added some greenery and splurged on the white orchids.
I had every intention of going all white, but it just felt too much like a wedding. To work for Thanksgiving, I really think you need too add some texture to the table. I had some of those flat pinecones from another project so I added those to both arrangements. And, I used regular pinecones and some faux white antlers (50% of at Michaels in white, gold and silver!) as rustic elements to help make it feel more connected to fall and Thanksgiving.
I had lots of leftover stuff so I tucked a magnolia leave, a sprig of eucalyptus, whatever the purple stuff is called and a little wheat – a nod to Greg’s KC heritage! – in between the white linen napkin and silver napkin ring.
If I have time, I might try one more tablescape that’s more colorful- I think color and casual might be my go to for the real deal this year. Oh, and the kids table.
Up next….my favor part Thanksgiving Menu options. I’ll share a few options that could work for any family.