Thanksgiving decorations give us a heartwarming reminder to be thankful for what we have.
We are thankful for the important people in our lives, the ability to put food on the table, our health, our home, our jobs, and the quality time we spend with our loved ones.
This special holiday gives us the opportunity to take a break from the daily chaos and sit down at the dinner table to share a meal together and reflect on all that we have been given while at the same time praying for those less fortunate.
Making a special occasion such as Thanksgiving memorable is especially on the mind of the host. There are many things to consider when hosting Thanksgiving. Not only do you want to serve delicious food, but the decor is important down to the last detail.
I will share some ideas on interior and exterior decor as well as how to set the perfect Thanksgiving table, along with several treasured recipes.
Interior Thanksgiving Decor
There is an abundance of wonderful Thanksgiving decorative items that you can adorn your home with. Here are some ideas sure to dazzle your home for the Thanksgiving holiday.
Autumn Wreath: You can display a lovely autumn wreath consisting of natural twigs, leaves, wheat, faux gourds, berries, and acorns over a mantel, console table, or hallway cabinet by placing it inside a wreath stand that features an acorn.
It makes a beautiful display because of the vivid autumn colors and welcomes the fall season indoors.
Ceramic Gourds: A great way to create a harvest tableau is with a set of glazed ceramic and metal embellished gourds. It is a lovely way to invite color into your home this holiday season.
Decorative Straw Turkeys: Decorative straw turkeys will beautifully complement your Thanksgiving decorations. The turkeys are made of natural materials, with each figure being handcrafted using dried grasses and wood chips, and then finished with a dramatic fantail of hollow straw. It’s sure to make a dramatic statement in your home.
Faux Plants: Display a set of lovely miniature topiaries that are artfully composed of faux Chinese lanterns, acorns, leaves, pumpkins, and other fall gatherings. It’s a fantastic way to invite autumn colors into your home.
These will add a touch of elegance to any sideboard, mantel, kitchen, console table, and other Thanksgiving decorations.
Harvest Pumpkin: A plump harvest pumpkin that is inscribed with the phrase, “We give thanks to God” is a nice way to offer praise and thanks for the season. Also, metal leaves adorn the naturalistic stem for a realistic look.
This hand painted resin pumpkin will serve as a decorative centerpiece of your Thanksgiving tradition for years to come and looks fabulous on a mantel, dining table, or on the kitchen counter.
Lighted Pumpkin: A lifelike oval pumpkin will greet the season as the interior flickering light is visible through the leafy cutouts. It is made of resin and uses a 5 watt flicker bulb. This will make a fabulous display for your Thanksgiving decorations.
Pilgrim Figurines: Add these lovely pilgrim figurines to your Thanksgiving decorations. The set consists of a pilgrim couple and is constructed of poly-resin that is hand-painted. The female measures 9 ½” H x 3”W x 2 ½”D and the male measures 9 ¼”H x 2 ¾”W x 2 ¾”D.
Thanksgiving Tree: This stylized tree has branches of hand-dyed harvest gold goose feathers and offers a fanciful display for miniature Thanksgiving ornaments that are crafted of hand-painted resin.
The ornaments consist of pilgrims, turkeys, and a sign that reads, “Harvest Blessings.”
Exterior Thanksgiving Decor
Since Thanksgiving is associated with fall colors, you can create a fabulous display for the exterior as a way to greet guests and spruce up your home exterior.
Create Your Own Autumn Display: You can create your own autumn display by incorporating three bales of hay, pumpkins, a barn wheel, and a scarecrow.
If you have a porch, you can arrange the display as follows:
- Place the bales of hay in a row.
- Lean the barn wheel against the bales of hay.
- Put several pumpkins on top of each bale of hay and scatter a few pumpkins on the ground around the bales of hay.
- Depending on your preference, position the scarecrow on the far left or right of the bales of hay.
It’s a fantastic way to add color to the exterior of your home.
Door Wreath: Bring the beauty of the season to your home by adorning your front door with a colorful autumn wreath.
Some of these richly textured autumn wreaths feature real grapevines, twigs, and pinecones combined with vibrant faux leaves.
You can choose from the following door wreaths that feature a spectacular array of autumn flowers that surround the following decorative items:
- A stuffed animal (turkey) wreath that features a phrase that reads, “Happy Thanksgiving”
Doormat: A decorative doormat is the perfect accent piece to enhance your entryway while creating an inviting autumn welcome for friends and family. Some doormats feature an assortment of autumn colors as well as a pumpkin motif.
You can even personalize your doormat with any title or family name.
Garden Flag/House Flag: A festive way to invite holiday fun with your Thanksgiving decorations is by displaying a garden or house flag. You can choose from a nice selection of flags in fall/autumn colors.
These flags are made from nylon or polyester and have a beautiful printed pattern design on one side that can be viewed from both sides. These brightly colored flags will brighten up your home and neighborhood.
You can find these flags in the following Thanksgiving styles:
- Autumn Bounty
- Autumn Delights
- Autumn Medley
- Be Thankful Turkey
- Cornucopia Give Thanks
- Gobble Gobble
- Happy Thanksgiving
- Thomas Kinkade
- Turkey Day
Mailbox Swag: What better way to greet guests and passersby than with a lovely mailbox swag that features faux gourds, bittersweet berries, miniature pumpkins and pears, silken veined leaves, real raffia and pine cones, and big, metallic gold-accented check bows. It can be secured to the mailbox with a self stick strap that trims to size.
Maple Leaf Tree: A maple leaf tree that has over 480 white lights shining through hundreds of luminous leaves makes for a brilliant display for your home exterior. The leaves are transparent plastic that allow the light to glow through while the trunk and branches are made from sturdy brown metal.
Setting the Perfect Thanksgiving Table
Generally, the table is the focal point of Thanksgiving decorations. This is where we give our thanks for all we have and share a meal with our loved ones. There are many little details to be considered when setting the table – from the tablecloth, table runner, candles, centerpiece, and positioning of the china, stemware, flatware, and napkins.
Other Thanksgiving tablecloths feature maize, wild turkey, wheelbarrow, harvest leaves, a harvest cornucopia, pumpkins, and a combination of pumpkins and leaves.
It makes a nice decorative touch for the Thanksgiving holiday.
Thanksgiving Tablecloth for the Kids Table: For the kids table, you can find a playful patterned tablecloth that depicts the first Thanksgiving with an adventurous turkey that illustrates the tale, from the landing at Plymouth Rock in 1620 to the settlers’ cultivating a bountiful harvest.
Thanksgiving Table Runner: You can also include a matching table runner over the tablecloth or place it over a bare table. It adds a lot of beauty to the table while serving to protect the table surface.
Napkins: Napkins that match the tablecloth are also available or you can simply choose your own pattern. Another option is to opt for a solid color, such as a rich autumn orange.
Napkin Rings: A nice way to dress up the napkins is by placing a decorative napkin ring around them.
You can choose from napkin rings that feature the phrase, “Give Thanks,” while others have the following motifs: leaves, pilgrims, pumpkins, and turkeys.
Place Card Holders: Place card holders add a nice personal touch to your Thanksgiving decorations and dinner table, and also give you the opportunity to plan where everyone will sit.
These are available in different styles, such as, turkeys and pumpkins.
You can find pumpkin place card holders that are made from glass and they come in four different fall colors, along with a gold circular holder for name place cards.
Placemats: You can opt to use placemats as part of your table’s Thanksgiving decorations. Placemats are available with designs that feature a colorful cornucopia, pumpkin appliques, or autumn leaves. It’s a beautiful way to incorporate more color to your dining table.
Plate Charger(s): Plate chargers are a fabulous way to dress up your dinnerware as well as enhance the beauty of the dining table. There are many to choose from, with most being made from plastic. You can find plate chargers in solid colors, such as, gold or silver and made of the following materials: glass, wood, plastic, pewter, and hand woven of rattan. Some come with scalloped edges and handles.
How to Properly Set the Dinner Table: Positioning the dinnerware, along with the flatware, stemware, and napkins is something that some of us are not familiar with or cannot remember how to do.
Here is a depiction of how to properly set the dinner table:
Turkey Salt and Pepper Shakers: You may also wish to include decorative salt and pepper shakers consisting of a turkey design. It is a fun way to include more Thanksgiving decorations to the table.
Centerpiece for the Table
Ceramic Turkey Centerpiece: A lovely centerpiece for the table is a ceramic turkey. It has a white crackle glaze that gives the turkey an antique look.
You can have these made from fresh flowers and you can opt to put two orange taper candles in the center of the flowers as a nice decorative touch.
It will add sweet fragrance to your table, which is refreshing and gives the feeling of dining outdoors.
Turkey Centerpiece Kit: With this kit, you can transform a pumpkin into a Thanksgiving turkey. The seven-piece kit includes die-cut metal tail feathers, head, and stand with feet.
Maize Taper Candles with Wheat Sheaf Candleholders: These beautiful candles have the capacity to burn up to 6 hours and release an aromatic roasting chestnut scent. They look lovely displayed on the dinner table and help complete the autumn look.
The colors and fine details give it a realistic appearance.
Miscellaneous Decorative Touches for the Dinner Table
Confetti: A fabulous way to include additional decorative touches to the dinner table is by sprinkling confetti consisting of orange, silver, fuscia, and gold autumn leaves around the table centerpiece and along the table runner.
Parchment Autumn Leaves: Another way to dress up the dinner table is by scattering parchment autumn leaves around the table. It adds color and beauty to the table.
Chair Decor: Chairs are often neglected during the holiday season. It’s as simple as adding a nice decorative bow in a rich fall autumn color, such as, orange. This enhances the overall look of the table and makes your guests feel special because of all the extra finishing touches.
Creative Ways to Seat Additional Guests and Children
Card Table: If you worry that your table cannot accommodate many guests, there are solutions to help with this. You can dust off a couple of card tables that have been sitting in storage and dress them up with a lovely tablecloth that coordinates with your other dining table for a consistent look.
Kids Table: You can set up a kids table with four or six chairs for the children. This gives the children a comfortable place to sit while giving them an opportunity to interact with one another during dinnertime. You can also set up various activities consisting of coloring books and fun games to keep them busy.
Ottoman and Tray Tables: An oversized ottoman makes a great area to dine for a couple of guests who don’t mind gathering there. You can even pull out a few tray tables and folding chairs for other guests as well.
A hospitable guest thinks of ways to make her guests comfortable and these little extras go a long way.
Menu: Surprise your guests with a menu as part of your Thanksgiving decorations. You can find menu templates via the internet and you can even upload your own pictures of meals for that extra touch. The menu can be displayed for everyone to see on the kitchen counter, which adds more meaning to the holiday season.
8-12 tbsp. butter
3 medium yellow onions, peeled and finely chopped
1 bunch celery, trimmed and finely chopped
1 large bunch parsley, stems trimmed and leaves finely chopped
½ cup finely chopped fresh sage leaves (about 6 large sprigs)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
10 cups fine fresh breadcrumbs
½ cup chicken stock
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add onions, and cook until soft, about 20 minutes. Add celery, parsley, and sage, and generously season with salt and pepper; cook for 5 minutes. Transfer to large bowl.
- Mix breadcrumbs with onion-celery mixture. Add chicken stock, and mix until the stuffing is just moist. Loosely fill the turkey cavity with warm stuffing, truss, and bake. Or put stuffing in a buttered baking pan, and bake until hot and golden on top, 30-45 minutes.
Citrus Cranberry Sauce
Serves 16 (yields about 4 cups)
3-inch piece of cinnamon stick
½ lemon, thinly sliced, seeded, and cut into quarters
½ orange, thinly sliced, cut in quarters
2 cups water
4 cups fresh cranberries
1 cup brown sugar
- Combine the cinnamon, lemon, orange, and water in a 2-quart saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Remove cinnamon stick. Add cranberries and sugar. Simmer covered, for about 5 minutes, just until cranberries pop. Do not overcook.
- Cool, cover, and refrigerate.
2 lbs. sweet potatoes
½ cup coconut milk
Zest from ½ lime
1 tbsp. peeled and grated ginger
Salt and pepper to taste
- Peel and quarter the sweet potatoes and place them in a 3-quart saucepan. Add coconut milk, lime zest, and ginger. Stir to evenly distribute all of the ingredients.
- Cover the saucepan and gently simmer for 30-40 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- Remove from the stove and transfer the contents into a large bowl.
- Using a hand mixer, blend the sweet potatoes until smooth in texture.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
Yield: 4 servings
Portion Size: 6 ounces
2 lbs. Delicata squash
2 tbsp. canola oil
1 fennel, medium dice
1 onion, medium dice
2 shallots, medium dice
2 leeks, medium dice
4 cloves garlic, sliced
2 tbsp. Ras el Hanout (please see below recipe on how to make Ras el Hanout seasoning)
2 oz. honey
1 cup milk
1 qt. vegetable or chicken stock
¼ lb. butter
Salt and pepper to taste
- Cut squash in half lengthwise. Lightly coat with oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes or until tender.
- Allow the squash to cool a little and scrape out the meat.
- Sweat shallots, onion, fennel, leeks and garlic in 2 tablespoons of the butter. Sweat for two minutes add Ras el Hanout and sweat for an additional minute. Sweat means to simmer in low-heat without browning.
- Add stock, milk, squash, and honey and bring to a boil.
- Simmer soup for twenty to thirty minutes.
- Puree soup in a blender to a smooth consistency adding the remaining butter a little at a time.
- Season and pass though a sieve.
- Divide into four bowls and garnish.
*Note: Do not fill the blender more than half way and always start on a low speed before blending on high when blending hot items.
Ras el Hanout (Moroccan Seasoning)
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. salt
¾ tsp. ground cinnamon
¾ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
½ tsp. ground white pepper
½ tsp. ground coriander seeds
½ tsp. cayenne
½ tsp. ground allspice
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
¼ tsp. ground cloves
- In a small bowl whisk together all ingredients until combined well. Spice blend keeps in an airtight container at cool room temperature for one month.
1 ½ cups pumpkin puree
1 cup sugar
½ tsp. salt
1 ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground ginger
¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
1 ½ cups heavy cream
2 eggs, slightly beaten
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Roll dough out on a lightly floured surface into an 11-inch round. Fit into a 9-inch pie plate, cut off excess dough, and flute edges.
- Mix together pumpkin, sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cream, and eggs until smooth. Pour into pie shell, place in lower third of oven, and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 325 degrees, and then continue baking until the filling has set, about 45 minutes.
- Cool on a rack. Serve dolloped with sweetened whipped cream, if desired.
Have a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving!