I was just on the phone with my good friend Courtney and realized that I better get this blog out because Thanksgiving is next week already! I was sure that it was still two weeks out. That means that I need to get my butt in gear because I threw together quite a big menu this year, plus I still have a few more touches that I want to add to my own table.
Earlier today, I had coffee with a friend and it was such a nice treat. I don’t get a ton of time out of the house without my family. I am not complaining but sometimes, it is just nice to sit with someone and word vomit everything in your life. The good, the bad, and everything we’re learning along the way. Today was therapy with coffee and french fries; clearly the best kind of therapy out there. One thing we talked about is our expectations in life and how those expectations can set us up for failure and give us something to mess up. When we walk into life with an open mind and limited expectations, everything just seems to turn out better. Those are the memories that become cherished. Maybe it’s just that we didn’t have the stress of thinking about a plan to stop us from enjoying the moment. If you’re an event planner, do you really know what it was like to be at the event or is your experience only one filled with creating and executing not of enjoying? Even when things do go wrong, if there are limited expectations, you can appreciate that moment more because instead of being something that failed your plan, it was a just a laughable conversation piece added to your day. I’m trying to do more of this in my life. For example, I’m going into conversations without a plan, so I can’t “mess it up”. It sounds silly but it’s totally something I do, I’m always worried about saying the wrong thing or not coming off the “right” way. Whatever that is?!?! If there’s no perfectly laid plan, there’s nothing to fail at. It ends up being what it is, and that’s what I want to take life as more often, as it is and where it is. That’s how I want to enjoy the holidays this year and from now on.
That all being said, we can’t go through life without ever planning any parts of it so for the things that we can and should plan, here are some tips to doing it.
How to start a Thanksgiving table that you love, on a budget.
- Start with what you have around your house – I have beautiful candle holders that I’ve used for the table just for Thanksgiving dinner. I rearrange the space I take things from so you don’t even know an item is missing.
- Table runners fill a ton of space – check the dollar section of target, they had burlap runners last year for just 1 dollar a piece.
- If you have more than one table like I do, remember they do not need to be identical
- Shop multiple stores like Home Goods, Amazon, and Hobby Lobby – While I just love me some target finds, their sales are usually 20 cents off. The bargain buys just are not typically there so start at the other stores and then for specific things you have in mind, you can move to the Targets, Nordstrom’s, and Macy’s.
- Don’t be afraid to use plastic plates and utensils – I usually wouldn’t recommend something like this because of the environment but on this one day, feeding this many people, it’s hard to have enough good china and it’s not always in the budget to get it. I added inexpensive charger plates last year and used the silver plastic utensils for a beautiful look that stayed in my budget.
- Be careful not to fill your table because the food needs to be at it, unless you have a buffet style Thanksgiving.
- Add natural elements – I used dried fruit that went with my color scheme last year but you could also go to a Christmas Tree lot and grab the extra trimmings that they take off of trees. It’s free and adds a fabulous scent (and some sap so watch out for that) to your table!
- Food and wine are decor too – be sure your apps and wine bottles are a part of your “plan” so you don’t over decorate and spend too much on unnecessary items.
- Of course, you need to watch out for the deals after the holidays! Everything goes on discount so if there is something you thought was missing this year, add it to the list and grab it after the holiday.
- Be sure to collect, non holiday themed items that correlate with your holiday decor. I have all white and some clear serve wear that I use year round. It goes wonderfully with everything we have for decor on the table and pulls it all together!!!
The first time you go to buy everything you want for your holiday table, you may be overwhelmed with the cost. Stick to this list and you could have the whole thing looking complete for under 100 dollars! I’m always happy to help with finds so check out instagram as I go shopping this week to add more to our table.
What’s the best red and white to add to the table to fit the menu?!?!
- Bubbles are always the best for any day in my book. Even better to welcome your guests and get them started on the cheese and crackers while they wait for dinner.
- A slightly oaked Chardonnay with hints of apple and vanilla is friendly enough for even the non wine drinker but perfect for many of your Thanksgiving dishes.
- Beaujolais is a red French wine that’s berry forward and quite the crowd pleaser if your not sure what everyone likes and it pairs well with many foods.
So there it is! A simplified way to deck out your table, on a budget with wine that should fit most pallets and many foods.
Ya know, the second we hit September I’m overwhelmed with joy but I won’t lie that it is also a stressful and fast paced time of year. I’m learning to slow down, do what I can, and enjoy what I do. I’m trying to do things with purpose and not hit every holiday extravaganza because that’s the thing to do. I made Christmas cookies in October this year because that’s what Asher wanted to do; who cares if it wasn’t even Halloween yet. We skipped our annual trip to Bentlyville this year because it would have added more stress after the wedding we just spent a ton of money on. We’re trying to make these thoughtful decisions that help us enjoy these days and make them last longer. It’s the most wonderful time of year and I don’t want to be stressing. So if you are stressing this season over the perfect table, or which wine to buy, like I once have, hopefully these lists will help. It may not be the perfectly paired, best of the china, or Martha Stewart level dining experience but it will be hopefully filled with love, smiles, and most of all memories that will last a life time.