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How to Decorate for a Simple Thanksgiving


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Maya Angelou once said, “Be present in all things and thankful for all things.” What a perfect and beautiful thing to remember as we enter the season of simplicity and gratitude. And a simple Thanksgiving is just what the doctor ordered! Why get bogged down this season with overwhelming decorations or plans when a simple Thanksgiving celebration would suffice and fill the holiday celebrations with a more meaningful atmosphere?

daily-mom-parent-portal-Celebrate A Simple Thanksgiving
Photo by Stephanie Booe

Taking the time to be intentional with holiday decorations at home is guaranteed to be a more meaningful and satisfying experience. It sets the scene for a cozy and loving celebration with an atmosphere that’s been cultivated around the purpose of simplicity. Family members or guests will automatically feel welcomed as soon as they step into a cozy home on a crisp Autumn day. They’ll look around and see a roaring fireplace paired with hot apple cider and decorations that are unique and one of a kind, inviting them to ask questions or spark further discussion about the power of having a simple Thanksgiving.

Engineer simple decorations send people back to their roots. There’s just something so warm and cozy about skipping the store-bought decorations to create something new instead. In a season where the motto is that “less is more,” there’s no better way to display this reminder for all to see than to create unique and simple Thanksgiving home decor. Setting aside the time to creatively invest in home decor for a simple Thanksgiving will make this year’s holiday celebrations one for the books!

Read More: 25 Thanksgiving Bible Verses

Add String Lights and Leaves

daily-mom-parent-portal-Celebrate A Simple Thanksgiving
Photo by Stephanie Booe

Never underestimate the power of lights and nature’s accents! White string lights beautifully accent any home and create a whimsical atmosphere without overpowering the experience for others. Try lining your countertops with lights. Family members and guests will absolutely fall in love with the majestic glow as they pass along the buffet to collect their food. Consider adding string lights to the mantle or around a door frame or two for a simple Thanksgiving glow.

Want a perfect addition to pair with the string lights? Send the kids out into the yard to find some of the best bundles of Autumn leaves. Stick the branches with some water in a mason jar and place them sporadically throughout the home. Fall flowers are also a wonderful addition to intricately place around, but the coziness of the leaves can’t be beaten. Bonus points if the leaves and flowers are added together to create a unique and simple Thanksgiving bouquet!

Autumn leaves and white lights- of any kind, string or twinkly- can immediately enhance the atmosphere of a Thanksgiving celebration. Pairing them together allows for your holiday to feel simple, sweet, and cozy. Neither of these options require a lot of time or money, but they both can make a world of a difference. It gives just the right pop of decor with a subtle and simplistic feel.

Share Family Gratitudes

daily-mom-parent-portal-Celebrate A Simple Thanksgiving
Photo by: Stephanie Booe

What better way to begin your day than to discuss and share individual gratitudes? One of the best ways to initiate a slow and simple Thanksgiving is to be intentional in focusing on what a family has versus what a family doesn’t have. Stimulating conversations of gratitude in this season is so beneficial for everyone involved- especially children. It allows them to see the adults in their life focusing on the important things in life and helps them to question the things in their life for which they are grateful. This activity can be done at the very start of the day or as the day is coming to a close. Some days, it may seem hard to find gratitude. But there is good in every day and this activity challenges everyone in the family to locate and discuss the good things in their lives.

First, grab a roll of brown craft paper from the dollar store. Then find a door or empty space on a wall to hang a large section of paper using tape or thumbtacks. Before letting the family have a go at writing their gratitudes, try personalizing the paper with a heading (i.e. The Johnson’s Family Gratitudes). Find a verse for the season of Thanksgiving, add family photos, or have each family member draw a picture or doodle. Get creative with this activity and invite everyone that enters the home to take part in writing down their daily gratitude, too. Welcoming others into a family activity such as this one is such a powerful and special moment. It’s a simple Thanksgiving decoration and a tradition that can help others to feel welcome and part of the family.

Read More: How to Encourage an Attitude of Gratitude

Create a Simple Thanksgiving Table

daily-mom-parent-portal-Celebrate A Simple Thanksgiving
Photo by Stephanie Booe

There’s no better feeling than walking up to a perfectly decorated holiday table and seeing a personalized name card to indicate a special space that was created for each individual guest. Even the smallest detail of a holiday table can make such a big difference, but imagine the sense of belonging people will feel when they walk up to this (above picture) intricately designed table.

From this, guests will be able to see that their host has set aside special time to intentionally make sure that everyone had a special space at the table. Setting up a DIY simple Thanksgiving table such as this allows all guests to know they are welcomed into the home of the host and to know that their presence is important.

It’s very easy to create a table such as this. Use the same brown craft paper from the gratitude chart and place it over your table. Make sure to tape down the edges of the paper so that it doesn’t move if it’s accidentally bumped or pulled. First, start with the centerpiece. This photo is a beautiful display of white pillar candles in various sizes. These can be purchased at the dollar store or even online. Scatter them along the middle section of the table, staggering them to alter the lineup of different candle sizes.

There are many options for the filler around the base of the candles. Use bright and fresh leaves from outside, pinecones, acorns, eucalyptus, fall flowers, mini pumpkins, sprigs of cotton, etc. Mix and match fillers to make the centerpiece a powerful, yet simple Thanksgiving decoration.

Watch for fire hazardous material! For an easy switch to avoid issues, feel free to use battery-operated pillar candles or string/twinkly lights!

Read More:Cheap Chic Thanksgiving Centerpiece

Grab a plate- in any preferred shape or size- and trace with a sharpie to indicate the seat for each guest. Watch for spacing around the table to make sure that each guest fits comfortably around the table and is of equal distance from the centerpiece. Then, creatively write the name of each guest at the seat of the host’s choosing. Make sure to seat guests next to others they feel comfortable around. Add drawings of silverware, cups, pumpkins, or turkeys if the tablespace allows. To enhance a kid’s holiday table, scatter crayons around the table or add in simple Thanksgiving crossword puzzles/games to keep them entertained.

daily-mom-parent-portal-Celebrate A Simple Thanksgiving

When all of the guests have their Thanksgiving plates full and are ready to join the table, light the candles (or if using lights, turn them on) and watch as the table steals the show! The glow from the candles or lights will set off the perfect glow for a simple Thanksgiving dinner with friends and family gathered around the table.

For an easy and simple Thanksgiving dinner clean-up, remove the centerpiece and fold up the brown paper- crumbs, trash, and all- and take it to the trash!

Read More: Planning A Stress Free Thanksgiving

Having a simple Thanksgiving holiday is a lot easier than one may think. It all starts with being intentional in how the decorations and tables are established. Putting forth the time to choose simplicity over materialism is going to provide a more fulfilling holiday season and celebration. Family members and friends will be blown away by the simple details scattered around the home. Setting up a cozy and intentional space to celebrate a season of gratitude will go a lot farther than anything available for purchase- in-store or online.

The values and importance of what truly matters will shine through the simplistic home decor that is chosen this holiday season. Make every single guest feel welcome by giving them a special space at the table and by inviting them to join in on the family traditions of sharing a daily gratitude. Lighten the space by using warm and cozy lights or candles to really accent the celebration of simplicity in a wonderful and beautiful season of gratitude.

Choosing to decorate and share the holiday in a simple and unique way will leave family and friends feeling full and satisfied with love and joy. Cheers to a meaningful, yet simple Thanksgiving!

Read about dessert with 10 Thanksgiving Pies to Reinvent Holiday Table.

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daily-mom-parent-portal-Celebrate A Simple Thanksgiving

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I am a father of three and my wife is a registered nurse specialized in children.

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