Thanksgiving has become one of my favorite holidays because it’s kind of “my” holiday. I love making people happy through their stomachs so naturally I love hosting Thanksgiving. I know for a lot of people it’s a very stressful holiday too, so I want to help make a couple pieces of Thanksgiving easier and leave more room to focus on the rest. So, here is a step-by-step guide on how to create the perfect Holiday Table Setting. Then stick around for the fool-proof Charcuterie Board for Thanksgiving day snacking.
I know its easy to become intimidated by all the B-E-A-UTIFULLY decorated tables that you see all over Instagram or Pinterest but I’m here to show you how to have a beautifully decorated table too–without breaking the bank and without going way overboard. A true Thanksgiving for everyone.
For the base of your table decor you will need only two things: a table runner and placemats. I picked up a really beautiful and inexpensive table runner at HomeGoods for less than $20. It’s not even a Thanksgiving table runner because it’s just neutral stripes but the vibe fits a Thanksgiving feel so I can use it now and any time of the year! The same goes for the placemats. Don’t get the ones that say “HAPPY THANKSGIVING” or have turkeys plastered all over them–those look cheap.
Go ahead a spend just a tiny bit more for neutral placemats that, again, you can use any time of the year. I got mine from Pier1 Imports. They were a little more expensive at $9.99 each but keep an eye out for a sale or you can find some for probable $2-4 each at HobbyLobby or HomeGoods. I love the round placemats that have a cool texture or are made out of a different material. Even though these are neutral, doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t stand out.
At this point You may be thinking “neutral table runner, neutral placemats where’s the Thanksgiving spirit?” We’re getting there, I promise.
By essentials, I mean the things that are essential to eating the meal: plates and cups. My everyday plates are solid white. I love them for everyday use but I also love that I can dress them up for holidays too. You can use your everyday plates for this too! (As long as you don’t have something themed already like fiesta inspired or colors that just don’t fit with Thanksgiving colors, like blue). Place a normal sized, large plate on each of the placemats. On top of all of this neutral decor and “everyday” plates, add in some festivity with a salad plate layered on top of the everyday plate. This is where you can let your holiday style begin to come into the design. I love things that aren’t in-your-face so the seasonal plates I have are white and say “thankful” in gold letters. I bought them last year at Crate & Barrel. Also I have a big turkey platter to match! For drinks, just use nice everyday glassware but you can spruce it up with a nice wine glass. Like one with metallic foil on it like I have from WorldMarket.
One of the simplest ways to give a holiday table setting an upscale feel is to use cloth napkins. They’re inexpensive, reusable and beautiful! Napkins are a great place to add in some color and/or pattern to your table design too. This year I choose beautiful rust colored napkins that have a subtle chevron pattern on them as well. I found them at HomeGoods in a pack of 6 for less than $10. There are dozens of ways to fold a cloth napkin but I like the simplicity of either putting them in a napkin ring or you can simply fold them in thirds and place them draping over the table between your main plate and salad plate.
There are a couple options you have for the centerpiece. The simplest and most inexpensive option is to take a neutral colored or glass vase that you have and fill it with seasonal flowers or branches that go with your table color scheme. For Thanksgiving I usually stick to yellows, oranges, reds and neutrals/browns. For Christmas, there are lots of other options for colors schemes so you can change it up every year if you want! I got the seasonal stems I have in my vase for $2.99 each at AtHome. The second option would be to pickup a table arrangement at your local grocery store. You’ll have beautiful fresh flowers with minimal effort for a little more money.
Lastly, I like to finish off my table arrangement with simple finishing pieces. You can add a couple candles around the table, a pumpkin or two that you have laying around (fresh or ceramic), but easiest and least expensive of all–pinecones! If you live somewhere that pinecones are scattered about, it’s free! Otherwise, you can grab a bag of event scented pine cones for less than $5. Just scatter them around the table in singles or groups of 3 and that’s it–you’re finished!
There are only 4 things you need for a simple fool-proof Charcuterie Board:
Picking cheese may sound intimidating if you have no experience with finer cheeses but no worries, I’ll walk you through it! Most groceries will have a fine cheese area, you can always ask for help selecting some cheese for a Charcuterie Board. I have gotten suggestions before and they’ve been excellent. My favorite cheese is goat cheese, specifically honey goat cheese. It’s sweet a creamy and I think it’s perfect on a Charcuterie board. You will be safe with your cheese if you get a Gouda, Cheddar, Goat and Brie. Most of those are crowd-pleasers and you can’t really go wrong with any of them.
I am no expert on the meat selections for a Charcuterie Board because I usually get a packet with a variety of Salami and Prosciutto. There are different flavors and spices but basically if you get those two, you’ll be set!
To add some color and variation to your selections of cheese and meat, the extras that compliment those best are grapes and olives. You can add lots and lots of different things like figs, strawberries, nuts, jams, dried fruits, pickles, etc. We’re keeping it simple so let’s stick with grapes and olives.
Last but not least, add your favorite crackers or get a variety pack, like me, spread them around your board and you’re done!
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about these tips to make your holiday’s simply beautiful. Next week I’ll be sharing my favorite holiday recipes. Click subscribe to be notified first of new posts!
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