Some Simple Fall Table Settings and Ideas for Thanksgiving

So we do this dinner party every year on Black Friday, for some of Luke’s co-workers. Every year it’s a different crowd, for the most part, and we usually include a few of our friends from church or our siblings and their spouses. It’s kind of crazy that we do this the day after Thanksgiving. In fact, I have to be honest and say that I’m pretty sure I freaked out about it when Luke first asked me to host this dinner four years ago.

I really wanted no part of it, if I’m even more honest, because it just sounded like a way to mess up my Thanksgiving week and change up all the things I normally like to do on the Friday after Thanksgiving (which has never included crazy Black Friday shopping, just to be clear–I’ve only done that once with a friend, and while it was totally fun, I honestly don’t ever want to do it again). But Luke came up with this idea after having worked a Thanksgiving and wanting to share a special meal with others that had worked with him. And lo a tradition was born.

Anyway, I’m pretty sure the Lord changed my heart that week and allowed me to stop only thinking about myself and being inconvenienced, and to look forward to serving others and to actually prepare for the dinner, and not make Luke do all the work out of spite. And it was lovely, friends. Really, truly beautiful. And we are about to embark on our fourth annual Younger Hipper Thanksgiving Dinner Party (as my husband likes to call it, because he still believes we are young and hip, but what in the world will we call it when we actually aren’t young?)

For dinner, Luke always makes Pumpkin Ravioli and I make a Browned Butter Mushroom Cream Sauce, and then some sort of salad and bread. I’m not gonna lie, it’s pretty amazing. And to start it all off we lay out a huge fancy spread of appetizers. It’s so much fun (and yes, work) to make all these delicious foods on one day, and have everyone gathered around us in our kitchen while we cook and they eat. And then once everyone is half full we serve them even more food, and follow it up with coffee and chocolates. It’s a good night (at least we think so).

I found some old pictures and since I just told you how we as women aren’t going to stress out this Holiday season, I thought I’d share with you some of my table set ups, in case you can use them this week as you host various people in your home. And the thing you have to remember here is that I always have tons of help–we enlist the kids, and our friends, and usually our parents take part in watching our littlest guy or vacuuming my entire house. And Luke is no end of help, otherwise this type of thing would never happen, I tell you.

(the lighting is terrible in these pictures, but whatcha gonna do? and yes, we had two tables in 2012)

The thing about setting up for a party, for me anyway, is that I hardly ever go out and buy anything new. I kind of collect little things throughout the year like cloth napkins or little vases, and maybe will stock up on votive candles and things, but usually it’s just about me pulling pretty things out of my cupboard and drawers and arranging until I like it. Last year, I did cut a burlap table runner and made a fabric runner to go over it with some matching cloth napkins, but that’s the most extra effort I’ve done for it, and I plan to pull some of those things out again this year.

And really, I think simple is best. A few candles and pumpkins make me happy. Besides, I have no space for a huge “tablescape” because hello, where would all the food go? I look at pictures of tablescapes on pinterest and I’m sorry, but not all of us have butlers to walk around the table and serve the food. Some of us actually might put our food on the table, so I have no patience or space for tons of elaborate stuff on the table.

I pinned some other inspiring ideas on my tablescape board…, but just a few so don’t get too excited…

People, that’s rutabaga, isn’t it? It’s just so pretty. And then there’s the white pumpkins placed next to white ceramic vases, so sweet and simple. And of course the classic taper candle in a bottle, but these bottles are so unique and pretty I think it would work.

(found via pinterest from this apartment therapy post)

I guess the point in all this is to enjoy your guests this week, and keep it as simply beautiful as possible. Less is more.

I will share some of my appetizer selections and recipes next week. I figure all of you already have your menu prepared for this week and don’t need to start second guessing yourself, but if you need a tiny bit of extra inspiration you can look at my food board on pinterest. Some of my recent pins are appetizers that look good to me.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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  • Simple is definitely better! We had our family get-together at our house yesterday, and I just used an unusually-colored (beautiful! minty green!) heritage pumpkin I picked up at the grocery store for $1.98 as a centerpiece. I’d love to do candles one year, but it will have to wait until the kids are older and have more self-control (if you know what I mean). I suggested to Eric that we host a “friendsgiving” dinner party this year and and he totally nixed the idea! Plus, there’s the whole working out of town thingy working against us this year. But I promise, it will happen one year.

    • Ooh I love those pumpkins, and wow! what a steal! Excellent for a budget friendly table setting, and so beautiful. yes, the candle thing is newer for me, I’m just now finding the freedom to light candles around the house and really only worry about Landis deciding to blow them out and unusual moments. But he’s great about not messing with them. I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving week!