Over six months ago, I received an email from one of my favorite magazines asking me to contribute to a Thanksgiving story. As we all know, sometimes things change and evolve and they went in an entirely different direction.

The good news is that I have three other stories coming out in print over the next two weeks, so if you catch me scouring Barnes and Noble daily, please don’t judge. I decided I’d repurpose this interview with you today, filled with easy Thanksgiving entertaining tips.

You might be surprised to find that I host an intimate Thanksgiving dinner. I’ve often contemplated including both families, friends, etc, but I love the relaxed feel of our Thanksgivings – a slow start to the day with cinnamon rolls in pajamas followed by a brisk walk, lots of play and maybe even a few games. There’s very little scurrying if any at all. Whether you’re hosting a number of guests or an intimate gathering, I hope you’ll find my Thanksgiving entertaining tips helpful. Feel free to share yours in the comments below, I’d love to hear how you celebrate!

Thanksgiving Decorating:

Shop your home first. Forage your property for beautiful berries, branches, pinecones and if you are surrounded by woods, antlers! They alone make beautiful centerpieces and accents.

5 minute Thanksgiving flowers
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Add something organic to each place setting to make it feel special. Sprigs of rosemary, snips of wheat, mandarin oranges, magnolia leaves, and miniature gourds are just a few of my favorite ways to adorn place settings. If you need more ideas for your table and decoration there are plenty ideas for Thanksgiving Floral.

free printable Thanksgiving activities

Create a beautiful Thanksgiving centerpiece by repurposing your fall pumpkins or trailing apples. See 12 of my favorite DIY Thanksgiving centerpieces here and enter for a chance to win my entertaining essentials {with a $250 Williams Sonoma gift card}.


Set the tone with a great playlist that encourages guests to relax and stay a while.

Serve dinner by candlelight. Candles are my favorite entertaining accent, but even when they stand alone they’re captivating. Candlelight can make even the largest of gatherings feel more cozy and intimate.

Add in texture with pillows and throws.

Step by step tutorial to create a last minute Thanksgiving centerpiece

Love entertaining as much as we do? Don’t miss my complete hors d’oeuvres round-up, as well as the 30+ Thanksgiving Appetizers!

Thanksgiving Activities:

You all know my love for thankful for cards. You can download your favorites here. Crosswords, word searches, and trivia are also a great way to occupy guests while you put the finishing touches on Thanksgiving dinner.

Free printable thankful for cards | Thanksgiving activity


Hosting larger groups of guests can often create a seating situation. Unify folding tables with your kitchen or dining room table by adding canvas painter’s drop cloths that fall to the floor. They’re surprisingly beautiful, inexpensive and you won’t fret when someone spills a glass of wine.

Don’t have enough china or glassware? Mix and match sets to create a cohesive look throughout. You can use the plates of one set with salad plates from another and vice versa. Glassware can be interchanged as well.

Use a charming gold bar cart (and learn how to style it!). Or you can use a buffet or a bookcase to create a bar with appropriate accessories where guests can conveniently serve themselves.

Thanksgiving entertaining tips - setting up a bar cart

This Non Alcoholic Mulled Wine is a perfect addition to any bar cart.  

Feel free to add your Thanksgiving entertaining tips in the comments below!


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