Can you believe that Thanksgiving is only a few days away? If you’re anything like my family, you haven’t even begun to start decorating the house for the guests that are coming over. Between managing work, coordinating multiple Thanksgiving dinners (thanks a lot, in-laws!), and keeping the kids out of trouble, it can seem like a gigantic burden to get the house looking festive. Well fear not, friends! I will provide you with a few easy and inexpensive ways to make your house looking Thanksgiving-y.
Considering that the place people will be spending the best part of their Thanksgiving dinner is the dining table, it seems like a good starting point for decorations. Perhaps the easiest decorations to place on your dining table are gourds. Pumpkins, gourds, and acorn squash are all very festive vegetables that are in abundance at any grocery store during the holidays. The pumpkin and acorn squash are both awesome for cooking during the holidays, as well. There is a plethora of recipes online for pies, soups, and other types of dishes prepared using these vegetables. Another fun idea with small pumpkins is to make a card for each one with a different guest’s name on it. Place each pumpkin at the table where you think the corresponding guest will sit. This is an activity you can involve the kids with that is both fun and festive. You can also use candleholders as an elegant way to elevate small pumpkins on the dining table.
If you’re working on a budget like my family, there are many other ways to save money on decorating the table for Thanksgiving. Don’t be afraid to buy chipped or damaged decorations. When staged correctly, no one will notice a small chip. Thrift stores and estate or garage sales are typically the best dumping grounds for old decorations, but one would be surprised at how easy it is to get a discount on damaged merchandise at popular retailers. Most brick and mortar stores don’t really want damaged merchandise floating around their store and will eagerly discount things to get them out of the door. This doesn’t just apply to decorations, either. If you are short on plates or bowls, you can typically use cheaper or slightly chipped pieces and make them look fancy by placing a cloth napkin in the middle. Of course the napkins should match and be seasonably appropriate; also, they won’t look very nice unless you fold them in an appealing manner. Another alternative is to purchase cheap seasonal plating. You’d be surprised at how little you need to pay for plates with fall designs on them.
Aside from the kitchen table, there are an abundance of areas in your house that or perfect for cheap decorations. Pumpkins, pumpkins, and more pumpkins is a good motto for decorating your living areas on Thanksgiving. You can put pumpkins on your bookshelf to use as book stops, on top of your entertainment center, your coffee and end tables, and next to any snack areas you have set up in your home. Acorns are also a very appropriate fall decoration that you can get for free just by going on a walk. If you have children, they will relish in the opportunity to collect as many acorns as they possibly can for your decorations. You can make festive candle holders by placing acorns in mason jars with a candle in the middle. Even just filling up a glass with acorns can look beautiful, just make sure you clean and dry your acorns ahead of time.
The first thing people see when they arrive to your house for Thanksgiving dinner is your front yard. Once again, the pumpkin philosophy of fall decorating applies to your front porch. If you have a wheelbarrow that’s in decent shape, fill it with pumpkins and put it on your porch. You can make a wooden sign with a Thanksgiving greeting and rest it on the pumpkins. Broomstick scarecrows can be fun to make with the kids and hang from the front door. You can use a step ladder to make a multi-tiered decoration with pumpkins and other fall decor to place next to your front door. Fall-themed pillows on a chair can be effective, as can using a basket filled with gourds and pumpkins. As with any decorating project, use your judgment when designing and placing your decorations and never go overboard.
Lastly, let’s not forget about the bathroom when it’s time to decorate. Pumpkins and fall scented candles can be placed on the sink and any open shelving in the bathroom. Even the back of the toilet can be used to place decorations or fall-themed air fresheners. Why not use some of those acorn candles we talked about earlier for added atmospheric lighting in the bathroom? Fall-themed Kleenex boxes and towels are always a bonus, although if you’re operating on a budget you might not want to shell out for a new set of towels.
I hope some of these ideas can get you excited about decorating and feeling less overwhelmed with the holiday approaching. Remember, you don’t always have to go all-out with your decorations to make a positive impression on your Thanksgiving guests. Besides, the holiday is about being thankful and being around loved ones… and food!