It takes more than a day and much more than flowers
As winter approaches and the leaves fall to the ground, comes the season to give thanks, and the opportunity to celebrate with those we hold most dear. People traveling from the furthest of reaches, overcoming an array of obstacles in a generous attempt to be there. It's also a time to "cook up a storm" and share meals with loved ones. Being a family-oriented person, Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays. On this day, we express an extra measure of gratitude, giving extra time to those we love. Yet, this is also the time to remember that there are, and will always be, those who are less fortunate than ourselves.
I feel deeply for people who have had a falling out with their families, still seeking harmony in their lives. Healthy relationships are something that many of us take for granted. While posting about my epic dinner party with my family, I came across a Snapchat of a friend who was feeling extra lonely on this special day. She asked "what do you do when you don't have a family?" That post really shook me up and immediately brought forth a more elevated feeling of thankfulness and gratefulness. I can't imagine my life without my family. I felt a tremendous amount of admiration for many who took time out of their own busy schedules to cook and serve those who aren’t so lucky during this time of year. A simple but gracious act of love.
This is precisely the reason why Natalie Franke's Instagram post about an initiative that the Riding Tide Society took to serve at a homeless shelter resonated so deeply within me. It filled my mind with various thoughts while at the same time, reminding me that there is always something for which to be grateful and mindful. Not only was I thankful for the food in front of me, but even more so, for the family beside me. Never take anyone for granted. It is a luxury that we simply cannot afford.
I hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving as much as we did and that during this season, you can experience a genuine sense of gratitude. Happy Holidays and cheers to you and your family. Here’s how we celebrated Thanksgiving...
We hosted two different parties but the decor mostly remained the same with a few small changes revamping the look. Although I opted out of owning a dining table in our apartment to maximize space and maintain an open concept, this event was a little special for a few reasons and brought out an unshakable desire to host a seated dinner party; therefore, gathering up a folding table with a few folding chairs was the quick answer.
Always be ready to improvise! No matter the size of your space, if there is a creative will, there is a feasible way.
For one of the two gatherings, my brothers-in-law shared my enthusiasm for a nice seated party and offered to be the chief chef of the night while my husband played the role of a sous chef! One more reason for me to be thankful. Since our plans to eat nothing but Turkey for the next two days were already set in stone, we decided on having a Turkey-free menu to kick off the Thanksgiving celebrations. Even though the Turkey was a no show, the evening was packed with festive decor, savory foods, and entertainment. So I am going to share with you how it all came together.
With all the beautiful and inspiring Christmas decorations already out in the market, it was hard not to deviate from a Thanksgiving inspired theme. I walked around various stores and even produce aisles in search of inspiration but was experiencing sensory overload!
You can always use social media, window shopping, and other blogs to find inspiration and get those creative juices flowing but refocusing your thoughts to design something original, something authentic means shutting out all the noises out there and focusing only on things that immediately speak to you.
Fruits and vegetables are not only inexpensive, they are beautiful, fresh, edible, and can be recycled to create a meal afterwards! ♻️ Back to the produce aisle it is!
To set my table apart, I chose colors that complemented or contrasted each other. There was no doubt from the start that the table will have persimmons, which is one of my favorite fruits!
Persimmons offer a vibrant color and guests can eat it as an appetizer before their meal or set it aside on the table for it to accentuate the decor. You can use any fruit of your choice!
The blue napkins with shades of purple and orange embroidery tied in the orange on the Persimmons and the purple in the vases. While trying to refrain from using flowers and yet desiring something that signified that floral appeal, Artichokes, believe it or not, was a choice beyond perfect! Fresh Kale added the extra leafy texture while purple cabbage in the vases offered more color. As fun confetti, I used nuts in earthy tones and various shapes while placing the mint leaves for a delightful aroma. Candles (same ones from my Halloween decor. If you missed that post, here is the link!) brought out the feeling of warmth to the table. The water hyacinth fiber placemats, with its ring of delicate petal weaving, connoted blossoms surrounding the dinner plates.
The dinnerware was a wedding gift from my beloved Aunty, so the set is special to me, and the night was significant enough to finally put my fancy dinnerware to use. Although fancy was on the table, the need for something less formal was apparent in bringing out the earthy tones of fresh produce. To downplay the fancy effect, I mixed in plain white dinnerware with the formal ones. Silver flatware was appropriate for this party and worked in contrast to the gold plated finish on the plates.
Never hesitate to mix match and play with different colors, textures, and styles especially when you are hosting a party at home using products that are already in stock. It is all about bringing together every detail and utilizing your color palette wisely into a cohesive finish.
If you are renting and going all out, there are all sorts of amazing place setting options offered by party rental companies.
The Gilded Royale champagne flute from Pier1 flaunted a shimmering golden rim and complemented the Gold plated finish of the tableware - all of which produced the spirit of the holidays! A handwritten menu for our home-made dinner seemed more appropriate and added a more personal touch.
With much conversation around food, family, politics, and life, the night was one to remember and for which I am thankful. I hope you have enjoyed a hearty holiday doing what you love doing with people you care about! Thank you so much for visiting and Happy Thanksgiving!
The pictures below are few photos from our cell phones from one of the dinner nights.
Folding Table: Target
Champagne Flute, Napkins, and Place Mats: Pier1 Imports
All Table Decor Vegetables, Fruits, and Snack props - Harris Teeter
Alternate Look: For a fancier setup and to compliment the gold plated finish, substitute silver flatware with golden ones, plain white plates with gold trimmed white plates, Crackle Purple Champagne Flutes to match purple in the cabbage, Gold Luster Rim Charger Plate boosting the gold around the table.