In honor of having a new kitchen this holiday season, the husband and I are hosting our very first “big” holiday. Sure, we’ve done Easter before, but no one even gets time off for that holiday so it doesn’t count. This is the real deal. Family and friends will be joining us for turkey and all the fixin’s. Since I like to plan things out, I’ve been working on gathering ideas and decorations for our Thanksgiving table. My grandma’s Thanksgiving table was always decorated with items collected over the years and I don’t have that time advantage on my side so I’ve been looking elsewhere for inexpensive table decorations. Allow me to give you a preview (all images link to where I found them):

Step one would be to get a table cloth. We’re going to have 11 people at our table (or tables, not sure which yet) and so I needed an inexpensive option for a table cloth that I could use again. I kept hearing about using a canvas table cloth as your table cloth so I headed over to our local big box hardware store to see what our options were. I came home with a more than long enough on all sides canvas drop cloth for $20. Nice! Now I needed some color for the center of the table.

I found felt leaf place mats similar to these (which are at Bed Bath and Beyond) for $2 each. They come in red, brown, yellow and orange and my Marshall’s had only seven left. For $14 I bought them all — yes I didn’t wait for clearance because I didn’t want to miss out!– and felt pretty good about that price. Other table runners I saw and looked at were in the $30+ price range. Hopefully it will have a nice big leaf effect like so:

Did you notice that table has shaped butter pieces!? Classy. Now on to some whole table style ideas.

This table above is really great for a few reasons but I’ve admitted defeat on some of them. I have the gourds and mini pumpkins leftover from Halloween that I will have on our table, and I have some votive candles I’ll also do. But the individual place settings aren’t going to come together like this for me. I don’t have chargers so what I am thinking I might do is try and sew my own cloth napkins and lay out the silver (more on that in another post) with the napkin only. No menus, no plates (I’m going to do buffet style, I believe).

LOVE the blue glasses on this table. What a great idea! I actually thought of trying to do some blue glass like I did for my wedding on the table but am feeling like it’s a bit over ambitious for my first Thanksgiving. Something not over ambitious?

This lovely sign is found on Etsy (click image to go to the store) but I’m thinking some printer paper letters glues on construction paper with ribbon will also work pretty well. What a cute reminder of why we all gather!

What are some of your pointers for Thanksgiving hosting? Does your family give thanks in a special way each year or is it more about football and feasting?