I am sharing this a little backwards! Yesterday I shared our kitchen decorated for Christmas, but before Christmas decor happened we had Thanksgiving in here with my parents who were visiting. We won’t see my parents at Thanksgiving, so we thought we might as well celebrate it now! We do have Kevin’s mom and step-dad coming for Thanksgiving, but we will be in NYC for the Thanksgiving Day Parade (3rd year going!). So many of you wanted me to share what it looks like to host Thanksgiving in our small kitchen. It can be done. You can comfortably host Thanksgiving in a small house. I have some tips to share for you if you have a small house or big house to make hosting easy and fun!
I actually put together our Thanksgiving table setting at the last minute. We didn’t have a lot of time to put things together. So we made it work with what we had. I did stop at Target and got some new glasses on clearance, because almost all of mine were broken and a new set of cloth napkins. I will say I hosted Thanksgiving for about 5 years in a row when we lived in Utah. I would ALWAYS have my Christmas decor up. I just wouldn’t put up any Christmas in the room we were eating Thanksgiving dinner. I don’t mind some twinkle lights and lot of greens. But I wanted my guests to see my Christmas decor and it to feel really festive when Thanksgiving dinner was finished.
Thanksgiving Table Setting Tip #1- Start with a Color Scheme
Start with a color scheme! I found THESE blue/green napkins on clearance at Target. They only had four, but I loved the pop of color for our Thanksgiving table setting. I decided to mix the blue with other cloth napkins I already had, which is a better solution than buying all new. So don’t be afraid to mix it up! Also the napkins played well with my green velvet pillow I already had. I think this works because I mixed the blue with the black that pull in our kitchen decor. We do not have a separate dining room, so we eat in our kitchen. I took out all the pink dishes and accessories that were on our shelves in our kitchen and mixed in things I already had with the colors to match our Thanksgiving table setting colors.
I used my mom’s wedding china, it is the only set of “extra” plates we have. I keep them in our basement. Love the vintage china mixed with the modern black salad plates. Easy way to update a more formal look. (Find Buffalo Check Napkins HERE).
Thanksgiving Table Setting Tip #2- Keep Centerpiece Low
I used some fresh eucalyptus and dried pods in a white jar that I had. I actually started with a different clear jar but it didn’t work for 2 reasons. #1- The jar was taller, creating an overwhelming centerpiece that made it hard to see the people on the other side of the table. #2- A clear jar doesn’t work the best if you have a lot going on. It felt busy seeing all the stems in the bottom of the jar. Amazing how a smaller jar just felt right! If you are unsure try it two ways then decide. I also mixed in some real oranges and lemons for a little pop of color.
Thanksgiving Table Setting Tip #3- Create Stations
I have a tea cart in our little kitchen that I cleared off and set it up for the dessert and bread. My biggest tip is to clear off any surfaces! This will simplify the space and also create areas that you can easily put dessert, sides or appetizers or a drink station. A strand of THESE battery operated twinkle lights adds a nice glow too. I would also suggest to set-up stands so things can be at different levels. I used a cake pedestal. You could also create a riser by turning a bowl upside down and putting a plate on top!
Thanksgiving Table Setting Tip #4- Make do with what you have! Be Thankful.
Is it ideal to host Thanksgiving and cook all in a small kitchen? No. But does anyone care? NO! Your guests do not care the size of your home. Or if you have a large home and it is not perfectly decorated to how you want it, nobody cares. They are just thankful to be invited. Last year I had Easter dinner at a friends home who has a very small space too. There were 5 adults and 6 kids. Kevin was out of town and I was just so thankful to be invited to eat dinner with someone. If they would not have invited me because they were worried what I would have thought about their home, we would have truly missed out and felt lonely. Just remember that, it always feels good to be included.
Thankfully we comfortably can fit 7 of us around our 40″ table. But there have been times when we had 7 adult over and 5 kids. So what we did was had all the kids come sit around the table and eat first. Because we know the kids eat quickly. Most of us were standing around the kids and chatting and eating appetizers in the kitchen with them. 5 minutes later the kids were done and off playing again or watching a holiday movie while the adults took their turn and sat around the table for a nice meal.
We kept all the side dishes on the table. We carved the turkey (after we got a picture of course) and moved it over to the counter. But it all fit!
We happily cozied up and were just thankful to be close to each other. We went around the table and someone started with the letter “A” and said what they were thankful for that started with an A. Then moved onto the next person with the next letter of the alphabet. It was actually a good learning experience- the girls learned words that they really shouldn’t say 😂. And that there is not the letter “n” between y “n” z that it is actually says y AND z! Oh Lola.
So happy we were able to snap a candid picture of ALL of us enjoying our early Thanksgiving. I highly recommend setting up a tripod and getting some photos on our Thanksgiving. Love to hear your Thanksgiving traditions!
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Thanksgiving Paleo Dinner Recipe Ideas-