How was your Thanksgiving?  I feel like it has been a really long several days!  I told my husband that Wednesday I was preparing for Thursday, Thursday I was preparing for Thursday, and Friday I was cleaning up from Thursday!  This was only my second time hosting Thanksgiving.  The first time I hosted Thanksgiving, Big Boy had just been born and was only two weeks old.  Thankfully my dad took care of ordering everything from Whole Foods, got it all ready, and basically handled everything.  As a new mommy, I couldn’t really handle anything!  The Thanksgivings in between then and now were spent at my sister in law’s.  So this was the first time I felt like I really hosted Thanksgiving.  What did I learn?  It is a lot of work!!!

Here are a few photos of my table:

Thanksgiving Table 3

We turned our table a different direction (I have to give my husband credit for that idea!).  It gave us more room on the sides that seated the most people.  I also used my vintage faux bamboo Stakmore folding chairs to accommodate everyone.  We had to move the brass and glass cart to the corner by the window to make room for the Christmas tree – but it turned out to be a handy place to set the passed dishes.  I learned that I need to take my table cloth to the dry cleaners to be pressed several days before the holiday.  I just didn’t have the energy to iron it – so don’t look too closely at it!

Thanksgiving Table 2

The boys and I made little turkey name cards out of an egg carton.  It was a fun activity to do on a cold day when we were stuck inside!

Thanksgiving Table 5

I used colorful ikat napkins that I had picked up at Pottery Barn a few months ago.  They added a fun splash of color, and complimented the artwork.

Thanksgiving Table 7

I used my great grandmother’s silverware for the first time, and had one of her green glass vases on the table to hold the flowers.

We had all of the usual menu items – though I will confess that I bought a roasted turkey breast instead of cooking a whole turkey.  The idea of cleaning and stuffing a whole turkey really makes me uneasy!  I also tried a really neat new recipe that I picked up at Trader Joe’s (green bean and sweet potato casserole – all in one).  I learned that I should do a “test run” of any new recipes in the future.  The times on the recipe were all off, and the dish turned out to be luke-warm, which was a disappointment.

Despite the work it takes to host a holiday, it was a lovely day surrounded by family.

How was your holiday?  Did you learn anything?  Or are you a seasoned Thanksgiving host?   Do you have any tips for those of us still learning?


3 replies
  1. Kerry Steele
    Kerry Steele says:

    I am a veteran hostess but it never occurred to me to send my tablecloth to the cleaners. I am totally doing that! I have been ironing it (or not) all of these years.
    My great-grandmother has had the same silver pattern, Fairfax.

  2. Becky
    Becky says:

    Everything looks great! Love the egg carton turkey idea – very cute! My advice would be to definitely not try any new recipes for the first time when hosting any holiday gathering/party. I also set the table and put out the serving dishes the day before and put a sticky note indicating which dish each will hold. Finally don’t feel bad about buying the turkey. Whatever makes it easier for you to spend more time with your family 🙂

  3. Barb
    Barb says:

    Very lovely, Kristen. Love those bamboo chairs. And the napkins have a great punch of color .I hope your day was full of relaxation and great conversation. I have the most amazing turkey recipe… stuff the cavity with lemons and herbs. You juice the lemons first, mix the juice with dijon mustard and soy sauce. And keep basting that sucker! It makes the bird so juicy and tender. And the drippings make the most fantastic gravy. Simple and not super gross to stuff. And I don’t eat any meat… but family and guests always rave about it. Can use with chickens, too!

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