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Thanksgiving Prep - What Are you Working On?
Emily Hurley
November 6, 2012 in Design Dilemma
What do you have on your plate as you prepare for Thanksgiving in your home? Do you need to figure out seating for 12? Get a guest room ready for family from out of town?

What's on your list and how is it going?

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Darzy
We are attempting a sit down for 30 this year. Our largest attempt but we're getting family help with the side dishes. We hope a bean bag toss game will keep the children happy outdoors. For holidays, I always do name placesettings (now it's expected and they look forward to how I'll do it!). But, I have a dilimma, my daughter wants candy corn incorporated in the name placesetting. Any ideas? I have small plastic bags I can put the candy in and tie a ribbon with their name but not totally sold on the idea. Suggestions?
1 Like   November 6, 2012 at 3:06PM
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judianna20

Darzy….The bags are a great idea. A pix for inspiration…love the silver touches.
1 Like   November 6, 2012 at 3:11PM
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ikwewe
We are having a smaller than usual dinner for only five people in our Florida house. This will involve a lot of planning and shopping as the oven there is tiny and I don't have a fully stocked kitchen. Luckily there is a wonderful bakery for bread and rolls.

Setting the table will be a breeze for a change, only ONE table. I may bring my decorations down with me just for fun, and make it a tradition. We will be bringing one of the guests with us, so yes, a guest room will need to be readied on arrival.

I am famous in the family for my turkey dressing (stuffing) and gravy, and husband always makes pumpkin pie from real pumpkins, so I know those items will be on the menu. I will be prepping the pumpkin and freezing it before we head down to save time and cooking space. These are the same pumpkins that sat on our porch for Halloween.
1 Like   November 6, 2012 at 3:21PM
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Darzy
Thanks judyg! The bags look better than I thought it would. I love the silver pumpkin idea..that will dress it up!
0 Likes   November 6, 2012 at 3:34PM
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charleee
I am working on being invited somewhere else for a change.
2 Likes   November 6, 2012 at 3:39PM
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mpoulsom
Judyg...love those silver pumpkins!!! those are awesome! I'm using that idea next year.. ;)
and as far as thanksgiving....well going to the daughter's, so we have just gone full-throttle ahead and have taken the christmas decorations down from the attic! hahaha! set up a christmas choo choo train for my grandchick sunday night! Have 3 trees standing, but not decorated yet!
2 Likes   November 6, 2012 at 3:51PM
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charleee
geez, Mendi, I thought I was anxious!
1 Like   November 6, 2012 at 3:52PM
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mpoulsom
and i WILL probably make a pumpkin cheesecake to bring with us...that's kind of a must for me to do every year now.
0 Likes   November 6, 2012 at 3:52PM
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mpoulsom
Bobbi, I live with santa claus' son!!!! His dad was a huge christmas freak! If it were up to me, we would do NO christmas decorating until AFTER turkey day!! lol!
1 Like   November 6, 2012 at 3:54PM
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charleee
Mendi, seriously, if it were up to me I would decorate for Christmas Nov. 1. And only if I could wait that long!
1 Like   November 6, 2012 at 4:04PM
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charleee
Darzy, you wanted a suggestion? Dinner for 30 - Jack Daniels and lots of it. Cleverly disguised as iced tea, of course.
2 Likes   November 6, 2012 at 4:05PM
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Darzy
lol. too funny Bobbi! Great tip! I just so happen to have some. : )
1 Like   November 6, 2012 at 4:21PM
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clemenza2
DARZY -- how about putting the candy corn in small glass spice jars or votive candle holders (sometimes you can get them for as little as $.50) at each placesetting? A little pricy but it would look nice.....you can also get really tiny brown paper shopping bags or lunch style bags, but much smaller, at places like Michaels. Last week I picked up tiny cardboard cups for baking or to pack party favors at TJMaxx........they came in sleeves of 25 or 30, and were really pretty (about $4-5 per sleeve).....I got some in yellow with white polka dots that would look great with candy corn in them. You could also use cupcake liners, they make every possible color and pattern these days (or plain, brown paper.....looks great at Thanksgiving) you can get them at the supermarket........if you decide to use cellophane bags, you can get them at AC Moore's in the size and shape of pretzel rods, which might look interesting.....almost like an ear of corn. Going forward, if you were trying to do something similar for Christmas dinner, Ikea carries a set of 24 really mini shopping bags in Christmas colors that are intended to be used for tiny Advent gifts, but would work really well as place cards/party favors as well. Have a wonderful holiday season....oh, almost forgot, Jack Daniels, yes.....good idea.....
1 Like   November 6, 2012 at 9:53PM
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Liza Hausman
We have a smaller group of 12 this year - I'm trying to decide if I should keep my layers - I first use a plain white tablecloth, then I lay some shimmering gold embroidered chinese-print fabric I bought over that, then I have a bamboo runner. Do I keep it or try something new and totally different???
2 Likes   November 6, 2012 at 9:59PM
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Darzy
Thanks clemenza2! I thought about mini mason jars with lids but I didn't want to spend $1.25 for the jar plus candy,but I didn't think about and don't mind 50 cents for the spice or votive candle holders. I did the cupcake papers filled with m&ms for my mom's 80th! We have an ikea, TJ max and Michaels nearby so I think I'll check it out! Thanks for the ideas!
0 Likes   November 6, 2012 at 10:10PM
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Darzy
Hi Liza and all. I have this little gadget to make fruit (or mini pumpkins) an instant votive candle holder. I think I'll paint the pumpkins silver per judyg's suggestion (and maybe add crystal candlesticks and larger pumpkins for height). Liza,this may may another great layer to your table. I'm also using plain white table cloths and napkins (because I have them already) and making a "harvest" theme fabric runner (I havent found yet!).

3 Likes   November 6, 2012 at 10:29PM
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charleee
Darzy, how cool is that!
2 Likes   November 7, 2012 at 1:18AM
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LuAnn LaFogg
Love the candle carver!
3 Likes   November 7, 2012 at 2:08AM
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Shawn Lagemann
We are having 25 this year for a sit down dinner. We just moved into a new house that was built to handle that number, as we had 25 last year as well in "old" house that almost made me crazy. I will set a proper table with the linens and placemats, real silverware and wine glasses, BUT there is a website called smartyhadaparty.com that has the best plastic (looks like china) plates, bowls etc. They have designs for both traditional and contemporary tastes. I buy the plates in bulk and their linen like napkins, we love to host large gatherings, so we keep well stocked. There is still time to order for Thanksgiving. They also have inexpensive table toppers and runners as well. I too love the candle carver, using edible items for centerpieces is one of my favorites. Think how beautiful an artichoke would look. Another great runner for a rectangle shaped table is an inexpensive full lingth mirror that usually hangs on the wall. You can find them frameless for under $20 at places like Target. William Sonoma and some other stores also carry paper leaves, which look great on a fall table. Whole nuts straight from the produce department are grat scattered about or use the larger ones and a metalic marker for name place cards. Happy Thanksgiving.
3 Likes   November 7, 2012 at 3:52AM
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rollifam
I have the candle carver and LOVE it! Here's an idea I used two years ago- wrote each guest's name on a huge leaf with metallic marker and place under glass plate. I think I'll spray paint some pumpkins this year! Great idea =)
3 Likes   November 7, 2012 at 4:54AM
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connorbear
Working on my mantle. Any suggestions? Yes, that's a window above my fp.
2 Likes   November 7, 2012 at 5:52AM
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sheddesigner
The candle carver reminded me of a Christmas dinner I had once. I took green apples and carved them out, by hand, and brushed the carved section with lemon juice so they wouldn't turn brown, then I placed a metallic gold votive candle inside ( with much of the gold candle showing) and placed them in the center of each plate. When guests arrived, they were stunned by a gorgeous sight of a table full of glowing lights! Ps, I had a plaid tablecloth and napkins and used clear glass plates that I bought at a dollar store. The center of the table was lined with more green apples, pine cones and sprigs of pine branches clipped from the ends of a hemlock tree in our yard. It looked like a million bucks!
1 Like   November 7, 2012 at 7:19AM
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sheddesigner
Heres a fall table idea offered by a local greenhouse . Choose a flatter type of pumpkin, hot glue moss to the top and arrange succulent cuttings in it. No cutting involved. They will eventually root. I would keep in a cool area until use.
0 Likes   November 7, 2012 at 7:40AM
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judianna20
Darzy, maybe too late for this year, but take a look at this link: http://www.etsy.com/search?q=personalized%20name%20tags&view_type=gallery&ship_to=US&ref=auto3
1 Like   November 7, 2012 at 8:57AM
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sooshigirl1
Regular readers of Houzz will have already seen Lisa Frederick's article called Pretty Up Pumpkins With Paint - lots of really great ideas using pumpkins as decorations. I submitted my Thanksgiving table and sideboard decorations to that post (I'm Canadian so we have already had our Thanksgiving) but in case you missed it here are the photos again - all the pumpkins, gourds, kale and berried branches are faux so I can use them year after year.
1 Like   November 7, 2012 at 9:44AM
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Darzy
Thanks judyg. Great name place ideas on etsy. I use business card paper (if you use two cards and don't tear the perforation, they fold nicely into a tent). Or, I use one card and put a hole punch in the corner to feed the ribbon through. Easy clipart program to add a design on the card, then a pretty font for the names and they turn out quite nicely (and very inexpensive). One year instead of names, each plate had a mini picture frame in front of the plate with their picture, so instead of finding their name, they looked for their face. The frame had a Christmas theme and took their picture home with them.
0 Likes   November 7, 2012 at 11:32AM
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Darzy
Oh..I forgot to mention. I once did the votive gadget thing with apples and the apples float quite nicely in a water filled clear vase. The only thing is you have to mark the spot where to dig the hole, because sometimes the apples didn't float exactly upright..unless they are perfectly shaped.
0 Likes   November 7, 2012 at 11:35AM
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elivandersys
We are moving into our new home in Maine on November 16th, and we plan to have our four college-age kids come for Thanksgiving. We've threatened Sam's Club rotisserie chicken and frozen french fries, but I suspect we'll be able to pull something nice together. The house, however, promises to be decorated with boxes and packing paper!
1 Like   November 7, 2012 at 11:45AM
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judianna20
On Cape Cod we celebrate by including Wellfleet turnip in our menu. The flesh is white and sweet. I mash them with ricotta cheese, S & P, a little butter and nutmeg. Yummy.
1 Like   November 7, 2012 at 4:31PM
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llahm
We live overseas and have to celebrate on Saturdays as we are typically working on Thursday. This year we are celbrating our 17th annual Saturday Thanksgiving abroad - this year in Romania. We will be incorporating Fall - I picked this "bouquet" up this morning at dawn - I intend to gather leaves and other berries from the forest. I prefer this to flowers.....
4 Likes   November 8, 2012 at 5:29AM
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sooshigirl1
Absolutely gorgeous llahm! How beautiful!
0 Likes   November 8, 2012 at 6:47AM
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sclawson
We spend both Thanksgiving and Christmas Day in an assisted-living center where my father lives. Although we could eat their food, served in either the main dining room or a private family dining room, we usually bring food in for an extra treat. The facility always has gorgeous decorations, and transporting the food is enough work in itself, so I don't do that. We're not turkey fans, so try to prepare something else. Any suggestions on dishes that travel well? We have done ham and chicken pot pie; any other ideas?
0 Likes   November 8, 2012 at 6:55AM
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Darzy
Prime rib! I've purchased pre-cooked prime rib at Sams' Club and all they need is warmed up.
0 Likes   November 9, 2012 at 5:36PM
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