Thanksgiving has always held a special place in my heart. From the time I was just a teenager, I carried on the role of hosting Thanksgiving for my family. Truth be told, the reason why is because all my life, my Cuban family would cook typical Cuban food on a night that epitomizes American tradition. This bothered me. So, I decided to take matters into my own hands and host our family’s very first all-American traditional Thanksgiving!
Before the big night, I googled tons of recipes, scurried through cookbooks, called up friends and family to share their recipes and over the years, the holiday became “mine” to host. I went from hosting the holiday tradition at my parents house using paper plates and plastic utensils to hosting as a newlywed wife for the first time in our very first home. Even still, our table setting was as simple as can be. I used empty wine bottles and filled them with sunflowers, spread out a few votive candles and a set a table filled with food. It was perfect.
Over the years my table-scapes and settings have evolved. Each year I find myself changing up the table entirely (which drives Mark crazy, ha!). This year’s theme is my favorite one yet. Perhaps it has to do with having invested in my first set of real Thanksgiving themed plates and coordinating utensils! But don’t be mistaken, although I did invest in a new set of plates, I got everything else at a real bargain!
So, let’s start with my plates. Each year that I host, I usually serve dinner on my basic, white plates…but I always tell myself “next year I’m buying Thanksgiving themed plates”. Well this year, I finally did! And I cannot be happier! I found these on a day when I happened to walk into Pottery Barn having been drawn in by all the Fall decor. I couldn’t help myself when I saw that these gorgeous pumpkin plates were on sale! They were actually having a “Fall Sale” so their faux pumpkins were also available at a reduced price. I knew I wanted to do more of a neutral themed table so when I saw this beautiful, big white pumpkin, I had to buy it!
Since I was going for that more natural/neutral theme, I wanted to set the plates on a natural fiber placemat but I couldn’t find any for less than $8 or $10 each. Low and behold, World Market had the perfect color, natural fiber placemats to match my plates AND they were less than $4 each!
While browsing the store, I stumbled upon these awesome utensils in new color trend, gold! The rim on my plates is also gold so I thought it would be the perfect match! I snagged them for $12 for a set of 4! These napkins that I found at Home Goods also had a simple touch of gold which ties everything together nicely.
Lighting is so important when it comes to creating an ambiance. Using candles of varying heights adds a very elegant and romantic element to the table. I love decorating with natural textures, so when I found these wooden candle stick holders for $5 I just couldn’t pass them up! The silver votive candle holders add even more of an ambiance and also polishes up the look so I couldn’t pass those up either. Both from World Market!
Now, let’s talk about how awesome Target is…I found this table runner in the dollar spot for just $3!!! It had the natural elements that I was planning on using so I said, “Hey for $3, I’ll take it!” I was wary at first of how It would look on my table, but it turned out to work perfectly!
I love mixing natural elements with different metals. It breaks up the rustic textures and balances things out by adding a more polished look. That is why when I saw these gold pumpkins for $10 at Target, I thought they were the perfect finish! I bought two to balance out the big white one I had purchased at Pottery Barn. And these adorable turkey salt and pepper shakers? Also from Target!
Since I was doing a natural theme, I had to add some sort of greenery or leaves. I’ve used faux garlands before but this year I wanted to add natural stems. Trader Joe’s has amazing deals on florals. These eucalyptus stems are just $2.99 per bunch! I cut the stems apart and made my own garland by laying the stems around the pumpkins. Pretty good deal!
I hope I’ve shown you all that it doesn’t take a lot of money to set a beautiful table. I’ve come to realize that keeping things simple is what looks most elegant. I believe that that applies to everything in life 🙂
Here is my Thanksgiving Menu
Allow me to help you host this year’s Thanksgiving in style! Click on the recipe links below to create perfect Thanksgiving Menu!