Decorating for Thanksgiving is an easy activity that the family can do together. Decorating will bring the fall colors into your home, creating a warm, festive and welcoming atmosphere. The decorations will also highlight the spirit of the holiday and serve as a reminder of all there is to be thankful for during your Thanksgiving Day celebration.
The first Thanksgiving took place in 1621 by the pilgrims of Plymouth, Mass. After enduring a hard winter the year before, during which almost half of their community was lost, the pilgrims established a relationship with the Wampanoag tribe, who taught them better hunting and fishing techniques. When the pilgrims were successful that autumn by harvesting enough food to provide for the community throughout the upcoming winter, the Wampanoag Indians joined them for a three-day celebration. Thanksgiving celebrates the harvest and all that we have to be thankful for. When decorating for this special holiday, many of the items used are some of the same fruits, vegetables and nuts that were known to be available to the first Thanksgiving celebrants.
Selections for Thanksgiving decorations can cover many areas of the home. Start with the front door, placing a colorful fall-themed straw or grapevine wreath decorated with deep orange and bright yellow silk flowers, along with leaves depicting autumn colors, wheat shafts and acorns.
Living room, den or foyer decorations have many possibilities. Straw, wicker, willow or rattan baskets filled with brilliantly colored flowers, stems and ferns can be placed in an entrance area on a hall table, desk and coffee table, or even on the mantelpiece.
Cornucopias are another type of traditional Thanksgiving decoration. These baskets can be filled with gourds, squash, nuts, Indian corn, berries, grapes and miniature pumpkins highlighted with sprigs of flowers, making this a perfect decoration for the kitchen.
Even the bathroom can have its own Thanksgiving decoration: a scented candle, such as cinnamon or pumpkin spice, on a layer of silk autumn-colored leaves, pine needles and acorns.
The dining room table is the main focus for Thanksgiving. The focal point is the center of the table, which can be accentuated with a colorful centerpiece of real or artificial flowers, or a cornucopia or platter of autumn leaves, artificial fruits, vegetables, nuts and flowers.
The individual place settings can have placemats decorated with Thanksgiving themes and miniature grapevine wreaths used as napkin and place-card holders. Miniature tea candles placed inside glass candle holders are another decoration that can add warmth to the dining table.
Bundles of cinnamon-scented straw brooms can be placed in containers throughout the home. Unscented brooms can be purchased and then sprayed with pumpkin spice or any other preferred scent. Scented oils can also be used in lieu of spray.
Using Thanksgiving decorations creates the atmosphere and holiday spirit perfect for your celebration. By bringing in the colors of the season, a warm glow is added to your home, making everything more festive and creating a visual smorgasbord for friends and family.
Use artificial silk, dried or plastic flowers for basket or vase arrangements so the decorations will last throughout the holiday. Premade silk or plastic floral arrangements can be purchased at local stores or online.
The whole family can participate in making decorations. Creating miniature baskets, wreaths, place-card holders and napkin rings requires minimal supplies. The results are decorations that can be used again or given as a memento of the day.
Because Thanksgiving and the fall season go hand in hand, decorating with wreaths, baskets and flowers depicting the autumn colors can be done prior to the holiday and can remain in place until you're ready to decorate for the next holiday.
Deciding how much to decorate, which rooms to decorate and how much time and expense to invest are important to your plans. When decorating for Thanksgiving, there are several ways to save time, cut costs and use your dollars where they'll have the most impact.
Fresh flowers are lovely and can be used for short-term decorating but if this can become expensive. For long-lasting decorations and to get the best deal for your money, use artificial flowers.
The woods, a field or your backyard, where pine needles, pine cones, acorns and wild grasses are available, are a gold mine for decorating purposes. Collect these items, and with a few extra supplies and a little effort, you'll be able to create your own decorations inexpensively.
Purchase Thanksgiving-designed fabric and create your own tablecloth, placemats and napkins.
Utilize any type of container, large or small and made of glass, metal or wood, to hold small bunches of flowers or miniature-scented brooms.
Use short, clear beverage glasses or inexpensive plastic wine glasses to hold tea candles that can be placed on the dining table.
Candles are a lovely addition to any holiday celebration, but take extra care when using them near decorations. Do not leave candles unattended where children or animals can accidentally tip over a lit candle or burn themselves. Do not use burning candles near artificial flowers, leaves or any other flammable substance.
If using realistic-looking artificial flowers, stems, fruit, nuts or vegetables for cornucopias, wreaths and basket decorations, be sure children, pets and even guests do not mistake these items for real ones.