As I was mentally reviewing my preparations for the Halloween festivities today . . . making sure I had all the parts and pieces and ingredients . . . I paused for a moment on the subject of Thanksgiving. For the last 6 (maybe more) years we've gone away for a few days. This includes some good ole' family time and a fancy Thanksgiving buffet at a hotel or restaurant. But for a whole bunch of different reasons, we are actually considering staying home this year -- cooking in. It's both appealing (homey, warm, relaxed) and not (lots of work, maybe it will be boring?). But my figurative ears have been perking up around the web, looking for fun and festive Thanksgiving ideas.
I'm definitely going to participate in Cathy Zielske's 30 Days of Thankful. She provides digital templates (in her characteristic clean, modern style), and my task is to take a picture of one thing I'm grateful for each day of November. I'm using the 6 x 6 template, which I'm going to have printed at Artifact Uprising . . . that way I don't have to secure an album and then find time to print and assemble the finished product. Cuz we all know that's just not going to happen.
I'm thinking these placecards at each plate. Too Christmas-y? Or just simple and rustic? (I'd love to give credit to the placecard artist, but they are unlinked on Pinterest.)
These stamped napkin holders look cool (and do-able).
Queen Martha has a beautiful Thanksgiving site. I choose the Three-Tier Candied-Pecan Cake with Brown-Butter Pears and the Family Trivia Books. Because I like cake and books. And my family.
If we do cook, I'm dead set on Pioneer Woman's green bean casserole. Have your tried it? It's a fresh, foodie version of the old cream-of-mushroom-soup classic. It's really, really, really tasty. We'll probably just have green bean casserole and the Three-Tiered Candied-Pecan Cake with Brown-Butter Pears. Who really needs more than that?
To be completely honest, Thanksgiving would be super-duper special if I could redo my dining room. (I like to go big or go home.) Check out Design Sponge's before/after dining rooms here. I'm really drawn to the ones with dark walls. They match my soul.
I was going to close this Thanksgiving post by linking to Edward Payson Roe's short story, "Three Thanksgiving Kisses" as an idyllic image to get you all revved for the season. But then I reread it and found that while it is a cozy and bright recreation of a nineteenth-century, New England Thanksgiving, it's also full of brazen stereotypes, and the grand idea that a flighty young girl can only settle down under the weight of hardship or at the hand of a steady gentleman. Ahem. So, fair warning there. But then I remembered O. Henry's story, "Two Thanksgiving Day Gentlemen," which is really quite funny (full of one-liners) and unfailingly provides the old O. Henry one-two punch at the end. Read it out loud to your big kids. Keep on going when they roll their eyes. The ending is totally worth it.