Thanksgiving is my favorite. In my childhood it’s affixed as that cozy day of warm-bread-y smells coming from the kitchen and ice clinking into my Grandma’s holiday glasses as my sister and I set the table.
It’s that beautiful day where something in your brain switches over and starts telling you that it’s perfectly acceptable to have pie for breakfast every morning now until the new season of Biggest Loser starts. I mean, it is just that perfect kick-off to the most wonderful time o’ the year.
Last year we had a small Thanksgiving at our house with two of my brothers and my sister-in-law Tara. (You remember my big project last year, right? My sis and I made TEN different Thanksgiving tables from stuff we either borrowed or found around our house! We live for these foolish things.) It filled my love and happiness tank for the year.
Since moving, the possibility of hosting a bigger group really became a reality. One of the reasons we bought this house was so we could fill it with people (If you’ve been following my Instagram or read my last news-y post, you know that we kind of got to work on that right away…aherrm).
We invited a bunch of friends over and ended up with 18 people, half of which were kids! Kid-a-pal-ooza! I mean, how else do you even do Thanksgiving though? If we don’t have two high chairs, two boosters and a baby en lap, then what is the world coming to?
This was most certainly a year for disposable-chic table settings.
It was SO easy, guys. I sloppily covered each table with a roll of Kraft paper from Michael’s. Then, I printed off these fabulous (FREE) cutlery bags from Craftaholics Anonymous on 8 x 11 pieces of Kraft paper, hot glued them together and filled them with basic schmasic napkins and cutlery (that I already had).
And of course, garnished it with a lil’ sprig of rosemary.
I always believe in complete seating organization and table-setting the night before any event, but I wish I would have waited on the rosemary garnish, as it dried right out over night.
We had three tables: a small kid’s table, a card table, and our dining room table with all the leaves in. Because card tables and Thanksgiving go together like mashed taters with butter ’n gravy!
The kid’s table was just like ours, minus I did little cups with lids and brown-stripey straws with their names on them. They are just disposable coffee cups from Party City that I had leftover from a birthday party…with straws jammed in them, which turned out so cute. Stripey straws do that.
Oh, and crayons…so they could color on errathang.
I didn’t really do centerpieces. I just used my trusty thrifted brass candle holder collection a few Trader Joe’s succulents down the middle. Because… brown and green and I’m trying to roast an 18 lb bird to a perfect internal temp of 165 degrees farenheit for crying out loud!
Also, one of my favorite things in the world to have at a big gathering…infused water! It sounds fancy, but it’s just water with cut up fruit and herbs. It looks so purty. No matter how many schmancy drinks you are serving at a party, everyone always goes looking for the water. Plus, the colors are so festive. It’s a thing I learned from my California friends. (Oh I’ve tasted every combo under the sun…my favorite is strawberry and basil!)
And what is more fitting for T-day than cranberry and orange infused water?
(It’s best really fresh. Even after a few hours the tastes can get a little much.) I did these carafes on the table, but I also did a big Mason jar dispenser.
One more table setting photo…because I love you. And for Pinterest’s sake.
I spent the whole morning puttering around the kitchen, smelling turkey and listening to Good Housekeeping’s Thanksgiving playlist on Spotify.
Thanksgiving this year succeeded to fill my love and happiness tank again.
Although…we almost served raw turkey. Let the true confessions begin.
Our turkey was positively a disaster because I was over-confident about my perfect last-year’s turkey (don’t be like me) and thought it would be NBD to roast an 18 lb bird for 18 people in an oven I’ve never roasted a turkey in before. It turned out we didn’t use the thermometer right (oopsy) and NONE of the breast was cooked, so we ended up sticking a half-carved turkey back in the oven and then scraping off all the cooked meat from the appendages. It was a bit dry, but we did have turkey. And even some leftovers.
But that’s why you have heavily buttered gravy. The friends of Friendsgiving were unendingly kind and gracious and just glad it wasn’t them hosting with a half-cooked turkey to deal with. We ate and drank and made merry and crammed in a round or two of Catchphrase with toddlers throwing toys over the stair bannister and jammied babies on our laps pushing all the buttons. Family came by with leftover pie from the Alsbury festivities, which further cements my theory on desserts at large gatherings…if you build it, desserts will come.
All my favorite dishes were the ones my friends brought…pecan pie, sweet potatoes and a green salad with apples and pecans. (Why does food always fast SO much better when someone else makes it? IT JUST DOES.) On that note, I don’t think I’ve ever opened more packages of butter in a two day period in my life.
Now enough about Thanksgiving and friends and how grateful we are for all of our wonderful blessings! Let’s be ‘Merica and get to gettin’ our Christmas on! I did a lot of Christmas pinning this year and decided to try a hand-made-ish look for my Christmas decor this year.
The only problem being…it’s all got to be made…by hand.
Well, friends, there are paper stars to be folded and fresh wreaths to be made! The craft life is a rough life, but I do it all for you.