Tag Archives: family friendly thanksgiving

I am sure Martha Stewart decorates with butcher paper

Friends, Thanksgiving Day is a mere week and a half away.

Now if you live in my area of suburbia, you miight not realize this little fact because we are in full Christmas explosion mode (likely because we are known as the “Christmas Capital” of our fine state). I love, love, love Christmas. However, I think I might even love Thanksgiving more. Therefore, Christmas explosion in early November is not my cup of tea. A few weeks ago (pre-Halloween, mind you), when I spied my first Christmas tree decoration on the streets of our town, I may/may not have yelled “It’s not Christmas, people!”.

My four year old may/may not yell “It’s not Christmas, people!” whenever we pass a decoration.

(for example, when we passed the random grouping of polar bears that are perched by a log cabin on our Main Street she boldy made her proclamation. I love our suburb’s holiday decor, but the random polar bears always confuse me).

For now, Christmas is a topic not quite ready to be discussed by the residents of casa de phillips.

However, we are ready to discuss Thanksgiving.

As I make our family’s feast plans (once again we are hosting, something the husband and I love to do…because he likes to watch football on his own television and because I have control issues), I wanted to share some cute ideas for decorating the thanksgiving table.


1. Butcher Paper as a Table Cloth

Beautiful heriloom linen tableclothes are a thing of wonder. They also require washing before and after use and the need for an iron to get out wrinkles. Once the Thanksgiving meal is complete and leftovers are stored away, I am done with Turkey Day and outlining a strategy for Black Friday. Therefore, the idea of washing table linens is not my idea of a good time.

Enter: Butcher Paper

Last year, we covered vinyl (yes…vinyl!) tableclothes with brown butcher paper and scattered crayons around the table. Everyone had a great time drawing on the paper before, during and after dinner. No one panicked when food was spilled or gravy dribbled. After we all took a moment to admire everyone’s creations, we simply wadded up the paper and threw it away.

The vinyl tableclothes were stored for another year.


2. Paper Goods

Some of you are making a mental note to never attend a Thanksgiving feast at my house after reading we use both plastic table clothes and paper plates for our holiday celebrations.

Did you see the above note that I had to make my strategy plan for Black Friday? That leaves no time for doing load after load of dishes.

My favorite craft store of all time, Hobby Lobby, carries an excellent array of Thanksgiving holiday plates. One must know to go early, because the shelves will be cleared of these beauties weeks before Thanksgiving actually arrives.

One must also know if they shop for said plates with a four year old girl, she will really, really, really want the plates with the comical Turkey plastered on them while her mother is insistent on purchasing the decorative pretty plates (The Mom won in the end, because she was the one with the wallet and the cash.)


3. Remember the lighting

Our front room, where we will host Thanksgiving dinner, has no overhead lighting. We are unsure as to why this room is without lights, but do know it is a common thing in many of the homes in our neighborhood. Fortunately it has large bay windows that allows for the perfect amount of light during the day.

To enhance the lighting on the table, I use candles.

Remember how I mentioned paper goods and vinyl table clothes? Well those, a strong flame and eager arms passing food really do not make for a safe holiday environment. Last year, I used the battery-operated tealight candles. They worked great at projecting a faux-flame.

This year I might also attempt something like this:



And like this:

4. Remember the children

We do not have an official “kids table” at our Thanksgiving, mainly because there are only two children who will be present. I like to have some crafts set out for the kids to accomplish during the day. Last year I set them up on the desk in the school room.

A few Thanksgiving crafts I think the kids will work on include:

The Thanksgiving Tree

Turkey Trivia

Post-dinner, kids need something to occupy little hands as well. By then, I am comfortable with making the switch over the Christmas and letting them work on some Christmas related things.

(What those might be have yet to be determined. Potentially something easy scooped up at our local craft store…)


How do you make Thanksgiving a special holiday, while keeping things rela

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