A Traditional Family Thanksgiving Table Setting

As I think ahead to Thanksgiving later this month, I have been reminiscing on a few years ago when some of my family traveled to Nashville and I was able to host Thanksgiving dinner at my home for the first time. We had been living in it for about a year, after a 6 month complete renovation and we were ready for guests. I was also pregnant with Theodore! We took our job as hosts very seriously and carefully planned every element of our dinner. I had a vision for the table, place cards, and so on. My favorite sitcoms are Friends & How I Met Your Mother, so I had an expectation about “having Thanksgiving at my place for the first time” if you know what I mean. I wanted my home to feel cozy and inviting, because I think the most important part of decorating for Thanksgiving is making sure your family feels relaxed and comfortable in the environment.


When hosting, I like to source from items I already have, things that I can forage, and then add in one or two store bought elements. My starting pieces were these traditional white plates (a wedding gift) and brass candlesticks. From there, I knew I could forage some branches and fall greenery in my yard to drape across the center of the table. I used cream linen tablecloths from Target as the backdrop and added tall black candles for a little drama. I love a candle lit meal and know that my grandmother does too so that was an important element to me. My most favorite element at the table was the vintage green glassware. I found the set at a local antique shop and now I try to use them pretty much anytime I can.

I will also never forget this year because given our impending guests, I was able to convince Austin, my husband, to put up the Christmas lights early. I had my very own Clark Griswold. He strung every corner of our house with the traditional, big, white, glass bulbs and it looked like a dream. I also wanted to make the entryway to our house a pretty setting for my family to stop and take photos together.

In my opinion, no other meal of the year beats the delicious food of Thanksgiving. And it is imperative to have multiple pie options. To display the pies I used dishes I have collected and layered their heights.  


I want to share this delicious kale recipe soon, because it was the perfect “fresh” option to add to our meal. It was quick and easy to put together right as the rolls were coming out of the oven and the turkey had been sliced. One other secret (or not so secret) hosting tip is to make a cheese & charcuterie board for family to snack on when they start to get hungry. Our Thanksgiving meals always begin in the late afternoon and people tend to start getting hungry around lunch time. I get all my cheese, charcuterie, dips, crackers and fruit for these trays from Trader Joes. The blueberry goat cheese is always a hit with guests. I like to add in some of their small holiday shaped cookies as well.

I hope this can inspire you to be thoughtful and creative with your own holiday tables this year. In my opinion, as long as you put thought and care into hosting, your guests will love it.