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Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.
When November arrives, the weather gets nasty. And as it rains, freezes, blows, snows and gets dark at 4:30 p.m., I find myself sitting inside looking for a glimmer of hope. What did we even do last winter? I’m so bored.
But hark! Thanksgiving is on the horizon.
If I won a few million dollars, every day would look like Thanksgiving. I would wake up with friends and family inbound. I’d spend the morning cooking way too much food, and as people arrived, I’d put the game on, set out the appetizers, and open a few bottles of wine. After eating and drinking for a few hours, we’d eat and drink again, and then eat and drink one more time, and then have dessert before falling asleep on the couch. The next day, we’d eat and drink everything we forgot to eat and drink the day before, which would honestly be the best part of it all.
Actually, the best part of Thanksgiving is that Abraham Lincoln just made it up! (Edit: Thanks to reader Amy for pointing out that, in fact, Sarah Hale not only came up with the holiday, but led a national movement for the holiday’s creation!) Sarah had a great idea, but she majorly missed the mark in regard to scheduling the holiday. Why in god’s name do we celebrate the two biggest family holidays four weeks from each other? I don’t hear from my extended family for 48 weeks, and then I see them twice in a month? I mean, who else has ever had a conversation like this one?
“Hi Uncle Bob!”
“Hi Mitch! How were the last 20 days for you?
Despite this (and the fact that Kelly and I are leaving town for Thanksgiving), we decided to go all out for the holiday this year. We did it partly for us and partly for a few “Friendsgiving” celebrations… but mostly for Emma. And when I say “we did it,” what I really mean is “my wife did it.” But hey: you knew that, right? And if you didn’t, please take a look at this, which Kelly posted on November 8th.
Fa la la!
Anyway, today is Sunday, which means you have all day today to get your act together for Turkey Day… and then you have Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights… and then Thursday morning if you’re like me and a complete wreck of a human. Still panicking? Here are a few easy, Mitch-approved Thanksgiving decorating tips I’ve picked up along the way:
Nature is pretty. No, you can’t just throw pinecones around the house and call it a day, which I originally tried to do and was scolded for. You need to put them in baskets. Or in clear jars. Or in things with ribbons tied around them. But nature is FREE. Go outside and gather some dry leaves, sticks, berries–whatever you can find, really, and then Google “how to decorate with ____.” This method doesn’t fail.
Or go to Pottery Barn and give them all your money for things you could find in your backyard.
All jokes aside, you’ll likely have to buy certain things like pumpkins and gourds, unless you have farm connections. But that’s where Peapod–our go-to source for groceries–comes in. I know I usually write a “Cookin’ with Mitch” post when I’m talking about Peapod, but today, you’re getting more of a “Puttin’ Stuff on the Table with Mitch” post. Needless to say, Peapod hooked me up with all the pumpkins and gourds I needed to set our Thanksgiving table, and I ordered a ton of extras (on the smartphone app) to position around the house. It was insanely easy and fast (they arrived the following day!), and I can’t tell you how many brownie points this scored me.
Side note: Peapod also everything you need to set the Thanksgiving dinner table if you’re on the go, from silverware, plates and bowls to napkins, candles and tablecloths!
Browns, yellows, oranges, reds–this is what we’re looking for… and bonus points for integrating plaids and navy gingham. The time is now to dig out all the cozy blankets you own and drape them over your couches and chairs, too. Placemats and tablecloths should feature “warm” colors and patterns, and gold accents are also helpful. Light the fire and/or several candles, and you’ve mastered this one.
Leave your boots around
When I was growing up, leaving your shoes around was an offense punishable by “room time.” Today, though, I’m praised for it. As long as I do it artfully. A pair of wellingtons should be upright and side-by-side, positioned to the right or left of a couch or the fireplace. Duck boots, though? One needs to be standing up and the other needs to be on its side, like they were naturally kicked off after a long day of hiking. (Fun fact: we live in the city and have been hiking like twice.) But no piles of shoes anywhere under ANY circumstances.
That’s just filthy.
Play up the animals
Dogs are great decor. I mean, just look at the below photos of Noodle. Doesn’t she just add to the ambiance? (Not pictured: the murderous scene of Noodle tearing apart the straw pig. RIP, Oinky.) If you don’t have a dog, though, fear not. Just pick up some little duck, turkey (obviously), cow, sheep, foxe, pig, or geese figurines–whatever you can find, and spread ’em around. Animals you’d find on a farm are best. Animals like polar bears, giraffes, penguins and lions will be rejected by your wife.
Who knew? When Kelly first told me she wanted to hang wreaths in our windows, I didn’t like the idea, mostly because it seemed like an expensive and boring endeavor. But everyone who visits comments on the seasonal wreaths, and I have to say that they’re the focus of our home!
Any other easy Thanksgiving decorating tips I missed?
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Holiday Wreaths / Farmhouse Plaid Napkins / Versatile Decorative Tray / Hunter Boots / Shearling-Lined Bean Boots (Navy Version Here) / Gingham Pillow / Madras Quilt / Landry Loveseat and Ottoman / Boxwood Topiary Tall and Short / Potpourri / Harvest Candles / Brass Flatware and Set / Pig and Piglet both on sale! / Corncob Bundle on sale! / Maple Leaf String / Natural Place Mats / Dining Chairs / Maple Leaf and Berry Bundle / Buffet / Striped Mug / Oriental Rug / Candle Holder / Farmhouse Duck / Grapevine Pumpkin / Fireplace Tools / Similar Chinoiserie Vase / Chanel Book / Chinoiserie Bowl /
In collaboration with Peapod, but all opinions are my own. As always, thank you so much for supporting the partnerships that keep Kelly in the City up and running!