Thanksgiving is that time of year that we put on our bigger pants, gather with our loved ones, and feast. Everyone has different traditions and approaches to Thanksgiving: some recite (sometimes cheesy) statements of what we are thankful for, some let Dad cut the turkey, and some begin with their Christmas decorating after dinner. For my family, we eat a lot and then decorate for Christmas and watch National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. It’s a classic.
However, this year, Thanksgiving may be hard for some family and friends. Our world has been shaken this year with hurricanes, shootings, and stories of pain, hurt, and anger. There will be families who sit together with one less seat for the first time. There will be loved ones in the hospital or overseas. Thanksgiving may feel limited and tough to grasp something to feel thankful for.
Isn’t this article supposed to share décor tips for you this Thanksgiving season? Yes absolutely! I could share the beauty of balance, the art of mixing patterns, and the skill of mastering colors in your room. However, much like I’ve experienced with Southern Bliss Designs, I firmly believe in peeling back the rules, the how-to’s, and keeping it simple and sweet by starting at the root: This season let your décor send a message of hope and giving. Here’s four ways to provide subtle messages of hope as a reminder of what matters most this season:
Start at your front door
I can remember Thanksgiving in West Virginia at Grandma’s (it’s just Mom, Dad, and me here in South Carolina) and the SHOE AND COAT PILE. It was laughable-countless cousins running around, the warm hugs and loud laughter, and the arguments over who got the pie. The entrance is where the message begins. Consider a sercy—yes, Christmas is coming, but the point of hope is that it tends to feel unexpected and that’s exactly what a sercy is! Hang your gift bags at the entrance so the moment your guests walk in the door, they are hit with a different kind of warmth.
Need sercy ideas? Visit The Main Collective in Taylors, SC—vintage and handmade goods from multiple local vendors
The Seating Area
This is my favorite part—just kidding, the food is my favorite part—but, I loved watching Dad laugh with his brothers and sisters while I had fun with my cousins. Your seating area is a time of catching up, remembering, reliving, and sometimes restoring. Let your seating area be a place of “Come as you are.” Spread pillows on the floor for a little more comfort for the kids and that may even invite adults. One of my favorite memories as a kid is when my Pap would lay on the floor and color with me. Send a message of unity and togetherness with a large sign or small ones throughout.
When the Feast Starts
Ahhhh, yes, the moment we’ve all been waiting for-the food! Some of you may be like me and enjoy hints of Christmas in the mix of Thanksgiving and pine is perfect for that. Others may appreciate a strict Thanksgiving, so think about twigs and leaves instead of pine. Top your plate décor with something personal—and I don’t mean nametags. In most cases, we all gather already knowing our names! The message of hope can be profound here: we are all welcome at this table together. Leave a word or a meaningful family quote at the plate. You can use a folded card or an engraved spoon-get creative. For my family, we never say “bye” on the phone, but we says, “Always.” I could spread a few décor leaves on the plate and write “always” in gold on a folded card and place it neatly on top. These messages will be beautiful beyond the décor.
Eat, Drink, and Be Merry
When the feast is over, that’s when things start to become slow and quiet. After the table is cleaned, Grandpa’s start to nap, kids play outside, and others may look through old family albums. For my family, we drink and by drink, I mean we drink coffee and a lot of it. Whatever your beverage may be, the serving doesn’t end at the table. Small messages can continue with birch tags-wood, in it’s natural state, automatically adds warmth to any room. With this décor theme, or root, we are aiming for warmth. You can purchase birch tags in a pack of four at Michaels for less than $2. Grab a permanent marker or paintbrush and let your creativity flow. Remember-hope.
This season, make your décor mean something. I’m not saying to send a message of hope because of someone’s loss, but I am saying that we are in need of a hopeful reminder now more than ever. And aside from décor, if you know someone who is spending Thanksgiving by themselves or has experienced trials this year, invite them to your table. Use some of these ideas and make a platter to bring to their door. I believe that our décor should look beautiful because of the message it sends and it is even more beautiful when we live it. Happy Thanksgiving, y’all.