Time to gather … and gobble

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Hope you’ve got your post-dinner elastic-waist pants ready, because it’s officially Thanksgiving week–and we’re only days away from food heaven. Whether you’re hosting your own celebration or stopping by someone else’s, here are a few simple ways I keep it stress-free, meaningful and local.


Not one for cooking, and in need of a host gift for a family member or friend? Pick up an extra bottle of the host’s favorite bubbly or wine–such as one from Oliver or French Lick wineries, or last Thursday’s Beaujolais Nouveau release if you can find it–and wrap it up in something he or she can reuse. Pictured above: Faux-fur wine bottle cover (with a satin bow!) for $8 from Target.


Looking to liven up the table with something other than food? Try picking up a few bouquets from your local florist or flower farm for centerpieces, ordering a leafy garland to drape along a rustic table, or placing sprigs of lavender or rosemary on each plate for an aromatic touch. The bouquet and lavender sprigs in these photos are from Indy’s Willow and Star Flowers‘ a-la-carte pop-up shop at West Elm this past weekend.

(P.S. Want to share some holiday cheer with someone you’re especially thankful for? Willow and Star Flowers is accepting nominations for a special floral arrangement giveaway now through December 4!)


If you’re willing to open your home and heart to your loved ones (and maybe strangers too), it’s an opportunity to share your favorite memories–and the pieces that evoke them–and create new stories to tell next year.

When you’re the Thanksgiving host, you have authority to make it meaningful, whatever that means for you. Is it sharing your favorite traditions, like giving each person at the table a chance to give thanks? Or playing games together, or cheering on your football team, or trading recipes? (When I was younger, our family tradition was watching “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” and shoveling canned jellied cranberry sauce into our mouths. In our house, the canned stuff beats “real” cranberry sauce any day.)

When I host dinner parties, I tend to place flowers in a plastic red vase that my husband presented to me, filled with a dozen red roses, after our first year together. The pewter dishes you see in these photos were a wedding gift. The gold placecard holders in this setting are new acquisitions from Target’s Hearth and Home collab with Joanna and Chip Gaines, but they allowed me the chance to happily revisit my (very rusty) calligraphy skills from addressing 100+ wedding invitations last year. And the pink Depression-era drink glasses, a market splurge, showcase my love for vintage.

So how will you make Thanksgiving your own this year? Share your plans in the comments, and don’t forget to check out my Instagram Stories on Thursday to see what I’m cooking up for Thanksgiving!

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