(ABOVE: 50% off turkey decor score found shopping the day before Thanksgiving - I usually avoid shopping the day before due to the stress it brings, but this made it worth it... Not Pictured in this Post: The actual mess that does take place the days leading up to Thanksgiving... messy pots, crummy counters, full sinks... We can all realte without the visuals I'm sure).
We are loud, messy, foolish, crazy, busy, and tired, but we are above all else, happy. Between feeding 40+ mouths a day, and trying to keep up with our home and social life, jobs, and family, it gets hectic. Days like this, like Thanksgiving, make us so grateful for the time to pause. Time to contemplate, and enjoy. Time to relax and appreciate the fruits of our labor, and share them with those we love. Nothing brings us more joy.
In preparation for the big day, I can be a little intense... The Homestead Husband knows to stay faaar out of this Big Momma's way, when decorating mode goes full steam ahead. I really love tablescapes and creating atmospheres that are *hopefully* low-stress and inviting. Thanksgiving is the opportune time to create a truly decadent tablescape, with food being the main focus!
With all of our homesteading adventures over the past year, I really wanted to incorporate that into my plans for the day, through decorations, entertainment, and good eats. I like to think that life can (key word: can) feel a little slower on "the farm", so it's important to me that our guests feel at ease in any of our spaces from the front porch, to the great room. I first make a point to remove as much clutter as humanly possible (keeping in mind that all families have junk) whether that be in the form of leaves, or piled up mail, or boots by the front door. Although this is a "farmhouse" nowadays, we don't need it to look like the pig pen.... Once all of the distractions are removed, guests can focus on more interesting details. With the installation of our new fireplace in the great room, guests will be able to feel nice and cozy - especially since it decided to start snowing in Maine already. We definitely were not dreaming of a white Thanksgiving but alas....
My next thought is on to the main courses - I pickled my heart out all harvest season long, so I know I can use those as part of our apps, along with farm fresh pickledeggs. I usually take an entire day to prep food before hand, so having some of these items, fresh, ready and waiting, really makes my planning a little easier. Making a point to season dishes using homegrown, dried or fresh herbs, and as few things from packets or tin cans as possible. If our turkeys had been to size, our guests would be enjoying one of those as well........ grrrrr.... But, there's always next year. I'll settle for homemade seasonings and homemade cranberry jelly instead. The turkeys will make for a very authentic Thanksgiving day parade at home, with all of the ducks following closely behind (they are never not together!).
In order to honor the grand ol' turkey however, I plan to utilize spent feathers in the tablescape (washed and dried of course), along with other natural findings from the yard, such as branches, leaves, and berries. I pretty much always have a bunch of candles in the mix because there is very little that is more inviting than a well-lit dining table, if you ask me. Pulling colors from some of the feathers, I plan my remaining scheme based on that (browns, blues, golds, maroons - the feathers can be rather irridescent), and the colors that are in my dishes, already. I know that it would probably make my life 100x easier to find a nice paper alternative, but if the holidays aren't the best time to break out the fine china and antique silverware, when is?
It's that same thought that brings the whole day, and everything we do, full circle for me. Why wait to use the fine china? Why not appreciate it while you can? Why not use the best quality, freshest ingredients? Growing things ourselves has caused us to that much further appreciate what we feed ourselves, and the quality of life it experienced. Why not try it? Taking the extra time to care for, raise, and share makes us appreciate one another that much more, too because we really worked for this, and we know what we're made of. We are without a doubt, grateful, thankful and blessed to live this life, even if it can be a little messy at times.