So Thanksgiving week is actually here! Wow. Is it just me or did it just kind of sneak up?! I know everyone is probably picking up to become quite busy this week so I thought I would make today's post to-the-point with this message:
Keep it simple.
I'm the queen of going overboard. I don't think I know any other way. There is just something to be said for going that extra step and making any holiday or gathering experience extra-special. Yet, over the years, I have had to learn to trim fat, pace myself, and be prepared to simplify. Like the iconic Grinch vs. Whos; when faced with no feast, they still gathered and sang because true meaning was in their hearts.
It isn't just a Christmas sentiment, though this 'commercialized' time of year gets the biggest rap on needing simplification. No, every holiday has it's strings of tradition which are beautiful and heart warming. However, tradition and to-dos aren't meant to stand in the way of peace of mind and the heart of the occasion.
Keep it simple.
Pace yourself. Prepare ahead of time where possible: I've pre-cut my pie filling fruit and tucked it into the freezer for pies I will bake on Wednesday... I will also pre-cut the veggie and cheese/sausage platter goodies on Wednesday as well. Wednesday is actually my biggest prep day where platters are pre-washed, buffet arrangements and place settings are plotted and linens are ironed. We order Pizza so I don't need to add to the dirty dishes after all the prep that day! Pre-prepping as much as I can, as early as I can in the week, allows me to relax more and be at ease when company arrives for dinner on Thursday.
Don't stress if dinner is running late or the gravy has lumps. If you think back, most of your Thanksgiving memories aren't of whether dinner was timely or "perfect" but rather, of the conversations and time with family/friends throughout the day.
Recruit kiddos. Helping is a great opportunity to learn to serve those around them. Whether it is putting forks on the table or stirring potatoes, find jobs which can save you some running and grow their servant hearts♥️
Keep it simple.
Don't be afraid to cut out a dish or two if it is stealing your joy to keep it on the table. Live in the day, laugh at the flops, and love on those around you... it will last longer than the calories everyone is tucking in!
In simplicity's honor and for something a bit fun, I thought I would share a quick table setting craft today:
You can make these as simple or as complicated as you like. The one above is sort of mid-range on the "complication" scale and even then, it is still very quick and easy.
Start with some fake leaves and optional flowers. I bought mine at the Dollar Store:
Next, remove leaves from the stems by pulling the plug off and slipping the leaf set off the stem:
Next, using a permanent marker or paint pen (I've used a gold paint pen to do these in the past but didn't have one on hand this time), hold the leaf flat and write the name.
One year, this was all I did! I put each leaf on the plate with the rolled-up silverware placed across the joint of the leaf. It looked as though they were attached to the wrapped silverware but they weren't!
You can take it a step further and use the flowers....
Clip a stem off the bunch.
Insert it into the leaf...
Pull the leaf up to within a few inches of the head of the flower and twist the stem to form a base.
Again, you can be done here if you like. Or, you can add raffia and other embellishments. I decided I didn't want the name on the leaf this year.
I added an extra leaf set to my flower stem and then created the base. Then, I took some scrapbook paper and cut it to size, adding the name there.
Once more, you can be done here if you like. I simply tucked the name tag into the leaves and it stayed put!
I felt this needed a bit more though so I used a solid piece of scrapbook paper, I glued (glue stick or double sided sticky tape) my name tag onto the solid paper and cut slightly larger around the edges. I also used some stamps to embellish around her name and washi tape to create a lower border.
I tucked the name tag back into the leaf set and viola! I made a whole set for Thursday:
It sounds like a lot of steps but, truly, it was quick and easy and can even be done as a family craft. You can have kiddos help create their own or other special guests' name tags for a personal touch! It is a super-special treat for grandparents to receive!
For simple: just stick with the leaf, a penned name and a tucking under silverware or place-setting. Even this very basic touch will really give that WOW factor when guests take their seats, no bells and whistles necessary! All the other pizazz is just icing on top!
I pray your Thanksgiving is simply magnificent and full of grateful remembrances!
By the way... it's not too late to be ready for Thanksgiving! On our "Resource" page here on the site you can find these great downloadables to help you plan and prepare (it is never too late to be ready for a big holiday dinner!)