This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #HappyThanksGathering #CollectiveBias
I love Thanksgiving. The food, the traditions, the nostalgia – all of it. It’s the perfect kick-off to the busy holiday season and something that I look forward to every year.
Since getting married four years ago, I have been telling my husband that I can’t wait to host Thanksgiving dinner. Unfortunately, between not having a big enough space and our traveling to see other family, I haven’t had my chance yet.
This year, I will be much too pregnant to travel off-island and we have a home large enough to host family and friends so it looks like I’m finally getting my chance!
To say that I am excited is an understatement but I’m trying hard not to go overboard with the planning and preparation.
My main goal when doing any kind of hosting is comfort. No matter how great your kitchen and decorating skills are, your guests will eventually forget what you served them to eat, but they will always remember how you made them feel. That’s why creating an authentically warm, relaxing, and comfortable environment is key.
I feel most at peace in my own home when things are tidied up. I know that my guests will feed off of my energy, so I will be spending some time sprucing up the main living areas of our home before the big day to make sure that I am able to relax. The last time I was at Walmart, I picked up a few of my clean-house essentials: Scrubbing Bubbles® Toilet Cleaning Gel, Scrubbing Bubbles® Disinfectant Bathroom Cleaner and Windex® Original Glass Wipes. (Bonus: there is an awesome rebate going on right now which saves you $5 on your holiday photos)
Cleaning up the house, especially when you have a meal to plan/cook is a big job but with the right cleaning products and some holiday tunes turned up nice and loud it’s a big, fun job.
^My brother kindly demonstrating how easy and fun cleaning the bathroom with the Windex® Original Glass Wipes is. Isn’t he the best?
After the house is clean, and before I get to cooking, I’ll make sure that our house is decorated festively for the occasion with some traditional items and a special Thanksgiving wreath.
We all know to expect the “what are you thankful for” activity at the Thanksgiving dinner table but none of us likes to be put on the spot, right? I know I don’t. I think this is especially true when sitting around the table with strangers or a new group of people. (think your first Thanksgiving with your significant other’s family or maybe a group of your parent’s colleagues) but also applies to those dining with family and loved ones that they see all of the time.
Even though I have SO much to be thankful for, and love spending time reflecting on them, my naturally introverted self sometimes cringes at situations like these. To combat that awkwardness, and to make sure that all of my guests feel comfortable this Thanksgiving, I created this wreath that we will incorporate during dinner time.
The wreath is already hanging above our piano. Underneath, I have a box with pre-cut “thanks” circles and some pieces of leather cord. The idea is that from now until Thanksgiving, anyone who comes into my house can write down what they are thankful for and tie it onto the wreath. Guests who are here only for the day will have their opportunity to write down what they are thankful for while they are mingling and waiting for our meal.
During dinner, I will remove all of the circles from the wreath, divide them equally amongst our guests and we will take turns reading off what we are all thankful for. Of course, anybody can share more if they are so inclined but I believe that by having this anonymous way of sharing what we are thankful for will ensure that all of my guests feel comfortable, welcomed and pressure-free.
Sounds great, right? If you want to make a Thanksgiving wreath of your own, please feel free to download this free printable which gives you twelve “thanks” circles per page. Once you have the circles printed and cut out, punch a single hole into the top of the circle, cut some string and lay those items out with some pens.
I have so much to be thankful for this year – our wreath is going to be pretty full by the time Thanksgiving rolls around. I’m looking forward to it! That and, of course, the food. You can find more #HappyThanksgathering inspiration here.