November marks the hustle and bustle that will continue until the New Year, with Thanksgiving Day being the precursor to family dinners, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. From now until 2018, you will most likely be baking, cleaning, and prepping for company. I can safely say that most moms find the holidays to be overwhelming and some even meet these moments with anxiety and dread.

There are always those guests that will judge how clean your house is, how organized the dinner table is, down to how neatly the napkins are folded. You can never please everyone. So don’t fret, this holiday season should be about joy, fun, and quality time with your family and friends. And the sooner you can get a plan into action the better. This way you will have time to take a breather before the doorbell rings.

Steps to a Successful Thanksgiving Dinner:IMG_5163

1. Start with the entrance. Add a seasonal wreath or words of inspiration to your front door. It’s the first thing your family and friends will see upon arrival. They will realize that you mean business when it comes to Thanksgiving and having a good time!

2. Pick a theme. Once you’ve settled on a theme, not only will it be easier to write up the menu, but you will also know which direction to take with the decorations. Will it be a classy and elegant evening? Or will it be a kid friendly evening full of holiday cheer and decor? In other words, will you be bringing out the cornucopia and the Indian headdresses or candles and your finest china?

3. Arrange the table. Incorporating seasonal color into the napkins, the place mats, chair covers, and dinnerware is key. A break from the everyday colors is a welcome sight and brings a festive mood to the meal. Play around with various shades and hues of orange, red, brown, yellow, and green.

4. Set the mood with seasonal elements. There are flowers and plants that are particular to autumn, such as marigolds, dahlias, and chrysanthemums. Fill the vases with your favorite fall flower. Acorns, miniature pumpkins and ornamental Indian corn, along with autumnal foliage make great centerpieces as well as fantastic additions to table runners.

5. Engage the sense of smell. The best way is to have something yummy baking in the oven as the guests arrive. But if not, strategically placed candles or scent diffusers throughout the home can do the trick. Apple cider, pumpkin spice, or cranberries are just a few scent suggestions.

6. Dim the lights. Dimming the lights creates an ambience of greater intimacy and togetherness. If your lights do not have a dimming function, simply changing your light bulb to a lower wattage will work.

7. Make it cozy. With the cooler temperatures, if you have a fireplace, take advantage of the unifying element that it will bring into any room. Bring out the fluffy throws and plaid blankets! It will be a perfect place for guests to gather and socialize. Often times it is the great conversations we have that make the gathering more enjoyable and memorable.

I hope you have found this article both helpful and enjoyable. May you all have a fantastic time with your families and loved ones!

Happy Thanksgiving!!!