Friday, November 9, 2012

Company's Coming...Part 3

Halloween is long passed, and you're looking forward to the next event.  Your to do list is growing day by day and maybe you're starting to feel the pressure of it.

First, think about what's really important to you.  I know, you say, "But Billie, you've posted about clean ceiling fans and dusted base boards....Aren't THOSE things important?"  I will continue to post my to do lists and encourage you to follow along as your time permits.  

But for now, think about what is the most important to you!  Thanksgiving is about spending time with those you love.  When it comes to what's important for the comfort of your guests, is it simply having enough space to feed a crowd?  Is it finishing up that never-ending DIY project?  Is it sorting through the stuff in the guest room to make room for in-laws and long-awaited friends?

Make your list, then prioritize it.  Schedule time over the next couple of weeks and keep your appointment.  Maybe it will be 15 minutes.  Maybe it will be an hour.  Who knows? Maybe you'll have an entire day or an entire weekend.  But plan the work, and work the plan.

If you don't prioritize your list, you may end up with the hardest, most pressing task waiting until last - and stressful moments will ensue.  Save yourself the time, the headache, and the stress.  Finish the most difficult, the most stressful task first. Get it out of the way, and you'll create momentum you can't believe to finish the rest!

Here are a few things I'm thinking about before the big day arrives:

My centerpiece!  That's always a big one for me.  On the importance scale, it falls pretty low, I admit, but I enjoy creating a fun tablescape and I don't want to wait until the last minute and try to figure it out.  It is, however, a process.  I have to put it together, put out my place settings.  Make certain everyone has room for glasses and silverware.  Be sure the centerpiece isn't too high that guests can't see who is across from them.  I love channeling my inner Martha to make this just right.

Let me show you the pieces to the puzzle so far:
a pheasant...

some beaded filler

Two sparkly candle goblets

fall produce

Cinnamon scented pine cones

My pilgrims and Indians

2 sparkly acorns and a glittery bird nest

And my amber glass turkey.

Not sure how it will all come together, yet, but I'm getting myself prepared.  Stay tuned, I'm sure I'll show you the finished product closer to the date.

Here are some simple inspirations if you don't want to make a big to-do out of your centerpiece:

This is clever.  You don't have to have a purchased boat for this.  You could create one out of cardboard and paint it, or cover it with craft paper, or scrapbook paper.  I've even seen them made from a woven placemat.  Get creative.  It's all about the fun details.  Let your imagination run wild.

This is a fantastic idea for round tables.  This simple centerpiece leaves roomon either side for additional placement of side dishes, or that special gravy boat.

This little guy is being used as a place card, but what if you created a set of five,  utilizing words such as "Thankful" and "Grateful" and "Blessed."  Keeping it simple is a great way of reminding yourself and your guest what matters most.

Guests Seating:
We usually have 12 guests at our Thanksgiving dinner, with 1 or 2 more additions possible.  Our dining room table isn't nearly big enough to seat 12 people.  So my husband brings home 2 6 ft folding tables from our office.  We place them long sides together, cover each with a table cloth and it looks like one ginormous dining table.  THEN we have room for 12 guests.

I don't worry about it if all of my dining chairs don't match.  I'm more concerned with everyone having a seat.  We use our 8 dining chairs, 2 folding chairs from the basement, and 2 parsons chairs from our bedroom.

If you're looking for clever solutions to seating, here are a few ideas:

If you have additional side chairs from another room, don't be afraid to pull them in. You can always return them to their original place after the dinner.

How about creating two seating areas in the same room?  If your living room is bigger than your dining room, see if you can get creative in your living space. Use the space you have creatively, and you'll be fine.

I just want to add one last disclaimer, for those of you who are wondering.  Yes, I have my Christmas tree up in the dining room.  Yes, this happens every year.  Yes, I have to move the tree out of the dining room to make room for all the guests.  Yes, it's a little crazy, and yes, my dining room feels a little confused about what it's supposed to be... but, Thanksgiving is a one day event at our house.  Christmas....well, Christmas is a celebration!  We love what Christmas stands for.  What Christmas means.  We love the reason for the season.  So, it's worth it to me to have to go to a little extra trouble for this one big dinner... but it's okay.  We'll do it all again next year, too :)

What areas of your house are you thinking of transforming into entertainment areas?  Will you be dining in the dining room?  Will your guests be seated all throughout the house?  What are your ideas for a great Thanksgiving?

I can't wait to hear from you!

Only By HIs grace,


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