hosting for the holidays

Image from  Remain Simple blog . 

Image from Remain Simple blog

21 days til Thanksgiving! That reality might cause you excitement, panic or any feeling in between. We want to encourage a spirit of "intentionality" instead of "perfection" this holiday season. Think about being a guest in your own home this year: what do you notice, how did you feel, what was the focus? We're sharing a few practical and thoughtful ideas to create an intentional holiday gathering this week. 

Intention: your guests will see it, taste it, feel it and enjoy it. 

While there are so many moving pieces to coordinate for the Thanksgiving meal to be ready, one thing you can have prepared ahead of time for guests to enjoy upon arrival is a festive cocktail. Make it in a large batch so you aren't spending time making individual mixed drinks. Don't forget to mix up a batch without alcohol. Take a look at this recipe

Image from  The Kitchn blog . 

Image from The Kitchn blog

In order to plan well, the host needs to know the amount of people they'll be serving. Send a text or email out 2 weeks in advance to get an accurate number of guests. Take a look at this helpful chart about servings and quantities for the size of your group. 

Don't go crazy with seasonal decor. Less is more! Instead of shopping for hours for the "perfect" centerpiece or tablecloth, look outside. Bring some natural elements in to create a rustic and welcoming table. Include your kids as you gather leaves, branches, or greenery from your yard. Lighting and natural elements will create a warm and inviting ambiance for your table

If you prefer a later Thanksgiving meal, someone is sure to be hungry before meal time. Whether it be your children, new acquaintances or yourself- these cranberry brie mini tarts are a beautiful appetizer that won't require additional dishes or silverware to serve and enjoy. If cooking one more thing feels like an unbearable burden, grab some cheese & crackers and have these out to snack on. 

Image from  Fox and Briar blog.  

Image from Fox and Briar blog. 

Shift the focus outward. Your Thanksgiving table can be the launching point for a group investment in a local cause. There are so many ways to give back in our community. Take a look at this list of specific avenues to give of yourself this holiday season in Knoxville.

With just a pencil and paper, your feast can get a lot richer. Challenge your family or friends to take a moment to write out the things you are thankful for. If you want to go a little deeper, try sharing one or two of your items on your list. Gratitude begets gratitude and the thoughts shared around the table will create memories and meaningful moments.

Share your favorite Thanksgiving decor ideas, organizational tools, and traditions with us. How does your family or community celebrate?