Holiday hosting

Ideas for an Organized + Meaningful Thanksgiving

Before you get overwhelmed or let another list of ideas make you feel like you aren't doing "enough"... we're sharing these tips to bring just a little additional function or fun to your Thanksgiving, but it doesn't have to be complicated. There is something very sacred and special about welcoming guests, family and friends into your home with as minimal fuss as possible. The hospitable act of opening your door, your table, your kitchen, your heart and your family is not to be taken lightly. Give yourself some grace. And if you are the one visiting someone else's home, go with gratitude. What if you chose not to get caught up in the expensive decor, fancy fixings, or newest trends this year? We challenge you to make a little commitment to yourself and whoever you are gathering with - that you will simply be grateful to gather, and the rest is all secondary. 

Our ideas to bring functionality + fun to your Thanksgiving:

Image from  The Pretty Blog . 

Image from The Pretty Blog

  • Turn up the tunes. Make a family mix playlist on Spotify, so that everyone gets to hear a few of their current favorite songs. Or you can pick a genre or artist that everyone will love and have it playing in the background all day. 
  • No Phone Zone. What if you and your guests all put your phones away (silenced and in another room) during your meal? Consider how this could eliminate distractions and foster togetherness at your table. 
  • Take your feast outside. If the weather allows, shift your Thanksgiving meal outside - embrace the crisp fall air and a change of scenery. Ask your guests to bring camping chairs and set up a fire to enjoy after the feast. This will allow time to linger and savor the day a little longer. This blog post is an incredible inspiration for your outdoor Thanksgiving.
  • If you have help, take it. Don't try to be a superhero - let your people pitch in and give you a hand. 
  • Walk it out. If you can find just 20 minutes, grab a neighbor or loved one in town and step away from the kitchen and enjoy fresh air and company for a brief break. If you enjoy your Thanksgiving meal for lunch, this is a great idea for the whole gang after the meal. Get your body moving for just a bit, you might even enjoy that pumpkin pie a little more if you do. 

Links we're loving: 

Image from  The Pretty Blog .

Image from The Pretty Blog.

styling your guest bedroom

With the hustle and bustle of the holiday drawing near, some of the most important and special moments are spending that time with friends and family. HYD is here to help you pull together your guest bedroom so your guests are sure to feel right at home.


Some great simple items to add include:

1. Throw: It doesn't matter if it's folded up nicely or draped over the bed, an extra throw is sure to keep them cozy & warm.
2. Good Book: Something that showcases your personality and makes your guest feel extra welcomed.
3. Table Lamp: Table lamps not only make a statement in a guest bedroom, but also provide your guest with enough or as little light as they may need.
4. Coasters: Not only can coasters double as a pretty accent for your bedside tables, they will also protect them.
5. Candle: Keep the room smelling great with you favorite scent!
6. Tooth Brush: Just in case they forget theirs!
7. Hand Cream: It is winter after all.
8. Wifi Sign: For ease of access & right at their fingertips for any device they may have with them.
9. Notepad: It's always handy to have a notepad to jot down notes. Don't forget the pen!
10. Fresh Flowers: Succulents are great options, as they require minimal care, but you can never go wrong with fresh flowers. You may also be able to walk into your backyard and pull together an arrangement. 

Whether your guest bedroom is fully decked out, or as minimal as they come, welcoming your guest with open arms never goes out of style. 

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?