My favorite part about Thanksgiving each year? Gazing into the eyes of family around the table and sensing the strength of the mysterious bond we share. I want everyone to feel cherished, seen, and tenderly held in love. My second favorite thing? Keep reading. We’ll peek at Thanksgiving 2023 and chat about gathering in gratitude, counting blessings, and how holiday traditions are ever evolving in our family.
I independently selected products in this post—if you buy from one of my links, I may earn a commission.
Thanksgiving 2023 Reflections & Christmastime is Here
Thanksgiving 2023 was manageable and kept simple this year since we had a small group. Let’s get brutally honest though. “Simple” for a host in America typically means three days of prep rather than a full week.
While dinner was delicious, and we played fun board games in the afternoon, I think our family hike in the adjacent preserve was the highlight.
Nature has a way of filling up the senses as well as feeding the soul, and it’s not a small thing the weather was mild enough for me to be out in it.
Easiest Fall Arrangement
I foraged various grasses and pods to create a couple organic arrangements:
But that is about the only decorating that felt necessary and took all of 5 minutes. I’m thinking about gathering more of the lacy grass since it hasn’t been messy at all. I guess harvesting at the right time is everything! The pitcher in the entry is one I found at the Silos when we visited Waco years ago. The antique ironstone pitcher on the piano was collected decades ago.
Take a peek at my reel video of both of them here:
The little heart milagro boxes you see on my console are perfect everywhere for the holidays and beyond – they add a touch of elegance and look old.
Oh, and my second favorite Thanksgiving thing I teased about?
STUFFING. My mom’s stuffing is still the single most delicious dish EVER on the planet, and over the years, my attempts to duplicate it are yummy but can never eclipse it.
Only my mother’s love could season it so perfectly.
I hope my kids tasted the love in mine which this year was made with my fresh homemade sourdough…
They know this bread well since it has been a fixture in our home their whole lives through.
Signs of Christmas Decor Appearing at Thanksgiving
I did quickly assemble the Christmas tree to have twinkly lights for Thanksgiving, but I obviously need to work on those cords!
I brought out my Lenox holiday bone china with its 24 karat gold accent again this year. (I never did get to use it last Christmas since my husband’s Covid cancelled our hosting plans.)
Gold chargers add a festive French touch.
I discovered the pattern after receiving a small serving bowl as a wedding gift nearly 40 years ago. The bowl is always enjoyed at Christmastime, and it held little gold bells last year:
It’s nicely sized for holding candies, a floating rose, or a candle. Here are more pieces to snag while they’re on sale:
I think it makes sense to start with one piece to see if you love the pattern. The small bowl is a great way to begin.
It’s easy to find napkins and other tabletop items to match that pattern since just about everything works.
Beyond Thanksgiving Holiday Decorating Plans for 2023
I intend to keep things super simple this year as they were last year. In the kitchen, I swagged ivory snowball pom poms at the windows and in some doorways.
I like using neutral pieces that work in multiple seasons such as these marble topped pedestals. While I display and use them everyday, at Christmas they can be so pretty with a cake or gingerbread house.
Here’s how I use the pedestal for also holding salts near the cooktop:
I also plan to keep things simple in the dining/music room where I prefer white Christmasy things over red.
The prelit Belgium Fir tree (find it here) is the right size for an alcove between a closet and the dining room. I love that you get a glimpse of the tree when you enter the front door. Not sure I’ll hang my wreath in the landing again. I’m dying to address that wall since it needs panelling or applied molding or something to finish it.
If you need one, the smaller 24″ version of my prelit wreath is RIGHT HERE.
Changes to Breakfast Nook
I am dreaming and scheming about the breakfast nook which has all those windows with the turret architecture. Before I add long curtain panels, I may design a window trim addition. That area definitely needs some attention and has potential to be cozier.
Simple candles in the windows are my favorite way to capture a happy glow when the sun sets.
Pom poms, I can’t quit you.
I tucked berries, branches and faux greenery into the arrangement on the dining table.
Time to Get Crafting!
I plan to make simple paper snowflakes this year, but it’s too time consuming to make felted decorations when readymade is so easy to score!
Little felted garlands are just right for mantels and mirrors. Last year, I used two 6′ garlands on the fireplace mantel as well as a couple on the piano with vintage Snow Babies.
It’s relatively easy to find the snowy birch prelit tabletop trees now, and I nestled mine in a tulle tutu I made years ago.
I rarely feel the need to reinvent seasonally. Instead, I’ll layer a few wintry things here and there that work with existing items of which I never tire.
Vintage deer snagged in Franklin will show up again this year, but I’ll likely skip the pops of red.
Time to shop my basement again!
Fresh wreaths will be brought in here:
The Beauty of Winter Light & Candlelight
There’s something magical about bright sunshiny winter light.
Families of deer prance outside my windows, and I love interacting with them. (If you listen you can hear them whisper, “Look…the little blonde fairy is moving inside the big glass box!”)
You get a sense of the changing light and grey skies from this pic in our former home (with the starry light string at the kitchen window each winter.)
Psst. It’s not too late to think about holiday cards.
Clearly, my favorite winter decoration is real candlelight. There is simply nothing like it, and although I allow my candles to make a mess everywhere, even the mess can be pretty.
Peeks at Holidays Past
I keep thinking I should come up with an alternative turkey or holiday themed nibble board, but this one is so easy and never fails to make me smile.
I sometimes forget that my followers may not have wild turkeys in their yard daily as we do in Northern Illinois. Oh, yes indeed they will show up at your windows and doorsteps!
The secret to not getting blue with the cold weather and short days? Venturing out in it.
And don’t we need more of these mobile marshmallow mobiles to appear in our neighborhoods all winter? (Are you loving the vintage ironing board turned marshmallow bar?)
Or maybe a pickup like this that makes frequent stops and serves hot cocoa and apple cider donuts?
Now my mouth is watering…time to make homemade marshmallows, doncha think?
Peace to you right where you are.
Thanks for shopping RIGHT HERE to keep decor inspiration flowing on Hello Lovely!
Hello Lovely is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.