I really wanted the day to be comfortable and fun for everyone, so I set to work on the details in early November, making giant grocery lists, and tracking down a turkey roasting pan, thermometer, baster, ice bucket, linen napkins, and table runner. I thrifted large serving platters, app trays, and a gravy boat. My vintage wood candle sticks came out of storage and sprigs of evergreen and winter berries from the yard were arranged in old ceramic vases. I rubbed a coat of Danish Oil on our shaker dining room chair set to freshen them up, then spackled and painted the dings in our kitchen wall.
We bought and wrapped small gifts for each person attending, including a birthday gift for Josh's sister, whose birthday was on Thanksgiving! Natural wood napkin rings were made from hardwood branches cut from a tree behind the house, and a small sapling was cut and inserted into a salvaged wood base to make a rustic centerpiece for the food table. Small glass globes holding votive candles were hung on the branches for soft lighting in the evening.
In the end, everything went just as planned and we had the best day, and I would not mind if this were the start of a yearly tradition :)
I hope all of you had an equally wonderful Thanksgiving with lots of family, friends, turkey, and pumpkin pie!