One of our primary reasons for adding onto our family room was that we love to have people over. We really wanted a bigger, more comfortable space for friends and family to gather. The way our house was originally designed, there was a small family room on one end of the house and a small living room on the other end. Neither space was large enough to host a big group of people all at once. Our previous family room was 20.5 ft. x 12 ft. After the addition, we've slightly more than doubled the space at 20.5 ft. x 26 ft. Already, we can't believe it wasn't always this big. How did we live in such a small room before?
Since we love to host and since we now have a nice big room, we invited both of our families over for Thanksgiving dinner. We are blessed to live near both families. Not everyone was able to make it, but we enjoyed the holiday at our house with both sets of parents, my aunt, and my husband's sister.
Due to the family room project, our dining room is kind of a storage area right now. So we decided to serve dinner in the family room. We recently bought a 5-ft. round folding table, which comfortably fits the eight people we had over. Some of my pictures of the table turned out disappointingly poor (That will teach me to load them on my computer and not just rely on how they look in the camera viewing screen), so they don't quite capture how pretty everything looked. But at least you'll get the idea.
I found the burlap-looking tablecloth on clearance, and I have already used it several times.
I love decorating with natural elements and textures (hence, the burlap). I bought the acorn and berry napkin rings on clearance quite a while ago. Since they were in the clearance bins, I couldn't find a whole set of either type, but I love how it looked to alternate them.
I've had the tealight candle centerpiece for a long time, but I hadn't taken it out of the box until now. It worked really well on the round table, and the glass candleholders are amber tinted, which coordinated well with the burlap tablecloth. To make the centerpiece more Thanksgiving/fall-ish, I put mini pumpkin candles around the centerpiece.
Sticking with natural elements, I used place card holders that are made from real wood and look like little tree stumps. I used cards that said "I am thankful for" and then added each person's name.
I really loved the table, but of course, what good is a beautiful table without a great meal? I am all about keeping things simple when it comes to entertaining, so everyone contributed dishes to this year's Thanksgiving feast. My mom and dad brought the turkey and stuffing. I made rolls, pumpkin muffins, "Pink Jello," applesauce, crustless pumpkin pie, and baked sweet potatoes--most of which could be made in advance. And my in-laws and aunt contributed to the sides and desserts, as well. We ended up with a bountiful, delicious feast!
I'm especially proud of my pumpkin-shaped Butter Rich Rolls:
I got the idea online (http://www.thistlewoodfarms.com/simple-pumpkin-rolls). I used my own roll recipe with dough made in my bread machine. Instead of pecans, I used fat pretzels that I cut to the right length. They turned out so cute!
In addition to having a great meal, I really wanted to do something special to focus on the reason for Thanksgiving Day and to establish our own new tradition for Thanksgiving at our house. I got the idea from Pinterest to have everyone write what they are thankful for in a book and then add a group photo of all the guests who joined us. I found this really cute book online, and I'm excited to make this our family tradition for many years to come. It will be fun 20 or 30 years from now to see what we were thankful for in 2013.
We had such a great Thanksgiving! I hope that you and your family had a wonderful celebration, too!
"Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever." - Psalm 107:1