I’ve Got Plenty to be Thankful For

It’s taken me a while to get into blogging again. But I am finally getting around to sharing the recap of my favorite day of the year, Thanksgiving. Exactly one week later. Not too bad.

As a child, I remember thinking of Thanksgiving as the boring holiday. I mean, it wasn’t Columbus Day boring, but my childhood self couldn’t quite comprehend what the adults got out of the day. Getting all dressed up just to eat a multi-course meal that requires multi-hour prep and clean up? And no presents? That was not my childhood ideal of fun. And eating turkey? No way! (I am a reformed vegetarian).

Yet somehow as I got older, the holiday started to make sense. A relaxing day to spend with the people I love, indulging delicious food and treats and plenty of wine? Sign me up! Heck, I’ll be the hostess. The past nine Thanksgiving days, that’s exactly what I’ve been, the hostess. Our parties started simple and small, sometimes as few as two guests. As our parties started to increase in size (the number of guests has fluctuated from just two all the way to twenty two) they started to increase in planning and preparation. In 2009, we went completely crazy and started assigning a theme to each year that would guide the decor, sometimes the menu and of course the attire.

You can see previous celebrations here:

2008: No theme, this was a mellow year

2009: The Kiddy Table (here, here and here)

2010: A Magical Thanksgiving in the Enchanted Forest

2011: The Great Gatsby (here, here, and here)

and for 2012 our theme was “The 1950’s celebrates the First Thanksgiving”. A little strange, I know. But we’re a little strange. Plus, I really wanted an excuse to wear a gorgeous vintage dress I bought in London. Sadly, I got not a single picture of me in that dress. I never seem to take enough pictures of my parties. It’s so frustrating! I’m always to absorbed in hosting and having fun. I did manage to get a few pictures of the table as the sun set.

 

Each year we make a different Indian headband. This year’s ric rac and pheasant feather headband was such a hit! I used the adorable vintage champagne glasses that Teddy & Robin gave me last year. Thanks boys! I also used my vintage amber glass collection. I started collecting it a few years ago and add a few new pieces each year. The clear water/wine glasses are from a restaurant supply store. You can easily rent these, but I love having my own. Their cheap, simple and extremely durable and such a nice alternative to plastic for large groups.

 

These adorable Pie Jars were desserts/favors made by our lovely friends Haven & Denny. They were so delicious I can’t describe. I will try to get the recipe to share with you, they would be great holiday gifts/favors. The fabric used on the jars and as the basis for our whole color scheme, was scored by Haven on eBay. Such a gorgeous vintage find. She bought it with my vintage amber glass in mind and it looked fabulous together. In addition to the pie jars, we incorporated the fabric to several elements including banners, coasters for the dinner glasses and borders for the menus.

Here’s the whole table.

I found all the wheat and leaves on sav-on-crafts. Their site is a little difficult to navigate, but they have great deals and a huge variety of decorating items for parties.

I love, no adore vintage things, but I don’t like too much kitsch. I wanted our 1950’s inspired celebration to be elegant and modern. So I wanted to incorporate an element of mid-century design. I found these candelabras online at Tar-jay, but they were only available in store. I knew that my Tar-ghetto would not have them, so I sent my Southern California mom a picture and she scored four for me. On clearance! Yay mom!

The past few years, I’ve been renting quite a few things from a party supply company. It is so nice! They bring you everything you need the day before, or even two depending on the company and pick it all up the day after…wait for it…DIRTY! Yes, they take back your dirty linens, glasses, flatware, dishes, all of it. Which of course means, less clean up for you! I wish I had discovered rentals sooner in my life. They have been life changing.

Each place setting was marked with a glittered monogram napkin ring (also from sav-on-crats). I used simple unfinished napkin rings and glittered little wooden letters (from amazon) then combined the two with my trusty glue gun. They were a hit! All the ladies were wearing them as cocktail rings by the end of the evening.

Here’s a group pic we snapped just before dinner. I am so thankful that we did this. We have never taken a group photo at Thanksgiving before, shame on us. I love this and hope we can make it a tradition.

 

Here are some of this year’s stats:

Adults: 18
Babies: 1
Thanksgiving 1st timers: 2, a baby and a Brit
Moms: 1 (but she’s everyone’s really, we love you Mama Ruth!)
Red Heads:3
Turkeys:2
Hams:1
Pounds of Creamed Corn: 6
Desserts: 12? I didn’t get the final count, but there were tons! Pies, pie jars, apple bread, brittle, and a tray of cookies and
confections made by our lovely friend Teddy, who become a cookie elf this time of year. Seriously, we may need to have an
intervention with him soon about the number of of cookies he bakes.
Bottles of wine/champagne consumed:24 Impressive, no?
# of times the word ‘Thankful’ was said: Infinity. Everyone had plenty to be thankful for.

How 1950’s is that ham?! Thanks Mama Ruth!

I set the timer for this shot, but didn’t tell anyone to look so I’m the only one looking at the camera. 🙂 Notice they moustketeers? They won the golden turkey for the best costumes. Yes, we give awards too.

I always love our guests, and I’d be hard-pressed to choose my favorite Thanksgiving, but this year was an exceptionally awesome group. We had so much fun and a dance party too! It was a perfect evening. I think we did the Pilgrims, Indians, and 1950s proud. Thank you to all of my wonderful friends who help put this night together (especially La and Teddy), all of my amazing guests for being so ridiculously fun and rad, and most importantly to my patient husband, who watches every year at Thanksgiving as I become possessed with the spirit of Martha Stewart, planning and crafting for weeks, sometimes months, in advance. His patience, support and love keep me going and help me do things I never thought possible. Which brings me to what I am most thankful for this year, my new career! Just a year ago, I didn’t think it would be possible to leave my stable, established career and start my own business in an unrelated field and yet somehow it’s happening. That’s not to say it has been easy or that I don’t wake up most mornings thinking, what the heck am I doing? But I have never been happier and that is definitely something to be thankful for.

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