Thanksgiving Ideas & Inspiration

10 days left to Thanksgiving and I’m just starting to prepare a tiny bit. Usually we fly to California and hang out with Peter’s huge family (think 50 happy people!) but this year we are staying close to home. Low-key it will be — but the food will be gourmet (my husband is cooking!).

Here are are few things going on in my house (and in my head) before the big day. Yes, we have the fine china and the crystal and all of that. But I’ll tell you, if I had to pick just a couple things for the table, the iron squirrels (my husband refers to the kids a his squirrels), for placement cards, (I always make my own) and the old gravy boat from Sweden my Mom once gave me. Nothing expensive and fancy — just sentimental.

And a must for every major holiday is linen napkins. No skimping there, regardless of the number of guests. And for a little presentation, I found these feather bouquets at Michael’s ($2.99/each). They are padded in the back and I think they are going to last for years. I just tied a simple leather string around the arrangement. Nothing complicated nor phony. (I have never really cared for napkin rings. What do you think?).

For the dining table I fill a couple of large glass hurricanes with fresh chestnuts and just a few bud vases with flowers spread over the long table. I usually skip a flower center piece entirely. (Everyone should get some flowers in front of them!).

Some other ideas brewing in my head:

Gourds are always beautiful to use as decoration. I almost like them more than pumpkins.

Perhaps a little bit of decoration on the mantel. I can do that.

Some new additions to the traditional menu.

How about some truffled potatoes instead of that mandatory mash? Simple & good with sea salt on.

For receipe go here.

I am really liking my dear friend Ewa’s turkey stuffing. With mushrooms in it. My hubby can fight with the bird — this dish I will own!

For the recipe go here.

These balsamic glazed onions would also add a different flavor to that old turkey.

For recipe go here.

And for the grand final. I am thinking this pumpkin mousse would be a winner. (But I have to fight my hubby over that because he’s an old school pumpkin pie type). I have never tried it but it looks delicious!

Go here for the recipe.

And here is a good & practical thing for your food loving guests! Prepare some pretty food-to-go containers in advance. Smart!

Happy new week to you all!

Images: No. 1, 7, 9, 12, 13, 14 via Country Living, no. 2 via Sweet Paul, no. 3-6 via Splendid Willow, no. 10 via Sunday Suppers, no. 11 via Delishhh.


  • Tina says:

    I´m starting to get hungry over here:)! Too bad we don´t celebrate Thanksgiving in Sweden!
    Loved the idea of a glass hurricane filled with chestnuts. Will work for Christmas as well!
    And the squirrels are so cute. I´m a big fan of squirrels. There´s a lot of them living in the surrounding oaktrees at my house. Such cuties!
    Have a great day!

  • joanny says:

    A sensual feast for the eyes, heart and soul, and of course the body. Attention to detail. Impeccable beauty.


  • Charlotta says:

    Hello my friend. Hope the house is back on its feet with healthy kids (and rested mamma) bouncing around..!

    These ideas are wonderful Monika and I think you are spot on with all of them. The napkin arrangement is gorgeous. I love the Earthy feel and yes, feathers are timeless. Fab buy!

    The menu is heavenly.. My mouth is watering badly! If my message stops mid sentence it’s because I have caused a flood over the keyboard and set off a short circuit..! :)

    I love the squirrels. I call Oscar my little squirrel (Isabella is a ‘fox’ – in every sense of the word..!) and you have seen my obsession express itself via my art blog.. Your table squirrels are too cute. Just like your real little ones are!! xx

    Place cards. Yes absolutely. I am actually in the process of designing a few collections for my mother to use over the holiday period. Would you like me to send you some? Nothing fancy, just some cute patterns and nice colours. Good to have handy for all occasions. Yell and I post!

    That ‘leaf wreath’ looks gorgeous. Remember Minna’s guest post over at my blog whilst I was away. She does a great tutorial for how to make them. I think it will look gorgeous, especially with the colours of your formal room. Go for it!

    Ok. So before I type an essay here (is there a limit on how long a comment can be..?).. I better sign off.
    Missing your sunny comments but know you had a busy busy week.

    Stora kramar

  • YUM! we are travelling this year so not much cooking for me, but I will do a hefty amount at Christmas- am going to come back to those potatoes! Love all your ideas!

  • Millie Mille says:

    The pumpkin trifle look so beautiful and tasty. I was surprised at the fat content! I was wondering where you pick up those food containers? They look just like the ones from Whole Food. Thanks!

  • I am so excited about Thanksgiving and yours looks like it is going to be absolutely splendid! I adore the feather bouquet napkin “rings” great idea. I am headed up to the Cape again (which means no cooking or decorating for me!) and I’m counting the days! As always, thank you for the wonderful ideas!

  • Franki Parde says:

    Love the feathers! I’m “into” pheasant feathers and will use them to “coordinate” with my pheasant transferware, etc. Isn’t it fun to “imagine” all these delish dishes..those calories DON’T count!!! Bon Appetit! franki

  • Eddie Ross says:

    Inspiration indeed!! We love those napkin rings and the food sounds/looks amazing!


  • the pumpkin mousse sounds yummy :-)

  • I forgot everything after seeing that mousse- looks sooooo yummy. I don’t cook/bake but might have to try my hand at that one- thanks for sharing:) Oh yes, love the feather napkins as well!

  • Kari says:

    Wow Mon, great inspiration. I love your napkins, must try that. The extra containers to send food home is also a wonderful idea. Happy new week to you.

    Hope everyone is healthy and well.


  • Greet says:

    I wished we had Thanksgiving here in Belgium!!!

    Thanks for the wonderful inspiration! You are the best my dear!

    xx Greet

  • Hi Monika!

    Your Thanksgiving just sounds delightful and delicious!!!!!! Sometimes simpler celebrations are the most memorable……

    Maryanne xo

    Lovin that gravy boat.

  • I will certainly be adopting
    some of your suggestions, Monika!
    Darn it, I was JUST in Michael’s
    this morning, fighting the herds
    and wish I’d read this beforehand!
    Lovely ideas and recipes, all.
    xx Suzanne

  • paula says:

    can I join you for Thanksgiving :)

  • Cathy says:

    Will have to make a stop at Michaels and look for those feathers – great look! Everything looks so welcoming!

  • I am left speechless by this post! Such fantastically beautiful ideas – I LOVE the chestnuts in the hurricane idea – and the placecards on the squirrels – adorable.

  • Mon, I *ADORE* those feather napkin holders and if truth be told, if you could see my house at Thanksgiving, you might see several of your ideas here. Especially the chestnuts and candle in the hurricane.

    Thank you so much for the lovely inspiration!

    love as always! Donna

  • LiveLikeYou says:

    WOW I’m impressed you’ve completely taken on a true American holiday!! I’m always a guest somewhere on Thanksgiving. Saw all the frozen turkeys at Safeway today-would have absolutely NO idea what to do with it!!

  • Love the feather napkin bouquets!

  • Emma says:

    Love the linen napkins – I agree a definite must! The gravy boat is beautiful. Isn’t nice to have heirlooms around especially for gatherings like this? And the truffled potatoes have me drooling – yes much better than mash!

  • The Zhush says:

    I am just loving all of your fabulous ideas and inspiration! I already know that I will be stealing that chestnut idea, its brilliant, and I am seriously thinking about those truffle potatoes now as well! Great post!

  • Erica says:

    Hey Sweets! I love all the careful layering of delights for the senses. You didn’t miss a thing. And that pumpkin trifle!!! All beautiful… but what else could be expected from you? Thanks for always making my day. xoxo Erica

  • Oh, I love the idea of the to-go boxes..! Fantastic – and lovely, too!

    Sounds like you have it all under control – which does not surprise me at all.

    much love,

  • All of this looks delightful, Mon! Especially the pumpkin! I love the to-go boxes.. such a thoughtful and useful idea! I’ll be at my parent’s house this Thanksgiving, but maybe I will talk to my mom about incorporating some of these ideas! ox

  • Garlic Girl says:

    It’s just your friend Jodi here to tell you I will use your idea of the chestnuts in the glass with the candle at a certain celebration this weekend. ; ) Miss you!

  • Um….can I come Mon? :) Seriously all beautiful hun & I love your feather touch to your linen napkins. Gorgeous….Happy Thanksgiving in advance my dear! I hope you have a beautiful one!

  • I wish I could come! This looks so so inviting and chic, Monika. I would expect nothing less… oh yes, about the linen napkins, I agree 100% :) :) :)


  • Leigha says:

    Delightful and delicious! I adore that feather bouquet napkin. I am off to buy some of the feathers – I cannot stop seeing some sort of headpiece/headband being made from those gorgeous feathers.

    Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving dear!


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