Simple, Authentic Thanksgiving.

Simple, Authentic Thanksgiving.

Like working moms everywhere, I always struggle with the beautiful, festive holiday experiences and traditions I want to provide my family with and the reality of the time I have to do it.  Especially here at Rebecca Ray, where our busiest month of the year is November when all of our clients are snapping up our limited edition exclusive holiday gifts that we spend all year creating.  It’s a team project, that often results in all of us wrapping and packing as we get into those final two weeks of November.  So Thanksgiving always is a challenge for me.  I like to keep my decorations to a minimum and use natural found objects from outside and easily available things I can grab at the grocery store.  

We have created so many fun equestrian alternatives for the table this year.


For my table, I use a burlap runner (or you can grab a piece of burlap from the local hobby/fabric store). I love the way its earthy colors blend with everything and I love mixing high and low, so it looks great in my formal dining room.  Then I gather from outside.  I have a large Oak tree and I grab those acorns and put them in pretty glass bowls of varying size and height down the my runner and even scatter a few about the runner.  I like to clip any drying hydrangea mops/heads that already look like fall and I place them in low containers on the table and then put tall, artful looking branches in vases to give me my height. You can even use Mason jars for that.  At the grocery I pick up some colorful small gourds or pumpkins and place those on the table.  I actually love using only white and green if I can find them.  For a treat, an individual mum at each place setting is a great touch and you can use a place card as simple as a white manila tag (craft store or Amazon), with a name written on it.  Bailing twine from the barn works for napkin rings. 


For my food selections, I can’t get away with much change here as my group is very specific about my traditional dishes that they want.  I serve a turkey, stuffing that I throw apples and cranberries into, an onion au gratin dish, a healthier version of a fresh green bean casserole with crispy whole green beans, mashed sweet potato casserole, and my famous Cranberry and Orange Relish (that is truly my mom Ann’s recipe).  And Derek makes Desert. The best part about the Cranberry and Orange Relish and most or my side dishes are that they can be made several days ahead, which really helps out with timing.  Derek puts the turkey and stuffing in during the day while I’m setting the table and we are good to go!


Most importantly, it’s been a tradition for me since college, to make sure everyone has a place to go on Thanksgiving, as that’s the real reason of the season. Thanks, kindness and generosity.  If you ask around, you will be amazed at how many people don’t have a place to go on Thanksgiving or are missing a lost loved one for the first year, or have children traveling or away.  Our table is always open for more and that makes it a true Thanksgiving. Gobble, Gobble!!

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