Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year, because it’s all about family, traditions, and celebrating in a non-commercial way. 

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As soon as Halloween is over, I reset tables and the kitchen island. Counters, a glass-front cabinet, and open shelves in the kitchen are also embellished with pilgrim figures, indians and turkeys.

With only a month separating Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas, it means a quick redo between holidays.

Sure, I love hosting family from out-of-town and setting the formal dining room with Lenox china, Waterford crystal and vintage sterling flatware.

But, I also enjoy pulling out, displaying and using my more casual Thanksgiving tableware in the kitchen all month long.

Let me show you around the kitchen.

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Time to Put Out Thanksgiving Tableware

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Some of my tableware, linens and decorations are on display the entire fall season — beginning in mid-September.

Like the harvest gold, leaf embellished dishes (Bordallo Pinheiro) in Fall Harvest Table & Apple Napkin Fold.


 

 

 

Or, this fabulous cast-iron, covered pumpkin (Staub). It sits out on the stovetop in the middle of the nine-foot kitchen island.

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Although on sale at William Sonoma, I confess it was a had-to-have splurge. But, I’ve gotten a lot of use out of it over the years.

Setting the Kitchen Table

A round, glass kitchen table and three-stool bar is set for everyday meals the entire month of November with casual Thanksgiving tableware.

For years now, the centerpiece on the kitchen table has consisted of a paper bag turkey and pumpkin my kids made a long time ago. Another kid-crafted turkey — made from a large pinecone and pipe cleaners — joins the nostalgic grouping.

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Seeing them always make me smile, remembering when the boys were little, even though they are grown men now. Like the downstairs Kid Keepsakes Wall Gallery, I have saved a lot of my sons’ arts and crafts, LOL!

Have you incorporated any of your children or grandkids art into Thanksgiving table settings?

During the month of November, I also alternate between placemats and seasonal tablecloths, while mixing up the dishes, glassware and flatware.

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The adorable turkey napkin rings were a find at a local florist during a holiday clearance sale. Another of those things I had no idea I was shopping for, or needed at the time!

Everyone remarks on them. Aren’t they cute?

When the table is set for children, the small turkey placemats (Pottery Barn Kids) come out to play.

Each tail feather holds a fork, spoon or knife — isn’t that clever?

Sometimes, I also use them for grownups at the kitchen bar where they are the perfect petite size.

Can’t Resist a Bargain

Here, I’ve alternated the kitchen table settings with turkey and pumpkin placements (Kohl’s). The dishes were an unexpected find at Vintage to Vogue, a local resale and boutique shop.

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That’s where I came upon 16-place settings of a golden harvest dish pattern from Portugal. It has beautiful scalloped edges, and an intricate leaf pattern border. I hadn’t intended on purchasing tableware that day. But, at only $16 for eight settings, who could pass on that deal? Could you?

I was expecting a large crowd for the four-day Thanksgiving holiday. At that bargain price, I could always donate the dishes afterwards. In the end, I somehow squeezed each place settings into the kitchen pantry!

Thanksgiving Turkey Placemat

This is the second pattern of quilted placemats I alternate around the same tablescape.

Twig Flatware Perfect for Fall Table Settings

Notice the copper twig flatware? That’s this year’s addition to my fall season tableware. I’ve wanted something similar for years, but then West Elm discontinued it.

Susan recently posted Dinner in a Country Lodge  which featured her twig flatware. Much to my delight, she discovered Pier 1 was carrying a version in gold, silver and cooper. I couldn’t get to the store fast enough!

Turns out, Pier 1 doesn’t carry flatware in stores; only online. They had a sale running, but shipping was costly. Tip: you can order online while at the store, apply any discount, and qualify for free home delivery!

Here’s what the five-piece place setting looks like. It goes great with the salad set I already had from Home Goods.

Another place setting on the kitchen bar shows off the details in the twig flatware and harvest leaf dishes.

Harvest Thanksgiving tableware setting

The amber juice glasses came from The Salvation Army. Placemats in the shape of a leaf (Kohl’s), have a suede-like texture.

Using Tableware as Holiday Decor

I also change the tableware and decorations on these open kitchen shelves with each season and holiday.

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Lizzie pilgrims have been in my Thanksgiving collection for years. The turkey tea pot came from Old Allegheny, which I featured recently in, Previewing Favorite Christmas Shop Kicks Off the Season.

The brown transferware pitcher is from my childhood, acquired using Green Stamps. Remember when grocery stores gave out stamps? I’m dating myself, LOL! On the bottom of the pitcher it says, Reverie, Alfred Meakin, Staffordshire, England. I see other pieces available today on eBay.

Two other pieces of brown transferware on the shelves are part of a larger dish collection, which I typically mix with Lenox china in the dining room. They feature the “official” family bird, a peacock – but that’s a story for another day!

Thanksgiving shelf

William Sonoma is the source of the lidded amber glass turkey. He’ll move to one of the tables to hold cranberry relish on Thanksgiving. Here he is on the Birds of a Feather Gather Together Table.

New this year is a pilgrim couple (Adam and Eve from Gallerie II) from another favorite shopping spot, Visiting Trax Farms. They were on sale to make room for Christmas merchandise.

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I sometimes move things around between the shelf and nearby coffee station too. There’s usually pumpkin flavor tea bags, a seasonal coffee blend, and mulling spices handy to both the coffee maker and center island bar.

The large turkey platter (Macy’s) is tucked into the corner. It’s practical but nothing special — although I do like the relief pattern. Someday, I’d love to find a vintage one. I’ve been on the lookout for years, but haven’t yet found one that lit my fire.

Paper Products Are Our Friends
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A large leaf bowl is kept near the stovetop, where I use it as a utensil rest. Other times, it’s used as a serving bowl for snacks.

Yankee Candle ‘s Pumpkin Pie scent is one of my must haves for the fall season. Lighting it during meal preparation, or while entertaining, instantly fills the room with an authentic pie baking scent. During post holiday clearance sales, I always pick up one to pack away for the next year (Bed, Bath and Beyond).

They make nice seasonal hostess gifts and come in lots of sizes too.

I also try to pick up seasonal paper plates, napkins and place cards found at high-end stationery stores. Heck, I’m always picking up holiday themed items for the following year — while on clearance of course!

Whenever we travel out of town for Thanksgiving, I typically bring holiday paper products. Especially good hostess gifts when we are traveling by air. Hard to bring a pie, LOL! Paper products cut down on dishes and cleanup, especially when hosting overnight guests and serving multiple meals over three to five days.

It’s challenging enough to serve a gang the Thanksgiving feast, but feeding everyone breakfast, lunch and snacks can add a lot of stress. No one wants grandma or mom in the kitchen non-stop. I love my Thanksgiving tableware, but I also embrace using paper products — particularly napkins.

Gobble, Gobble!

My very favorite Thanksgiving tableware is a Fitz & Floyd turkey tureen with ladle. He’s out year round, usually on my French baker rack in the family room. Come fall, however, he takes center stage on my kitchen counter.

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See Turkey Tureen is Star of Thanksgiving Table when it does double-duty as a centerpiece for the feast.

For more formal and vintage tableware, see Thanksgiving Horn of Plenty Table  and Cornucopia Takes Center Stage.

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