By Marilyn Jensen,
Sister Bay Trading Company

Returning to the basics seems to be the resounding mantra from everyone I talk with these days. They feel the need to “go home,” light a fire and drink a great bottle of wine or warm apple cider. Nesting at home recaptures that warm fuzzy feeling again of “comfort.” As we enter the holiday season, it’s important to help your guests feel the same way.

Decorating your home for Thanksgiving is more than what meets the eye. It is about incorporating all of the senses so when your guests enter your home they feel welcome and want to linger around the dining table long after your meal has been devoured.

Here are a few easy tips to give your home a look that captures the spirit, adding spice and warmth to your home…Door County style:

Warm-up Your Furnishings

  • It’s time to bring back your chenille throws, and Grandma’s old quilts you have been storing away since spring. Indulge in plush fabrics and incorporate items that have visual texture such as plush pillows and throw rugs.
  • Rearrange your existing furniture and move it away from drafty areas and closer to the fireplace. Let the nesting begin!

Bring In Natural Accents

  • Fall is Mother Nature’s most sensuous time. Let her colors be your guide. Thanksgiving decorations should feel earthy incorporating Door County’s natural elements. Arrange bowls of freshly cut cedar sprigs topped with pinecones (gathered from your last hike), fresh sugared cranberries, and for eye-popping color add cloved oranges. Gather dried fall leaves mixing them on a platter of pomegranates, artichokes and mini squash to bring in nature’s bounty.

Embellish your Thanksgiving Table

  • This is your opportunity to show your loved ones how important it is to you that they are sharing your table this year. Pull out all of your fall tablecloths and festive napkins. If you don’t have any, you can buy inexpensive green or amber bed sheets. Need more china? Borrow from others. Just keep the arrangement of each place setting the same and alternate.
  • Get imaginative and make candle holders out of small gourds and mini pumpkins by cutting out the top and inserting a small tea light. Don’t forget to bring in the natural elements. For an innovative flower vase hollow out a pumpkin and fill it with fall flowers.
  • Try this for a unique centerpiece: place a large glass vase in the center of the table. At each place setting have an colorful index card for each guest to complete about his or her fondest family memory or tradition. At the end of the meal take turns reaching into the vase and reading each card. If you have children, keep them busy prior to mealtime by having them draw a large turkey on poster board. Cut multi-colored feathers out of construction paper and place one at each setting. After each guest reads what he or she are thankful for – which they’ve written on their feather – ask a child to glue it to the turkey. Watch the turkey evolve on the wall. Days after your family leaves, you’ll smile every time you look at the art project filled with love and appreciation.

Thanksgiving is a special time in our homes when we all take a little time to reflect on the gifts and blessings in our lives. Especially at this time in our history, we need to remember that it’s about the harvest and being thankful for the simple things…the basics, like this beautiful earth we live on.