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How To Celebrate Thanksgiving in 2020

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It has been a strange year for sure! Let’s dive in and I will show you how to celebrate Thanksgiving in 2020 making it the best ever!! A time of giving thanks, of offering our gratitude for the bounty and abundance we have in this great country, of sharing this bounty and love with family and friends.

This post will guide you through a complete Thanksgiving meal including tablescape ideas using items from around your home or inexpensive grocery store purchases. Let’s go all out for 2020!

A rustic Thanksgiving tablescape using fresh bay leaves as name cards, rattan chargers.

Whether you are celebrating Thanksgiving in the USA or in Canada these tips, recipes, decorations and centerpieces are easily adapted.

When is Thanksgiving in the USA & Canada?

We will start with our friends to the north, Canada celebrates Thanksgiving on the second Monday in October and here in the US we celebrate on the fourth (or last) Thursday in November.

Pinterest image of thanksgiving table decor and how to celebrate in 2020

I love this holiday, with no pressure to get the right gifts, no gifts at all; just thanks! Gratitude, thankfulness, gratefulness, appreciation.

I hope you take some time to reflect on the reason for holiday, before you jump into the sumptuous feast prepared by/for those you love.

Read a story, a few passages from the Bible on thanksgiving and gratitude or just go around and have everyone say what they are thankful for this year.

I had so much fun setting the table (watch Setting the table in 30 seconds) preparing the dishes, smelling the smells, savoring the food, enjoying the company of a few friends who we invited to dinner.

Pinterest image of DIY Frugal Holiday Tablescapes with image of china placesetting on a rustic set Thanksgiving or Autumn table.

DIY THANKSGIVING CENTERPIECE IDEAS

I love setting my table several days ahead of time, plus I get to enjoy the pretty table for several days and can fine tune the settings if need be. Read on for these simple and frugal DIY Thanksgiving Centerpiece ideas.

HOW TO SET A CHEAP HOLIDAY TABLE

I mostly used things that were around the house; leftover ribbons, jars and candles.

  • I bought a few bright red apples, mini pumpkins and pomegranates to brighten the table
  • Some fresh eucalyptusmake it yours by gathering things you have around. If you can, it will take a lot of stress off of you if you can set your table ahead of time.
  • Starting with my centerpiece, a variety of candles in jars (like simple grocery store Mason jars) and candlesticks. Just wrapped with a variety of ribbons, birch barkraffia, and twine around them.
Prepping and wrapped mason jars with candles for a Thanksgiving centerpiece
Prepping
  • Gather your decor, get your dishes, silverware and glasses all ready and iron your linens.
Set out everything needed for setting the table nearby. Chargers, stacks of plates, silverware with fall foliage in background
  • And then assemble! Use leaves, sticks, cinnamon, wheat, herbs (I used fresh rosemary & sage), cuttings from pine trees, berries, cranberries whatever you have on hand.
Image of all natural fall or Thanksgiving tablescape set with chargers, silverware, china and stemware.
  • Purchasing a small amount of seasonal flowers is a very inexpensive way to decorate your table! These gorgeous orange and red tipped roses brought an amazing pop of color to the table.
Pinterest image of Thanksgiving tablescapes cheap and easy using items from around the house

One last shot of the table, just before we sat down to eat. This is how to celebrate Thanksgiving 2020 style!

Night glow with candlelight of rustic all natural Thanksgiving table decor

To go along with last weeks post, we are rounding out the Thanksgiving meal, just so everyone understands, I do not normally make the entire meal!

I highly encourage you to ASK for HELP! I have a large family and typically there are a few friends, neighbors, boyfriends/girlfriends sprinkled in as well.

We’ll often have 28 at our table(s) on Thanksgiving! Regardless of how you are celebrating this year, make things ahead, ask others to bring something; sides, drinks, appetizers, desserts, $100, a new puppy…whatever your heart desires. 🙂

And if you are going to someone’s house, offer to bring something or three somethings!

SIMPLE AND CHEAP PLACE CARDS

I purchased fresh bay leaves (in the refrigerated produce section of our grocery store) and using a gold metallic pen wrote names right on the leaves. These look beautiful for Thanksgiving and Christmas as well as for other gatherings throughout the year.

Additionally, I bought some inexpensive burlap ribbon (usually on sale at Hobby Lobby or JoAnn’s) and wove it throughout the tables.

Pinterest image of various snapshots of table decor for Thanksgiving.

CLASSIC MAKE AHEAD THANKSGIVING RECIPES

The first thing we’ll start with is our Giblet Gravy, because you can make it ahead of time! Woot-woot to making dishes ahead of time!

Read the full post with all the juicy steps for Giblet Turkey Gravy here.

The most amazing, tasty, make-ahead turkey giblet gravy there is! This has been my go-to gravy for years! Loaded with turkey flavor, fresh herbs, spices and flavors, it will become your go-to gravy as well! #thefreshcooky #turkeygravy #homemade #makeahead #gibletgravy #gibletturkeygravy #holidayrecipes #thanksgivingrecipes #christmasrecipes #sidedish

Next to pour that gravy over, we’ll make these amazing creamy Creamy Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes; creamy, dreamy, buttery, delicious! Or if you have an Instant Pot (I love mine!) then by all means make these Rustic Mashed Potatoes.

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes | www.thefreshcooky.com

Next is the stuffing; that savory, wonderful, flavorful stuffing. I thought I’d call mine “Browned Butter, Cranberry, Apple, Pecan, Sausage, Maple, Whiskey Stuffing” but that is kind of a mouthful, so I settled on The Best Holiday Stuffing.

This make ahead recipe for Sausage, Maple, Apple Stuffing is so simple and has amazing and complex flavors! Use some to stuff your bird and place the rest in a buttered casserole dish and bake separate for a lovely dressing to go with your Thanksgiving or Christmas feast! #thefreshcooky #thanksgiving #stuffing #dressing #holidaystuffing #mapleapplesausage #sausagestuffing #makeahead #best #delicious #holidayrecipes #christmasdinner #thanksgivingdinner

And to pull the whole meal together…the Coup de gras, the centerpiece, the tender, juicy, moist turkey!

No brining, marinating, smoking or deep-frying, just a simple herb butter schmeer; follow the simple steps for my Simple Tender, Tasty Turkey.

Not hosting for many? Or just have the hankering for tender, roasted turkey breast, try this simple and FAST recipe for Instant Pot Roast Turkey Breast.

Pinterest image for how to roast a simple tender turkey, gluten free, no brining.

Don’t forget your make-ahead dishes  Thanksgiving Praline Yams and Cranberry Relish, both delicious sides to add flavor and color to your table.

I also made this super quick prosciutto wrapped asparagus. Simply wrap a slice of prosciutto around a couple of asparagus spears, pan fry (both sides) in a hot pan with a little olive oil, sprinkle some sea salt and pepper and serve!

hands holding a plate of prosciutto wrapped asparagus bundles.

And for dessert I went non-traditional with a Vanilla Bourbon Sauce over Vanilla Bean Ice Cream. Easy, simple and AH-Mazing!!!

Pinterest image of vanilla bourbon caramel sauce.

Light your candles, sit down, enjoy your guests, enlist their help; when you’re relaxed, they’ll be relaxed!

Here’s my oldest, with his crazy big hair and my dear friend Wendy as we’re about ready to sit down to our Friendsgiving feast.

My friend Wendy and our oldest son sitting down to a Friendsgiving feast.

Grab a glass of whatever you prefer and give thanks. A couple of my favorite verses are below.

Let them praise the Lord for his great love and for the wonderful things he has done for them. 
For he satisfies the hungry with good things. Psalm 107:8-9 (NLT)

Since everything God created is good, we should not reject any of it but receive it with thanks. 
For we know it is made acceptable by the word of God and prayer. 1 Timothy 4:4-5 (NLT)

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! 
His faithful love endures forever. I Chronicles 16:34 (NLT)

I found these song lyrics that can be used as a prayer, I love this!

“Grateful for each hand we hold
Gathered round this table.
From far and near we travel home,
Blessed that we are able.
Grateful for this sheltered place
With light in every window,
Saying welcome, welcome, share this feast
Come in away from sorrow.
Father, mother, daughter, son,
Neighbor, friend and friendless;
All together everyone in the gift of loving-kindness.
Grateful for whats understood,
And all that is forgiven;
We try so hard to be good,
To lead a life worth living.
Father, mother, daughter, son,
Neighbor, friend, and friendless;
All together everyone, let grateful days be endless.
Grateful for each hand we hold
Gathered round this table.”
– Mary Chapin Carpenter – Thanksgiving Song Lyrics 

Happy Thanksgiving friends and family!

hands holding glasses and wine glasses toasting around the candles at Thanksgiving.

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kathleen

ABOUT KATHLEEN

I enjoy sharing easy recipes that are wholesome and delicious. I am fed by my faith, family, friends & food! Welcome to my kitchen! Read more...

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