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Thanksgiving 2016: When to Compromise

Elegant table prepared for Thanksgiving dinner with family and friends.

An elegant, inviting Thanksgiving table prepared for dinner with family and friends.

Each year as soon I put the kids’ Halloween costumes away, I start planning the Thanksgiving holiday with my family. Discussions inevitably start with meal planning and menus, and then progress to travel plans and entertaining.


With multiple generations coming together from around the country, we have different ideas on recipes–some prefer traditional fare, while others want to try the newest gourmet twist–and so we hash through ideas to blend everyone’s idea of the perfect Thanksgiving meal. Photo: traditionalhome.com

We swap ideas, share recipes and work together until we create a menu that appeals to everyone’s preferences. Then we debate what time the meal will be served, and whether the kids eat with the adults or at their own table. And we compromise. A lot.


Everyone in my family has a different idea of the perfect Thanksgiving menu, yet we all agree on traditional mashed potatoes. Photo: traditionalhome.com

Check out this mouth-watering classic recipe for traditional mashed potatoes with just four ingredients.

The one thing I’m not open to compromising on is comfort. Whether they’re here for a few hours or several days, I want my family and guests to be comfortable in my home. This means extra seating, comfy dining chairs, and an inviting guest room.


Multipurpose ottomans like this one can be used as an ottoman throughout the year, and then provide extra seating for big holiday gatherings. Photo: Hooker Furniture.

If you’re short on space, put a pair of these Dowdy Round Cocktail Ottomans at the table behind your sofa, in your front entry or at the end of your bed.


The Lu Lu Ottoman from Cynthia Rowley for Hooker Furniture is perfect extra seating in the living room and at the dining table for holiday gatherings. Photo: Hooker Furniture.


Slender, light and comfy armchairs like this Auberose Host Chair offer maximum flexibility to move from family room to dining room. Photo: Hooker Furniture.

 I think the Auberose Host Chair is the perfect choice for extra seating at the dining table. Its upholstered style complements nearly any style of existing chair and its timeless look means it won’t soon feel out of date. Throughout the year, it could work equally well at a desk or with as a pair flanking a sideboard.


When I picture the ultimate guest room, the Sunset Point Collection comes to mind. Photo: Hooker Furniture.

 I love the Sunset Point Fretwork Panel Bed, and the soft beachy finishes. It has an everyday elegance that looks comfortable and welcoming—perfect for guests. Honestly though, I’m not sure this would ever make it to the guest room…I admit I’d probably keep it for my master bedroom and move my bed to the extra room.


Extra serving space is always an issue during the holidays. I love the refined look of the Soiree Sideboard from Cynthia Rowley for Hooker Furniture. It’s a personality piece that is as fashionable as it is functional.


I love searching magazines and Pinterest for new tablescape ideas for Thanksgiving.

If you, too, love to be creative for your Thanksgiving table decor, you’ll love this blog I wrote a few years ago on White Pumpkin Holiday Tablescapes. 

To me, the best part of the holidays, both Thanksgiving and Christmas, is the opportunity to give thanks for the blessings I have. A little compromise on the menu and the time it’s served is a small price to pay for time with my family.

What’s your family’s Thanksgiving menu, and does everyone agree on it? We’d love to hear about it.

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