’Tis the season to be in the middle of your closet pulling out all the old decorations you have purchased or been gifted over the years! And yes, I know the dates on your festive décor might even go back decades into your family history, like ornaments or figurines from holidays past or family members who have since passed on. That’s part of what makes this season so special — knowing you are currently making memories using those old keepsakes as well as new ones. I like to say those decorations are the exclamation points to the holiday season!
My mom has been decorating for the holidays for as long as I can remember, and that includes decorating for her own brand of holidays as well. For instance, a great report card or accomplishment of a goal would be celebrated with a theme and festivities. That’s now me, times 10! I definitely got it from my mama!
I learned how to tablescape watching and helping my mom, but it didn’t become my “thing” until many years later. When you move around for the job every few years, you start looking for ways to make your living space feel like home – and I never feel more at home away from home than when I started decorating for the holidays.
I think tablescaping and decorating, in general, is a way to create a fantasyland of sorts – be it for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza or New Year’s. And let’s face it, for adults the holiday season allows us to take a step back into our childhoods, revisiting the time frame when holidays made us so giddy. Whatever holidays your family will be celebrating this season, I hope these ideas inspire you to add your own special touches to your festivities and get your kids involved in the process!
Thanksgiving, in my opinion, touts the most beautiful color schemes. Orange, tan, burnt orange, cranberry. Everything is so rich. I focus on bringing those colors to life and repurposing fall and Halloween items I already have on hand.
For the centerpiece, pumpkins (leftover from Halloween!) of varying sizes and colors placed in a small picnic basket set the scene. I use a table runner or a really beautiful fall fabric to twist and place in the center of the table.
My tablescape for Thanksgiving includes a layering of tan or white plates. Little bags that read “Thankful” hold gold-hued silverware and are placed in the middle of the plates. Each plate also holds a napkin ring in the shape of a pumpkin.
I am a fan of candles on the table, but as a new mom, safety is on my mind, so this year I have purchased faux candles to avoid a decoration home disaster. Trust me, they look just as good.
And since it’s a fall y’all type of holiday – you can find or buy bags of vibrant fall leaves to sprinkle across the table.
Creating Christmas memories
If we happen to be friends on social media, then you know I love gingerbread people! I start eyeing my packed away gingerbreads on a consistent basis in November. I will say, I never allow any holiday to overshadow the others. Each gets its time to shine, so I keep the gingerbread people in their boxes knowing cold temps, hot chocolate and Christmas movies are right around the corner.
I now have so many different gingerbread items that it’s easy to shake up my tablescape without taking away from the dozens of gingerbread people I post all around the house.
Maybe you have a holiday collection of something meaningful to you. Whether it’s menorahs, Santas, Nativity scenes or something else entirely, choose a symbol or type of decoration you love as your theme and build upon it.
For my holiday table, I like to use bright red tinsel in the center because it fills the space completely without overwhelming the view. I add wooden or Styrofoam letters spelling out JOY that can stand alone. I continue a red and white theme with simple cloth placemats. I’ve found the table and house are typically so busy with decorations that simple red and white décor keeps the table from becoming too overwhelming.
Several gingerbread people make a splash on the holiday table, and I use gingerbread-themed cups and plates as well as Santa milk containers. I like to use inexpensive silverware to add a pop of color or continue the main theme.
Where to get holiday décor?
I buy from a few different places, including Hobby Lobby, Kirklands, E-favormart, Michael’s, At Home, Target, dollar stores and Etsy. I also shop via Instagram and advise anytime you are making purchases online, read all the reviews before finalizing your purchase.
Most importantly, save everything you purchase or your kids make for the years to come. You’ll be surprised at just how quickly your holiday collection grows!
Through the kids’ eyes
Don’t forget to get the kids involved as this process can be great fun for them. Of course, they will enjoy the décor for whatever holidays you’ll be celebrating, but if they can help make or put up decorations, it will be that much more special for them. Let the kids choose a theme, create a tablescape or craft special additions to your holiday décor.
Lastly, remember to enjoy your hard work together. Grab your favorite blanket, call the family in and enjoy time together amongst your creativity.
Cheers to a festive holiday season!
Editor’s note: Mecca Rayne is a wife and new mom to her first baby girl. She has been living and working in OKC for six years as a journalist for KOCO5 News. Mecca loves entertaining, especially for her family, with whom she is very close. Decorating and tablescaping spark her creativity, and she enjoys how it adds colorful joy to her home each season.
To find the best in local shopping and party and holiday planning, visit metrofamilymagazine.com/party-