How to decorate your home for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is the time of year when many Americans take the time to visit family. According to AAA, 46.3 million Americans traveled more than 50 miles to celebrate the national holiday with loved ones last year. While Thanksgiving is a popular time to drive home, the high volume of travelers is a 4.2 percent increase from 2013.

Thanksgiving is also a holiday to celebrate bounties of things to be grateful for. Many people are grateful for family, friends and community. When hosting a holiday feast, decorating your home for the occasion is a fun way to show guests they are welcome in your home.

“More than 45 million Americans will travel to celebrate Thanksgiving with loved ones.”

The task of choosing the right decorations can be time-consuming. Combined with the preparation of a turkey, sides and desserts, hosting Thanksgiving can be an overwhelming undertaking – not to mention a costly one. However, there are easy, inexpensive ways to create a festive atmosphere before the holiday arrives.

Showing thanks
The idea of Thanksgiving is to show gratitude for things in your life you are fortunate to have. Show your visiting loved ones what you are grateful for in a display.

Blogger Simply Vintage Girl suggested creating a Thankful Tree out of branches found outdoors. Arrange the branches in a jug or other large container, weighted with rocks or seasonal nuts to keep the branches in place. Then, create ornaments to hang from the branches. Each ornament should list something to be thankful for, such as health, family or wisdom. To include visitors in this activity, leave some ornaments blank for guests to fill in when they arrive.

The same idea can be translated into many different crafts. Midwest Living suggested using a decorated pinboard or a piece of foam core to greet guests as they enter your home. Have some paper leaf cutouts and a marker nearby so they can write what they are thankful for and pin the leaves to the board. When everyone is gathered together, encourage them to share what they are giving thanks for this year.

Family trees
Many Americans celebrate Thanksgiving with their families. Having everyone around the dinner table together is a great time to give recognition to your family tree. Everyone’s family history is different, though most are grateful for the ancestors that came before them. Whether your family has been in the United States since the Mayflower came ashore or is new to the country, your ancestors made you who you are today.

Teach young family members about their heritage by creating a family tree. Midwest Living explained that copies of old photographs can be cut out by children to arrange into a tree for display on the wall.Country Living suggests finding and framing old family photos to display. Make it into a group activity by asking guests to bring their own photos along with information about the person in the photo or a story to go along with it.

Fruits of the season
When people think of Thanksgiving, they think of incredible amounts of food. Giant turkeys, tables of sides and pies of all kinds come to mind when thinking about Thanksgiving dinner. Bring this theme outside of the dinner table and decorate with some seasonal fruits and vegetables as well.

Cornucopias symbolize a good harvest.Cornucopias filled with fruits and vegetables have become a classic symbol of Thanksgiving and the harvest season.

A common Thanksgiving symbol is the cornucopia. According to Bright Hub Education, the literal translation of the Latin-based word is the “horn of plenty.” It is a symbol of a good harvest and now represents a season and a holiday. According to Martha Stewart, a wicker cornucopia can be found at most craft stores this time of year. Line the outside of the cornucopia with burlap. Then, spool some bound raffia around the horn, beginning at the small end and ending at the opening. Hot-glue the raffia into place as you go. Once the whole piece is covered with the raffia and the glue is dried, fill the cornucopia with some seasonal produce. Love to Know suggested including wheat, apples, gourds, pomegranates, leaves and acorns.

For another take on the classic cornucopia, Midwest Living suggested filling a cake stand with squash, Indian corn, leaves and corn husks. Use this as a centerpiece or to decorate a mantle.

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