Thanksgiving Entertaining Ideas

I cannot believe it's already over a week into November! As usual, the holidays are rapidly approaching and with them arrive family to entertain and parties to prepare for. With that in mind, I've compiled some easy Thanksgiving Decorating and Entertaining ideas to help you achieve a "designer" look without the stress or designer price tag!

1. Harvest Centerpiece - There's no need to go out and spend lots of money on expensive floral arrangements for holiday tables. Instead, turn to things you can find right outside your back door or at your local farmstand. Branches, leaves and small gourds are all that you need to create a successful table design. Place the branches in an attractive fashion - either in a "line" for a long table or radiating out from a central point for a round table. Then scatter the small pumpkins and gourds haphazardly for a casual, harvesty look. For some added pizazz, dust the leaves and gourds with gold or copper spray paint. 2. Foliage Swags - Instead of the traditional fall wreath or Indian corn to adorn your door, why not create a swag instead?! Collect branches of leaves in varying sizes and colors and secure them at their base with twine or a rubber band. Then cover the twine or band with an orange, gold or brown ribbon. This fall swag will certainly impress all guests who enter your home.

3. Leaf Place Cards - When setting the Thanksgiving table, why not mark guests seats with leaves, instead of place cards. Collect colorful leaves of all shapes and sizes and be sure to wipe them clean of any dirt. Write guests' names on them with either a marker or gold-ink pen. This is a fun and simple way to bring the outdoors in.

4. Autumnal Soup - There's nothing that says "fall" like the smell of a delicious soup on the stove. So, why not welcome Thanksgiving guests with a yummy, comforting soup instead of traditional appetizers or hors d'oeuvres? A rich corn chowder with bacon, creamy mushroom soup or pureed squash soup is a wonderful and time saving way to keep guests satisfied until the turkey is done! 5. Turkey Buffet - To keep the holiday comfortable and casual, why not try a Thanksgiving buffet this year, instead of setting a formal table? Allowing guests to enjoy the feast while watching to football game or while sitting by the fire is a great way to make them feel at home. Also, it keeps you from having to set a formal table! Want easy clean-up, purchase attractive paper plates and plastic ware to save you from spending post-dinner doing dishes : )

Hope these tips inspire you to create a cozy, comfortable, memorable holiday!
Happy (early) Thanksgiving!

For more information about Cailen Ascher Design or my book, Well-Designed Living, visit or email