fallleavesAcross the country, the temperature has plummeted. Colorful leaves litter the ground, and the sound of Christmas carols fill the stores. STOP! Don’t fast forward to December quite yet. Let’s keep the focus on cinnamon spice, apple cider, candlelight, knitted scarves and cozy visits with family and friends. It truly is best to prepare and enjoy one holiday at a time. November brings us Thanksgiving — the perfect holiday to gather together and celebrate the abundant blessings in our lives.

With the busy frenzy of life, preparing for Thanksgiving can seem daunting. It’s not. The perfect holiday takes just four things. Yes, just four. Narrowed down, that makes it super easy to fit into your schedule. What, you ask are the four things? Pour yourself a cup of hot cider, sit down and I’ll share my tips for a successful Thanksgiving holiday. It’s ok, I’ll wait — go get yourself a cup of hot cider.

Thanksgiving requirements, listed in order of importance:

  1. Family. Surround yourself with “your people” and everything else will fall into place. With technology, geography does not have to limit your options. Set a place for grandma and include her in the festivities via Skype. Children grown up and moved across the country are just as close as the iPhone. Gathering family from various time zones can add a bit of fun to the day. One tip for the “world-wide bunch,” be sure to designate the time zone you will be using as you schedule your virtual guests.
  2. Friends. Expand your family with special friends. Thanksgiving dinner can easily accommodate more guests. Not sure if you should invite someone? Do it. They’ll be grateful for the invitation, and you’ll be happy you did. Promise. In fact, one more person (or two or three or more) can change the family dynamics and reduce the emotional drama of “family.” Yes, we all have a dreaded and difficult loved one. Change the attention to the new guest, and experience the wonder of a happy holiday.
  3. Flowers. What is the main difference between eating and dining? It’s the flowers. Anytime you add the beautiful touch of flowers, everything becomes more special. Even the simplest meal can become a feast. For the centerpiece, the iconic cornucopia can be done in a traditional or contemporary style. Which one will match your personal style the best?
    Cornucopia-FDI-KeslerCallie-Cornucopia-FDI-Kesler
    A place setting with each person’s name will make guests feel extra special. Mini flowerpots make beautiful festive place settings. Have a couple extra on hand to recognize last minute guests. You can easily add their name to the flowerpots with a felt tip marker. My personal favorites are the metallic pens in gold and silver.Mum-Placecards-FDI-KeslerIf you are the invited guest, bring flowers to the hostess as a thank-you gift. That will ensure you’ll be invited back again. Something tall and simple with a little creative flair — your florist can create the perfect design.Sunflower-Pot-FDI-Kesler
  4. Food. Yes, I put this last. It is the least important part of the Thanksgiving holiday. Blasphemy, you say? Trust me on this one. How festive would that turkey dinner be if you sat down by yourself without family, friends and flowers? Once you have the first three in place, start assigning the food tasks. Letting everyone participate keeps it easy for you and more fun for them. Even the non-cooks can get involved by stopping at the bakery for rolls.Apple-Harvest-FDI-Kesler

Family, friends, flowers and food — these four things are the basis for a fun, festive and fabulous holiday. Happy Thanksgiving!