Set a Collected Thanksgiving Table

One of my most memorable Thanksgivings happened about five years ago. My sister-in-law, Erin, and her family were visiting my husband, Joel, and I in San Francisco, and I was cooking the big dinner. Joel had just headed to the grocery store to pick up our turkey, and I was finishing things up at home. Overall,  it was pretty low-key.

For dessert, I was making pumpkin cheesecake. After taking it out of the oven, I set it on the stove top. Erin and I were talking, so I wasn’t paying close attention to the stove. A few minutes later I smelled something burning.

Turns out the cheesecake was too close to a burner. A corner of the cheesecake was burned, and the Pyrex pan holding it was steaming hot. I grabbed the pan and set it on a nearby cutting board. Erin and I were standing over the cheesecake, trying to decide if it could be salvaged, when pan exploded!

Thankfully, neither of us were hit with any flying glass (the carpet outside our open kitchen wasn’t so lucky). All we could do was laugh.

I was still laughing when Joel called from the store a few minutes later to let me know that the turkey, although cooked, still needed to be heated. The one bit of good new was that he was able to pick up a pie to replace the cheesecake.

Needless to say, dinner was served a few hours late that year!

Set a Collected Thanksgiving Table1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12

With all that can go wrong preparing the meal, I like to keep everything else easy. Here’s how you can create a casual, collected table:

  • Mix and match your dishes. Pair your everyday plates with a few special pieces.
  • Have fun with patterns and textures. Combine smooth, cool ceramics with warm wood.
  • Add a little bling. I’m in love with that pretty, gold silverware.
  • Throw in a fun element, like the salt and pepper cellars.
  • Make things a little special and choose pretty linens (turkey print not required).
  • Wine is mandatory! Use your best glasses.
  • Personalize the table. I love these DIY Magnolia Leaf Place Cards.
  • Remember to give thanks! These DIY Thanksgiving Placemats couldn’t be easier to make and will give everyone a minute to reflect.

What is your most memorable Thanksgiving story?

Linking up with 52 Mantels’ Thursdays Are Your Days, Live Laugh Rowe’s Live Laugh Linky, Chic on a Shoestring Decorating’s Flaunt It Friday, Remodelaholics Anonymous, Just Us Four’s Pinworthy Projects, The Shabby Nest’s Frugal Friday, Tater Tots and Jello’s Link Party Palooza, Cheerios and Lattes’ Saturday Show and Tell, Too Much Time on My Hands’ Get Schooled Saturday, Sewlicious Home Decor’s Fall Roundup and Blog Hop, I Heart Hands On’s Show Off Friday, Flamingo Toes’ Think Pink Sunday, and No Minimalist Here’s Open House Blog Party.

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Hard to believe it is already Thanksgiving. I like the colors in that table runner and the placemat idea is really cute!

[…] Earlier this week, I shared some ideas for setting a casual, collected Thanksgiving table. […]

Wow what a crazy story! Thankfully neither of you were hurt. I’m hosting a link party and would love for you to link up at

Have a great weekend!

[…] Have you ever had a recipe go totally wrong? I think we’ve all been there (ahem … exploding pumpkin cheesecake)! […]