Last-minute Thanksgiving decor

Happy Thanksgiving! If you’ve been working all week and need a centerpiece or stoop decor stat, I have a super simple idea for you and your home with these last-minute Thanksgiving decor ideas. Head to the one open grocery store, and scoop up pumpkins—lots of them.

A dear family friend and Wendy James Designs reader, Cynde Garrett, sent me this photo from outside a Scottsdale, AZ resort. Cynde can only be described as the queen of holiday decorating. Her Christmas tree always twinkles brighter than any other, and her mantel looks like it belongs on the cover of a magazine. Her comment with this photo? She just needs a fountain!

Pumpkin fountain

I love the combination of pumpkins and twigs. So easy if you happen to have a huge fountain in your front yard, but let’s use this photo as inspiration only.

Here’s how you can achieve this organic beauty on a much more manageable scale—and in a pinch.

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In the garden, add fallen leaves and other trimmings from the yard to the bird bath, then place a pumpkin on top. Skip making a bouquet, and simply arrange several pumpkins and gourds around the base.

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Or float several small pumpkins in it instead.

Screen Shot 2013-11-28 at 9.53.21 AMHas the greenery growing in the front urns seen better days? Stack a few pumpkins on the top of each, then dress the front steps with the remaining pumpkins and gourds you buy.

Screen Shot 2013-11-28 at 9.57.32 AMPhoto from EAB Designs

Or keep the front steps simple, and tuck grocery-store greens around the base of each pumpkin in the urn.

Screen Shot 2013-11-28 at 9.59.34 AMPhoto from Common Ground

Another idea: Skip decorating the outside of the house, and focus your efforts around the area where everyone will be, your dining table. Start with a small pedestal urn or compote dish. Fill it with just a few dry leaves and berries from the yard, and place a single pumpkin on top.

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Want more height? Stack your urn on top of some old books, and place more than one pumpkin on top.

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This one is my favorite. I love the touch of glam the silver urn adds to the monochromatic display of white pumpkins and candles.

Don’t forget to dress the rest of the table. My easiest idea? Just use dry leaves. You can read all about it here.

How are you decorating your Thanksgiving table? I would love to see pictures.



Gift Guide for Greenies

There is so much out there for the eco-minded people on your list. I’m actually breaking this in to two parts. Stay tuned for the follow-up for the naturalists. I worked eight great products in to the gift guide I did for Every Day with Rachael Ray magazine. You can check those out here. I’ve also expanded on gifts for the morning person, gifts for kids and gifts for the happy-hour crowd. But keep reading to find out what’s fabulous in au naturel in this gift guide for greenies.


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Best gifts gift guide

Heirloomed designer Ashley Schoenith’s grandmother loved to entertain, and she pulled out all the stops when it came to setting the table for dinner. Read about the tradition and the gift Ashley’s grandmother passed down to her here. And check out some of the other sentimental presents that some of my favorite bloggers have received in my best gifts gift guide series here, here, here, here, here and here.

Anyone who has ever celebrated Thanksgiving with my family has witnessed the tradition that my grandmother and mother started many, many, many Thanksgivings ago.

Cranberry turkeys

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Gifts for everyone

In case you missed my gift guide in this weekend’s Parade magazine, here’s a link. I’ve done lots of other gift guides. You can see the latest sentimental gifts here and the best foodie-themed gifts here.

In the gift guide I did for Parade, you can find gifts for everyone on your list—from grandpa Gus to Fido, the family pup. And most things are $40 or less!

There are, of course, a few things that didn’t make it in book or online so find my additional favorites below.


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Gift guide for the happy-hour crowd

If you’ve missed some of the food-related gift guides I did for Every Day with Rachael Ray, you can find the gift guide for the morning person here and the gift guide for kids here. Today’s gifts are for your cocktail party hosts, the people you regularly meet for happy hours and your wine and whine dinner party friends. Here’s the version that ran in the magazine. Don’t see something you fancy there? Let friends raise a glass to one of this gift guide for the happy-hour crowd. Cheers!


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