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I’d heard of Sara Syrett, an interior designer, stylist, and baker, from friends who speak unequivocally about the richness of living in a small town. Her blog Twelve on Main supports their ideals, exhibiting how the farmhouse life requires nothing more than a bit of creativity in doing what you want. In case you haven’t met Sara yet, and you find yourself in the midst of planning this year’s Thanksgiving dinner party, you’re in for a treat. She stepped away from her full life on the farm for a couple of hours to share her tips for being the hostess with the mostess, and Krrb was all ears. Here are Sara’s seven tips and everything you need to host the perfect party this holiday season.
Hone the Entryway
“Like the opening paragraph to a book, the entryway sets the scene and mood, giving guests a glimpse of what’s to come.”
My first tip to being a perfect host is to make sure that there’s a welcoming environment for your guests to arrive into, but what does this mean? Well, a welcoming entryway can say a lot about what is to come. Having a place to sit is always a great idea when creating an entryway for your guests. Unless you’d like to watch them hop around trying to get those shoes on, seating is a must. Another item? Somewhere to hang coats and purses.
Build A Roaring Fire
“A fireplace is a great place for people to gather and connect. Stories are told and friendships are deepened around a crackling fire.”
Now, I know this is not possible for everyone, but if you are lucky enough to have a fireplace, get that thing going! I live in a pretty chilly area, and by mid-October we are using our fireplace on a daily basis. We have spent countless hours with friends and family reminiscing over old stories as the glow of the fire warms us.
Believe it or not, you can have your very own fireplace by Thanksgiving, delivery included.
Create an Inviting Centerpiece
“[A simple trick is] to use brown butcher paper as my table runner. It doubles as name cards and a fun place where children and adults can doodle and entertain themselves.”
For my table this year, I’m purposely creating a family-friendly centerpiece. If you’re going to have children at a Thanksgiving feast, an antique bowl full of white pumpkins, some homemade sweater pumpkins, and two mason jars full of fall goodness is all you need.
Make Name Cards
“One of my goals is to not over complicate things.”
Set your table, and equip it with name cards. Since I used butcher paper, I used it to my advantage and created name tags on the paper. My kids loved seeing their names on the table, guiding them to their seat. Another bonus? I can throw the whole thing out when we are finished. And if someone decides to doodle a lovely picture, they can tear it out and take it home with them.
Bring In Festive Decorations
“This year I love using a neutral decor. It creates a feeling of calm in my world full of noise.”
Festive holiday decor is always a must. Neutral pumpkins, combined with elements from nature, can create a fantastic fall decor for your home. I have created many items this fall to add to my farmhouse decor, from stenciled pillows, appliques, twig wreathes, and more. Overall, these projects have been quite easy to do, but the impact was huge. It doesn’t take much to fill your home with the feel of fall and Thanksgiving.
Tidy Up the Bathroom
“Some good smelling spray is always a great idea. We received some of that Poopouri as a gift from a friend, and it always makes us giggle.”
This might be icky, but have that bathroom clean and guest-ready! Believe me, I have four boys (including my hubby) who keep my bathroom duties hopping. Have plenty of toilet paper on hand, a nice clean hand towel draped on the sink, and good hand soap available. I know this seems like pretty common sense type of stuff, but really – I think sometimes this might be an area that gets overlooked with all the chaos of the holidays. Don’t strand someone inside, keep it stocked up!
Be thankful for the chance to spend this wonderful holiday with those that you love, and show them by creating a space that will be welcoming and inviting.
My biggest and most important tip is to have a great time! If your guests can see that you are stressed and working mad like a dog, they are going to feel a little uncomfortable. Take it easy, don’t over stretch yourself! I am all too guilty of doing this.
Your guests might remember that fantastic dish of roasted turkey or that amazing pumpkin pie, but what they will remember more is the loving and cheerful atmosphere you have created for them in your home. Relax, take time to enjoy your company, and if the rolls burn, take some humor in it instead of buying into that childlike tantrum you want to throw. Believe me, I’ve had many in my day. We need to spend more time creating memories and less time worrying and stressing.
What makes you the perfect host is being genuine, being thoughtful, and being you.