When Christmas is always pushed right up against Halloween in the stores, Thanksgiving is often rushed and overlooked. With the challenges 2020 has brought us so far, this is a good year to slow down and savor the Thanksgiving holiday. Whether or not you’re having a large traditional family gathering or sharing a socially distanced meal with virtual friends, most anyone can think of something positive to feel grateful for this year. One helpful way to remember the meaning of the Thanksgiving holiday is to decorate your home. With distance learning, remote work, and so much more time at home now, 2020 is the perfect year to go all out with your Thanksgiving décor. A home decorated early for Thanksgiving is a good way to stretch the season of gratitude beyond just the day of the big meal.

Thanksgiving Door
Toss out the Halloween jack-o-lanterns and instead of going right for the winter wreath, try lingering in autumn mode a while longer. You can keep any uncarved pumpkins around your door and then surround them with colorful gourds and dried corn. Hang a fall wreath or swag of dried flowers, leafy foliage, corn husks, and sprigs of berries strung together with festive ribbon. Pots of hardy fall mums in orange, red, and gold will give great splashes of living colors around your porch and door. Just inside the door it’s nice to be greeted with delicious and comforting aromas. Potpourri, candles, and essential oil diffusers placed somewhere just inside the door can welcome your family home to the smell of simmering apples and pumpkin spice without even turning on the stove.

Thanksgiving Table
The dining table is the main attraction of any home at Thanksgiving. The centerpiece is usually removed to make room for the food, so how about setting the centerpiece days or weeks before, so that it can be enjoyed longer? A harvest-inspired cornucopia can sit on your table as a gentle reminder of gratitude for all of November. Perhaps mix in photos of far-away family or ancestors in loving remembrance of past Thanksgivings. Instead of the traditional drab earth tones and autumn leaf patterns, spice up your table a bit with a bright paisley tablecloth or runner for a vintage touch. When it’s time for the big meal, consider serving it in slow courses with a break before dessert. You don’t want to cook all day only to have the whole meal” gobbled” up in just a few minutes.

Thanksgiving Mantle
Besides the dining table, a fireplace mantel is another ideal place in your home to add some autumn flourish. If you don’t have a mantel, a prominent shelf, sideboard or piano works great too! Garland leftover from your porch and door can be draped here to set off your favorite decorations for the season. A bouquet of fall blooms such as marigolds, mums, or asters will bring your mantel display to life with color. Try mixing in plumes of decorative quail or pheasant feathers for more elegance and texture. Or, if you feel like testing out a new colors or patterns, but without creating more clutter to store away later, test your artistic skills by painting your own gourds or pumpkins. There are some great online tutorials and ideas for DIY décor. It’s a fun way to change up your Thanksgiving home from year to year without much investment—and all compostable!