Don’t forget Thanksgiving: Decorating for the Neglected Holiday

Thanksgiving is around the corner, folks. That’s right, I said Thanksgiving, not Christmas. I used to go all out with Christmas decorations—retailers make it easy to get in the spirit. However, except for spending money on food for Thanksgiving, most people don’t celebrate it with the same enthusiasm as Christmas. There are no Thanksgiving lights. I do see the occasional, sad-looking inflatable turkey though.

I was at a Michael’s store when I heard a woman say, “Where’s all the Thanksgiving stuff? They went from Halloween to Christmas.” Well, upset Thanksgiving lady, you’re right. Oh Thanksgiving, why don’t you get the recognition you deserve?


OK, maybe Monica dancing with a turkey head is a little too much Thanksgiving spirit. But it seems like Thanksgiving is becoming just a filler holiday between Halloween and Christmas and New Year’s. Sure, we get together with our friends and family and celebrate Thanksgiving, but the holiday is eclipsed by Black Friday.

As excited as I am for Christmas and the New Year, I choose to highlight Thanksgiving and give it the credit it deserves. These DIY projects may be quick and easy, but you and your loved ones will feel that you went all out to celebrate the day of giving thanks!

Burlap “Give Thanks” Banner

Burlap seems to be frequently associated with autumn. Throw in some twine and clothespins and you’ve got simple yet classy wall décor for your dinner party.

You will need:

1. Burlap roll

2. Clothes pins

3. Black acrylic paint

4. Paintbrush

5. Scissors

Pine Cone Garland

Don’t you just love the smell of cinnamon in the fall? Its aroma fills me with the holiday spirit. This pine cone garland will give you your cinnamon fix, and the best thing is it’ll last from Thanksgiving through Christmas.

You will need:

1. Burlap roll

2. Cinnamon scented pine cones

3. Glue gun

4. Stapler

Autumn Wreath


The great thing about wreathes is that they’re not just for Christmas. After scouring Michael’s for autumn-toned flowers, which it didn’t have—Wal-Mart end up saving the day—I put this together in about 5 minutes.

You will need:

1. Grapevine wreath (Size is up to you)

2. Artificial flowers

3. Glue gun

4. Scissors

“What are you thankful for?” Jar


If you happen to have a large jar, paper and about 5 minutes to spare, you can bring this to your Thanksgiving dinner and invite everyone to write what they’re thankful for.

You will need:

1. Large jar

2. Burlap roll

3. String/twine/raffia

4. Paper

5. Pen

6. Scissors

7 & 8. Pen and paper for the what-I’m-thankful-for notes.

Sure, you don’t need decorations to show your gratitude—just as putting up a Christmas tree doesn’t embody the true Christmas spirit. My family actually hasn’t had a tree for years, yet it doesn’t feel less like Christmas at our house. But I won’t worry about that for now. The holidays are upon us and it’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas Thanksgiving.

All photos by Gabrielle Peñaranda


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