Holiday Decor Themes for your Gathering

GATHER – to bring together or assemble from various places, sources, or people.

In the season of entertaining family and friends, the holidays are a time of GATHERING.

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Many of us are flipping through family recipes, scrambling to the grocery store and wondering how this holiday came up so fast again.

While there’s pressure to make our homes picture perfect for the family, in-laws and neighbors, let’s direct our focus back to what Thanksgiving was originally about:


Literally, just being grateful for the food on the table that was planted and harvested by our local farmers.

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Last night I was talking with the friend that I’ll be spending Thanksgiving with. Between food and décor, we were bouncing back and forth on who would bring what…and this phrase came out in the conversation, “Let’s just GATHER what we each have and put it together that morning.”

I love that! If I take a step back, isn’t that what Thanksgiving is about anyway?

Gathering with people we love and celebrating with thankfulness what we have.

Maybe the challenge this year for some of us is to be resourceful with the materials we already have around the house. Why add stress to buy décor for the perfect centerpiece? At this point, it’s the 11th hour anyway, so let’s embrace the “gather” theme and see what you already have around the house to use on the dining table.

DIY holiday decor ideas for your upcoming gathering.

Theme: “Bringing the Outdoors In”

Materials: Sticks + Stones

Tap into your inner explorer, gather the kids and go on a scavenger hunt in the backyard for cool sticks and rocks. Scatter your findings about the table and you have a theme inspired by nature.

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Theme: “Craft”

Materials: Butcher paper + Paint

Who needs a fancy tablecloth when you can cover the table in butcher paper and have a craft party after dinner to keep the family together longer. (Or off of their smart phones longer if we’re being honest.)

Theme: “Harvest”

Materials: Fruits + Vegetables

Use leftover fruits and veggies in bowls as your centerpiece. Nothing compares to the purity and beauty of organic produce.

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Theme: “Found Objects”

Materials: Upcycled containers, Old books

One of my favorite containers to throw flowers in are old coffee cans. It’s casual, cute and adds to the aroma! Stack old books down the center of the dining table for character and conversation starters.

Theme: “Play”

Materials: Games, cards, puzzles

Scatter game boards, game pieces and puzzles on the tables. My guess is before dessert comes out, even the adults at the table will be strategizing their next move on the board.

Theme: “Snap Cup”

Materials: Notecards, pins…yes, it’s that simple.

Does anyone remember the movie “Legally Blonde” with Reese Witherspoon? While lobbying in DC she presents the “snap cup” to her coworkers on the Hill. You have to write down something nice about someone else in the room, she throws it all in the “snap cup” and you pass it around, pulling out one comment at a time. Yes, this sounds a bit cheesy, but what better place than the table at Thanksgiving to remind someone why we love them. One nice compliment will go a long way.

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In a day where smart phones rule at the dinner table, I’d like us to think of ways we can use décor to strike conversation and memories with the people we love the most. Let’s shake off the “Stepford Wives” pressure of perfectly roasted turkeys on our finest china and get back to this one theme:


Decorating your home for the holidays does not have to be overthought and over bought.

Gather your décor, gather the dishes, but mostly just gather with family and friends and let’s just be thankful for the harvest.