Party in Five: Modern, Rustic Thanksgiving Dinner

In our humble opinion, Thanksgiving is superior to any other day of the year. In an effort to make this year's feast the best of all time (sorry, Pilgrims and Wampanoag tribe), we're bringing you the recipes, how-tos and decorating ideas to help you become a Turkey Day pro.

Description or Caption: Cooking Channel Holiday Cocktail Party in glamorous jewel tones with a penguin motif and candy cane cocktials, bar snacks, hot chocolate, ornaments and champagne.

Photo by: Wynn Myers ©2012, Cooking Channel, LLC. All Right Reserved.

Wynn Myers, 2012, Cooking Channel, LLC. All Right Reserved.

We here at Cooking Channel love a good party. But throwing a memorable event requires more than just gathering some food and drinks. We show you how, with just five main “ingredients” (including recipes, big-impact decorating ideas and easy DIY elements), you can throw a party that feels like it has a cohesive theme — minimal work required.

Savoring a good meal in good company. Being together with friends and loved ones. Taking time out of our sometimes-too-busy lives to practice gratitude. These are the traditions that make Thanksgiving one of my very favorite holidays, and they remain my focus when I'm planning this very special November meal. That said, I’m not afraid to break with tradition when it comes to the menu and decor. This year, with a 1-year-old and a growing business, I feel like simplifying and getting real about what I want to eat during the holidays. I created a simple, modern tabletop and a menu that reflects my personal tastes. The simple but visual gingham-and-wheat pairing sets the stage for a lighter, fresher take on the Thanksgiving meal. But don't worry — dessert's still on the menu!

To create this modern Thanksgiving dinner, you'll need five essential ingredients:

• wheat-stamped place cards ( download the template here)
• wheat stalks
• gingham ribbons
• gingham napkins
• our updated Thanksgiving menu, including a pumpkin mousse dessert

Click here to see the party in action, and get tips for hosting your own gingham and wheat Thanksgiving.

Photo by: Wynn Myers

Wynn Myers

Spotlight On: The Menu

For this updated holiday meal, I wanted to create lighter, modern dishes from the familiar favorites we love at Thanksgiving: turkey, dressing, potatoes and more. I opted for vegetable sides like roasted Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes so guests can savor a turkey dinner without feeling too heavy afterward. Finished off with a sweet pumpkin mousse, this meal finds the perfect balance between sensible and splurge-worthy.

Get decorating tips, DIY how-tos and more tips for throwing this party here.

(See more parties and events from the Party in Five series here.)

Camille Styles is the founder and editor of the lifestyle blog, where she shares creative enterta ining ideas for parties and everyday life. She also owns Camille Styles Events, a design and planning firm that transforms ordinary events into extraordinary experiences.

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