Family, Friends and Heartwarming Comfort Food

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When planning the same holiday year after year, how do you keep your celebration fresh and interesting while maintaining a sense of tradition? We asked our favorite bloggers and food people to share what's inspiring their Thanksgiving planning this year. From ancestor's recipes and falling leaves, to beautiful piles of ingredients and thoughtful home decor, there was no shortage of imagination. See what motivates some of the most creative minds we know, and then start planning your annual feast.

For me, Thanksgiving is all about focusing on what really matters: family, friends and the most heartwarming comfort food. I’m designing this year’s table with a color palette of warm gold, natural wood and touches of deep teal. Instead of fussing over fancy floral arrangements, we’ll gather around a table adorned with seasonal fruits, pumpkins and branches. The best part is, most of the materials can be found in my own backyard. I’ll add votives and taper candles to make the dining room glow, setting the perfect backdrop as we give thanks for our blessings and enjoy autumn’s finest flavors. I’ll greet guests at the door with steaming cups of apple cider, and we’ll curl up in front of the fire and catch up on life as the turkey finishes cooking. I’ll add a special touch to the table with gilded place cards bearing each guest’s name; after all, a strategically organized seating chart can certainly make for a peaceful family gathering.

When it comes to the menu, Thanksgiving is a time to stick to the classics, though I can’t help but add a few new twists of my own each year. Herb-roasted turkey, tarragon green beans and ginger-infused cranberry sauce are flavorful renditions of old standbys. We’ll cap it off with my signature ginger-pumpkin pie dolloped with vanilla bean whipped cream — no matter how full we are, no one can resist a second slice. I stock up on simple takeout containers so I can send guests home with leftovers for the perfect turkey and cranberry sandwiches the day after. Tied up with a teal ribbon and a quick note from the hostess, the boxes become a lovely little Thanksgiving party favor.

For more Thanksgiving ideas, visit our Thanksgiving Inspiration Board Gallery.

Camille Styles is the founder and editor of lifestyle blog, where she shares the creative entertaining ideas that inspire her parties and her life. She also owns Camille Styles Events, a design and planning firm that transforms ordinary events into extraordinary experiences. Her modern aesthetic and eye for detail come together to create parties that are simply chic and all about fun. 

Thanksgiving Favorites on Cooking Channel

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