Anyone who knows me knows I am a holiday person. I love each holiday and love to throw parties and celebrations of every sort! I think I was a party planner in another life. Well maybe right now in another dimension I am a party planner. Don’t get me started, I love me some good multiverse theories!
Anyways! Thanksgiving is around the bend! Celebrations large or small help to create the connection to your home that is important for growing deep roots, and more importantly feeling rooted in the space. Needless to say, creating great memories, wherever you are is important to feeling at home and helping the energy of your home be filled with joy and light. When I say light in this context I mean the feeling more than actual brightness. You want your home to feel light and airy, welcoming and happy. That fun, bubbly feeling of friends and family gathering to enjoy time together is the highlight of the holidays.
Thanksgiving is one of my favourites (just kidding, I don’t have favourites when it comes to holidays!) But there is something about that first orange leaf making its way to the ground, and perhaps this feeling is intensified by all the commercial reminders we have now a days (read: Starbucks Pumpkin spice lattes as far as the eye can see). For those of us Canadians, maple syrup starts getting poured into pretty much everything, followed with a whole lot of plaid in anticipation for chillier temperatures. On my parents street, some homes still make use of a wood burning fireplace, and there is nothing like being outside on a chilly day and smelling smoke of those fires dancing in the air.
Regardless if you are having a small or large gathering of thanks, or maybe you are treating yourself to a special meal and a long distance phone call, I think it is important to remember a few things for this time of year.
If you are inviting guests into your home take some time before the party and after to clear the space (I often say “sage the space” but you know, tom-eh!-toe, tom-ah-toe.) You can do this with a smudge stick, a sacred smudge bowl, crystals or essential oils. Whatever works for you to clear your space. Do that. (You can also find tips on how to do this here.) This will help lift the spirits of those attending your gathering and put everyone into party mode!! You want to do this after as well, not to get rid of the fun and excitement of the party but to keep that and release any negativity that may have backpacked its way into your abode, unknowingly of course, from a guest.
Make your celebration your own, by doing one special thing. Maybe you are baking a pumpkin or apple pie from scratch, or featuring another type of traditional dessert. Perhaps you bring out a fun game that everyone can play. Or you might be creating a meal or potluck with a theme.
Or keep it simple by doing a few things to make your decor special and inviting. Use centre pieces that you can make yourself or buy. I like to gather leaves and create my own centerpieces with baby pumpkins and gourds. I put these on the large table that we are eating or in other areas where guests are being entertained.
If you are making a table scape it’s always nice to play with different heights. Using cake stands can be a great way to save space and you can put decorative candles and centrepieces on top of them and it leaves more room on the table for those candied yams!
So many stores now offer an abundance of decorating ideas that you really can go crazy with. To stay on budget I would try and stick to one or two purchases that make the best impact or draw attention. Then the rest of your decor can be homemade, past down or purchased at the dollar store. Sometimes borrowing from friends or family helps make the meal special as well. You can invest in some great serving platters for your cooking or cups for coffee. Candles (lite or not) are a great way to add ambiance without breaking the bank.
Music always make a gathering more festive, as long as it’s quiet enough that people can still talk normally. You don’t need 20 people yelling across your table to “Pass the turkey!” Remember to relax and enjoy the time together. Some things won’t go smoothly, some things might break, just laugh it off and move on. Those are just there to enhance the event. That being said, during a larger party don’t bring out anything precious to you, like a family heirloom. It’s too risky. If you really want to have it there, perhaps leave it on display out of reach. Try and do as much prep as you can ahead of time, so you can be a part of the gathering, not just the host. The party is not that much fun if you don’t get to talk to and spend time with your guests. Also, have a variety of options or ask your guest ahead of time in case there are allergies or dietary restrictions that you should be aware of. And remember, most of all, to give thanks.
There are many different traditions around the world, but I would like to note here Lammas, which is closely tied to our time of Thanksgiving in the northern hemisphere. Lammas is a celebration in Native American tradition. It is known as the Ripping Time, where indigenous peoples reflect on the bounty of Mother Earth and richness (both material and metaphorical) in our lives. Rituals are performed that reconnect people to the land, and at harvest time it’s tradition to create a grain dolly. You can find some information on this ritual is a book called The Smudging and Blessings Book by Jane Alexander. Or perhaps look for local celebrations you can take your family to experience.
Pumpkin Image Original