Last Minute Thanksgiving Decorating Ideas

The transition from Fall to Thanksgiving is always an interesting one, right? It seems like it should be rather seamless given pumpkins, leaves, acorns, branches, plaids and mums are all plentiful. If you start decorating in late September, you’re probably ready to pack “all things fall” away and start getting ready for Christmas. However, if you’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner or have company coming from out of town that notion can be easier said than done.

A few weeks ago I was helping my mom give her home office at Bliss Barracks a refresh and to start planning for Christmas. My dad came out to the lanai where we were gabbing and said, “You guys look like you’re in a Christmas Think Tank” which gave me the giggles. Once I got home, I asked my Instagram friends if they had started planning yet and the responses were so funny. Now that I look back on it, the middle of October does seem a bit early. But the planning stage is always fun…


We had to pack up all of our fall decorations and everything on the porch when Hurricane Matthew blew through earlier last month. I haven’t decided if I want to take it all out again or go ahead and bring the Christmas decorations now. I might do a “transitional mix” since I don’t believe in skipping over holidays, especially holidays that are focused on giving.

You might find yourself in a similar situation or maybe you have an idea of how you’ll be spending Thanksgiving. Perhaps you’re waiting on a family member to confirm their travel plans or your plans will be low key but you want them to still feel special. Whatever stage you find yourself in at the beginning of this holiday season, here’s a bit of Thanksgiving inspiration for you especially if you’re working on all the last minute details…


The Porch (key take away: give your family and guests a greeting they will remember)

The Mantel (key take away: framed photographs, feathers, vintage silver and pewter are all budget friendly items you can usually find at antique stores, charity shops, estate sales and thrift stores)




The Dining Room (key take away: layer textures, dress up your casual or formal place settings, use seasonal food items from the grocery to make a high impact)







The Breakfast Area (key take away: repeat elements from one room to the next especially if you have an open concept home. This will help keep your spaces/style consistent.)






Thanksgiving Touches in the Kitchen (key take away: you’ll probably be doing a lot of cooking in here over the holiday. Keep the décor simple so you’re not moving an entire vignette every time you need to use to kitchen appliances or hard working prep surfaces.)


Back Patio (key take away: celebrate your outdoor spaces especially if you live in a mild climate. Set up a s’mores area, eat Thanksgiving outside and offer a place for your guests to relax and get some fresh air.)




Just a gentle reminder, the people that are coming to your home want to enjoy YOU! They want to spend time catching up, cooking or baking in the kitchen, shopping holiday sales or just relaxing with a gingerbread latte. It can be really easy to get caught up in trying to have the perfect home or the best gift baskets for your guests but I promise they want your time (read undivided attention) more than a sleeve of chocolates…although let’s be for real, chocolates do go a long way in making us feel special.

Plan as much as you can ahead of time, be prepared as you can for those moments when something goes awry (because it will) or someone says something off color (because they will) then let it all go and truly enjoy those you have gathered around you.

See you guys back here tomorrow, I’ll share a super simple place card idea that can take you from Thanksgiving to Christmas with little fuss. Until then, I’ll see you on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.

Many blessings,



  1. says

    Great ideas Coco! I packed away the Halloween stuff yesterday and just don’t know if I have it in me to do a house of Thanksgiving/fall again. I too may take a week to just give the house a good cleaning and then pull out the Christmas stuff. The weather has been so nice I think we may try to do Thanksgiving on the patio which then doesn’t need a lot of decor. I love your easy ways to pull a little Thanksgiving in…I can totally just get a few things from the grocery and call it done.


    • says

      I totally get you, Nancy! It was hard to decided what to do with everything (leave it packed away or drag it back out) after Hurricane Matthew for us too. I finally just decided to use items that can be easily transitioned from one holiday to the next without a lot of extra fuss. Your Thanksgiving feast on the patio sounds like perfection. Can’t wait to hear all about it. Hugs, CoCo

  2. says

    This is a really nice post. I just can’t jump on the Christmas bandwagon. When I was doing custom floral for a big craft store…I stubbornly held on to the Thanksgiving arrangements on the main desk. Leaning them more to neutral/golden tones for everyday, and just surrounding them with berries and fruit. We hurry our lives too much. Thanks for the lovely Thanksgiving post. Grins, Sandi

    • says

      I know exactly what you mean! Sometimes it feels like Thanksgiving is not even a celebrated day anymore because we’re so used to seeing Christmas and other holiday decorations out in July. We’ve started decorating a bit but it’s a lot of greenery and things that can easily be transitioned from one holiday to the next. Good for you for holding on to what’s important to you. I’ll be holding on to Thanksgiving too 🙂 Hugs, CoCo

  3. brandy says

    We packed all of our fall decorations up early because of the hurricane so I’m looking forward to something really low key for Thanksgiving then celebrating in a big way come Christmas. Thanks for these ideas. I can recreate most of them easily so our Thanksgiving will still feel special.

    • says

      I definitely feel you on this one Brandy! We also packed all of our fall stuff away for the hurricane. I swear it only feels like we got to enjoy it a little over a week. Most of the items found in these posts can be found at the grocery store or the farmers market. Then gather some pretty flowers from the farmers market and you’ll be good to go. Can’t wait to see what you do for Christmas. Hugs, CoCo