Grateful Gatherings (Thanksgiving Hostess Ideas)

My mom loved celebrating ALL of the holidays.  She would go all out for Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.  She was the hostess with the mostest!  

As a kid, I remember what a big deal Thanksgiving was.  I LOVED eating with my family and extended family and overdosing on giblet gravy. haha!  And those homemade yeast rolls…oh my goodness!  My mouth is watering. 

As I got older, I noticed that everyone started celebrating Christmas earlier and earlier and somewhat skipping over Thanksgiving.  It didn’t bother me too much because I loved celebrating Christmas too!

But my mom was NOT happy about it.  She loved setting aside a specific time to  celebrate all of the Lord’s blessings, and she knew how a heart full of gratitude made life so much sweeter. 

I think she also knew that Christmas was slowly turning into a more materialistic, secular holiday with way too much emphasis on “getting” instead of “giving.”  

I used to kind of roll my eyes when I would hear her complain about Thanksgiving becoming a less significant holiday, but now I get it.  I truly understand why this holiday meant so much to her.

Pausing to give thanks for all the Lord has given us is so important.  It is medicine to our weary souls.  And fellowshipping around the dinner table with loved ones is an indescribable gift.  Some of my best childhood memories include conversations around the dining room table. :)

Thanksgiving seems to mean more to me with each passing year, and especially after the past year and a half.  Life is a gift.  Spending time with those we love is a gift.  The enemy wants to keep us divided and separated because he knows it keeps us from experiencing the life-giving joy that being with others can give us.  We need each other.  Not just through texts or phone calls.  We need hugs and smiles and face-to-face conversations.  And I for one, can’t wait to spend time with my family this Thanksgiving season!

And you better believe that I will be thinking of my precious mom, and I will be thanking the Lord for her life and the precious memories she made for me as a child.  I am so grateful to be Wanda’s daughter. 

When I was on the Target website this week, I saw a section called “Grateful Gatherings,” and I thought of my mom.  They had a bunch of cute hostess ideas for the holiday season, and I wanted to share them with you!



I love the matching pie pan and gravy bowl.  There are more pieces in that collection as well.  The pumpkin salt and pepper shaker are adorable as well!  And I will definitely be buying one of those cream dutch ovens!

All of the links below are clickable.  






xoxo, Traci

*There are affiliate links in this post.


  1. Dear Traci, The stenciling looks fabulous!!! Love it. Really did something special to your room. It’s been so many years since I stenciled, but think I may give it a whirl again. Since the Holidays are coming, I look forward to taking some down time before they come. Taking time to think about the many blessings the Lord has given. us is awesome and much needed.
    God bless,
    d on the prairie

  2. The pumpkin shakers are ADORABLE!! Not too over the top. The cookie cutters remind me of your cream cheese sugar cookies that are my FAVORITE for decorating!!!!
    Thanks for this post. We agree that Thanksgiving is getting skipped over. Thus year, it will be a bigger celebration.
    Much love to your family!

  3. Yes, agree with your mom. We shouldn’t skip over Thanksgiving. I know many who decorate for Christmas before they have Thanksgiving. I couldn’t do that. Love the little pumpkin salt and pepper shakers. Great list of goodies. Your mom sounds sooooo sweet. I went back years ago to read those years as I didn’t follow you until 2015. Im glad I did. Neat to hear about her.

  4. Love the stenciling! It added so much to the room! On the subject of Thanksgiving, I feel just like your mom, it gets more lost every year and that makes me so sad! Thank you for devoting some effort toward recognizing what is a very special family oriented holiday it is.

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