These inexpensive ideas start at just $3.

By Emily VanSchmus
October 21, 2020
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As public health experts recommend we skip the traditional big gathering of Thanksgiving, many of us will spend the day with only our closest loved ones, watching the virtual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade and perhaps preparing a scaled-down version of Thanksgiving dinner. And while it’s hard not to feel a little sad about some of the traditions we’re missing out on this year, there are ways to make even a small at-home dinner feel more festive. 

Whether you’re cooking dinner for one in your apartment or serving up turkey for your family of four, these festive touches will make your celebration feel a little more special. And you don’t have to spend a lot to dress up your table: All of our picks are under $25.

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thanksgiving place setting with wood that says grateful
Credit: Courtesy of Etsy / ReeceDesignWorks

Grateful Place Setting

No matter how different this year's celebration is, there's always something to be grateful for. These laser engraved words are the perfect addition to any holiday tablescape. Choose from 'grateful,' 'thankful,' or 'blessed' designs in white, gold or black. The place cards ship for free with orders over $35, so use this as an excuse to stock up on custom holiday decor.

Buy It: Place Setting Card ($4, Etsy)

thanksgiving table setting with wood leaf
Credit: Courtesy of Etsy / LittleDahliaDesigns

Custom Place Cards

Customize each place setting with a personalized wood leaf. Choose from two leaf shapes and 4 font styles to create a set of place cards that's perfect for your family. The 5-inch leaves are engraved from pretty birch wood for a rustic farmhouse look.

Buy It: Wood Place Cards ($5, Etsy)

cardboard glitter leaves
Credit: Image courtesy of Meri Meri

Leafy Decor

Add some holiday cheer to your Thanksgiving table with these sparkly napkin ties. These leaves are made from crafts wood and cardstock and come in a pack of eight. Write each family member's name on the cardboard, or leave them blank so you can reuse them next year.

Buy It: Glittered Leaf Place Card ($16, Meri Meri)

white crackers with bright leaves on them
Credit: Image courtesy of Meri Meri

Holiday Poppers

Holiday crackers are one of my favorite traditions, so I'm planning to put them out this year even though we aren't having the full Thanksgiving dinner. These festive poppers from Meri Meri come in a pack of six and are decorated with an assortment of bright fall leaves you can save for a fall craft project after dinner.

Buy It: Fall Leaf Crackers ($26, Meri Meri)

turkey printed plates
Credit: Courtesy of Target

Paper Plates

Who says you have to use the fancy plates just because it's Thanksgiving? Since we're already switching things up this year, cut down on the after-dinner cleanup by opting for paper plates instead. These turkey-themed plates from Target are just $3 for a 20-pack, so you can use them for holiday leftovers.

Buy It: Thanksgiving Turkey Plate ($3, Target)

gold turkey place cards
Credit: Courtesy of Pottery Barn

Turkey Place Cards

If you're looking for a way to make your small gathering feel more like a fancy dinner, grab a set of these gold turkey place card holders from Pottery Barn. They'll add a little shimmer to your table and can be reused next year.

Buy It: Place Card Holders ($24, Pottery Barn)


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