Thanksgiving With a Twist

Break out of the same-old, same-old with festive Thanksgiving decorations and recipes.

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  • Mashed Potatoes 3 Ways

    \"What's better than one kind of mashed potatoes? Three! We serve classic, gorgonzola and garlic,\" says John Colaneri of Kitchen Cousins. Click here for the Mashed Potatoes 3 Ways recipe.

  • Stuffing Finger Food

    \"These stuffing balls are a huge hit. They're just fried sausage rolled in prepared stuffing and fried again. I serve them with cranberry dipping sauce,\" says Meg Caswell of Meg's Great Rooms. Click here for the Stuffing Balls recipe.

  • Pet-Hostess Gift

    \"Your hostess probably doesn't need a gift, but I bet her dog would love one! Bring a cute non-squeaky toy to keep him occupied,\" says Nate Berkus. Eggplant, $15, wagsandwiggles.etsy.com; carrot, $7, olivegreendog.com.

  • A Wishbone for Everybody

    \"Everyone always wants the wishbone, but there's only one! So I buy these recycled plastic wishbones and attach one to each rolled-up napkin with some copper wire. That way no one gets left out of the fun,\" says Sabrina Soto, The High Low Project. Wishbones, $8.50 for set of 10, luckybreakwishbone.com

  • Vern's Sentimental Centerpiece

    \"For my centerpiece, I frame black-and-white copies of photos that show important memories from the year. Then I arrange them down the center of the table,\" says Vern Yip, HGTV Design Star.

  • Turkey Table-Topper

    \"How cute is this little guy? To make it, cut the bottom off a gourd so it sits flat on a plate. Glue on peppercorn 'eyes' and pin a cloth napkin, starched and ironed accordion-style, behind it to look like tail feathers,\" says Sabrina Soto, host of The High Low Project.

  • Individual Flower Arrangements

    \"Instead of decorating your table with one big centerpiece, give each guest his or her own small arrangement. Buy a bouquet of flowers, then divvy up the blooms into juice glasses and put one at each place setting,\" says Nate Berkus.

  • Vintage Mix

    \"Forget about using matching dishes. Pick up a variety of vintage plates at thrift stores and make a game of it. Give a prize to the guest who gets the turkey design,\" says Cortney Novogratz of Home by Novogratz.

  • Emily Gets the Kids Involved

    \"Decorate the table with autumn place mats. Have kids tape leaves to construction paper, then get the sheets laminated at a copy shop,\" says Emily Henderson, Secrets From a Stylist.

  • Game On

    \"Have a harvest hunt. It's like an Easter egg hunt for Thanksgiving. Give each child a basket and let them search for gourds you've hidden around the house or yard. Whoever finds the golden gourd (the one you sprayed with gold paint) wins a prize!\" says Camille Styles, blogger, camillestyles.com.

  • Guest Bathroom Tip

    Sabrina Soto makes sure her holiday guests never have to use a soggy hand towel in the bathroom. \"I set out pretty paper hand towels for guests on a tray instead. It's a small gesture that's greatly appreciated.\"

  • Leftover Take-Home Boxes

    \"Before dinner, set up a leftover station in the kitchen with kraft paper takeout boxes and cute stick-on labels so guests can take food home,\" says bloggers Jessica Jackson and Monica Mangin, eastcoastcreativeblog.com. Bio Pak takeout boxes, $7 for set of 10, shopsweetlulu.com.

  • Little Dippers

    \"People will actually eat their veggies if you put them in individual cups. Fill each glass with your favorite dip, then add sliced carrots, celery sticks, and pepper strips,\" says Dina Manzo of Dina's Party.

  • Saying Thanks

    \"In November we write down things that we're grateful for, put the papers in a glass jar, then read them aloud together. You can also do this on Thanksgiving day so your guests can join in,\" says Sherry and John Petersik, bloggers, younghouselove.com.

  • Genevieve's Jams

    \"I've got a great Thanksgiving playlist—it starts off mellow, then gets upbeat after dinner,\" says Genevieve Gorder of Dear Genevieve. Download it here.

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