21 Ideas for Celebrating a Simple, Natural Thanksgiving: Eats, Decor, Gratitude

Here's a great selection of tasty-looking real food holiday recipes, frugal and nature-inspired decor ideas, and gratitude printables and activities!

I have to confess something… I will not be celebrating Thanksgiving this week. That’s because as a Canadian, that day came and went back in October! But I know that for most of you, Thanksgiving is your focus this week and so I wanted to share some ideas and inspiration with you.

I had far too much fun putting together this selection of tasty-looking real food holiday recipes, frugal and nature-inspired decor ideas, and gratitude printables and activities for you.

This is only a small portion of all that I found, and if you’d like, you can peruse my entire Thanksgiving folder on Pinterest.

Healthy, Whole Food Thanksgiving Recipes



Butternut Squash Gratin with Blue Cheese and Sage (just use whole grain bread and butter your pan instead of using spray)



Green-Cabbage and Red-Apple Slaw with Brussel Sprouts



Cranberry-Pomegranate Sauce (from the Pioneer Woman- everything she makes is amazing)



What a unique and tasty looking salad! Love the apple presentation! Apples, avocado, blue cheese (an accidental theme), and pomegranates (a delicious and healthy, but also accidental theme).


Source: realsimple.com via Bev on Pinterest


Herb Stuffing- a simple but tasty looking variation.



Cajun Corn Maque Choux- this creative and distinct salad sounds delicious and looks so colorful!

Beautiful, Frugal, Nature-Inspired Holiday Decor

Spending money on fancy decor items just isn’t necessary. When you work with elements from outdoors, the garden or market, or even your own pantry, together with items you may already have and some creativity, the possibilities are endless.


Source: budgetwisehome.com via Anna on Pinterest

Love this!


Source: familycircle.com via Jessica on Pinterest

These would be perfect on a mantle, or used as a place setting decoration.


Source: bhg.com via Jessica on Pinterest

I’m all about using food in decor.



Indian corn is already gorgeous, but in a hurricane vase it’s even more stunning.


Source: simplyvintagegirl.com via Tiffany on Pinterest


Take twigs from the backyard and then embellish with thankful thoughts from yourself and the rest of the family.


Source: bhg.com via Katie on Pinterest


That has to be one of the most creative uses of food in decorating that I have ever seen!



So easy, but beautiful, warm, fall colors. This is the type of thing that I could definitely see myself doing.



Just lovely. Get the kids to gather sticks and put this together easily.

Printables to Bring Out That Gratitude



I love printables like this, because I’m not much of a decorator. But, put this in a yard sale or thrift store frame, with some candles or mini pumpkins (or gourds) and you’ve got a really cute look.



Click through to the original site to see some different ideas for using these Thankful cards.



What a fun project to do with kids!



The ultimate reason for our thanks.



Just beautiful.



Perfect for young kids to express their thankfulness. Fun homeschool activity!


Source: google.com via Christina on Pinterest


With grateful hearts. Enough said.

What other simple and frugal Thanksgiving inspiration have you found? What will you be doing as you celebrate Thanksgiving this year?

Top photo by Fr Lawrence Lew, O.P.

About Stephanie Langford

Stephanie Langford has a passion for sharing ideas and information for homemakers who want to make healthy changes in their homes, and carefully steward all that they've been given. She has written three books geared to helping families live more naturally and eat real, whole foods, without being overwhelmed, without going broke and with simple meal planning. She is the creator of Keeper of the Home.

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  1. I like the your decorative ideas, it’s very creative and beautiful. These decorative create a festive environment and make the thanksgiving so memorable. I love the recipes also, thanks to sharing this awesome post.

  2. You and I have the same tastes! I’m definitely pinning this post for next year.

  3. Thanks for all the great ideas! I often gather things that I think I can use for decorating, but don’t have that vision to put together a centerpiece or decor item. These ideas will help a lot, and I love that I can do each one in a mininmal amount of time! I’m in Michigan, so we celebrate this Thursday, is it the same in Canada? Either way, have a blessed Thanksgiving!

  4. Stephanie, I just discovered your blog via Raising Homemakers, and I confess that I’ve been sinfully browsing around while I should be grading homeschool work and doing laundry! I’m so glad to have found your blog and will be back often.

  5. Cute table mats for kids… Great ideas to get the kids involved! Hope your Thanksgiving was blessed last month!

  6. I LOVE the display with the Indian corn in the hurricane vase. WOW! So simple but so elegant. I could do that, but I had a mean little mouse rodent sneak into my basement and eat all my Indian corn. I try not to be bitter…..stupid mouse.


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