How to Host an Outdoor Thanksgiving

November 19, 2021

With Thanksgiving being just a little less than a week away I am sharing our brighter and sunnier Thanksgiving from the past few years. I also have some easy decorating ideas, suggestions for a quick charcuterie board and cozy tips for hosting an Outdoor Thanksgiving. Although there may be some guests who reject the idea of dining outdoors on Thanksgiving a sure way to win them over is keeping the Thanksgiving menu traditional.


Honoring The Harvest and Time Spent Together

While I live in a mild region of the United States, and we are currently experiencing the loveliest Fall weather, hosting an Outdoor Thanksgiving is pretty easy.
Although I truly do think that there is something here for everyone to love in our Texas and Florida party no matter your location!
The focus is on honoring the harvest and time spent together.

Simple and Beautiful DIY Artichoke, Gourd and Cotton Centerpiece

Inspiration For The Tables

I set up two tables for our guests. 
The main table is on the covered patio, the other table I set up on the lawn for guests who wished to dine directly under the sun.
This was our French Country home in Rockwall Texas.
Our home sat beautifully on 2 acres of land with an open space that backed up to a ranch.
Cedar trees lined the rustic wire fence and made for a very natural and earthy lifestyle.
I incorporated those natural vibes of the countryside into the two centerpieces I designed.

Natural Jute Table Runner

The Main Table Centerpiece

I also wanted to keep this party relaxed and not have an overstated floral centerpiece as my statement piece. So I kept the theme of my outdoor Thanksgiving simple with, a 10-minute centerpiece for both of the tables. The main table centerpiece consists of faux artichokes, mini pumpkins, gourds, cotton, antlers, greenery and moss balls. I placed all of these elements on a Jute table runner.

Secondary Table Centerpiece

Secondary Table Centerpiece

Having a secondary table set out for guests under sunny skies encourages mingling and is perfect for the little folks too. For this table I used rustic FALL wooden letters  that I picked up at Michaels and a handpicked zinnia  and jalapeno bouquet from the garden. I tossed them all together in a clear vase! Now how easy is that!

Dressing Up The Desserts With Flowers

Dressing up the Gingerbread with White Carnations

Whenever possible I enjoy dressing up my cakes with flowers!
In this photo I placed white carnations on top of the homemade gingerbread.
(My husband loves gingerbread and has already put his request in for this year!)

Helping Hands In The Kitchen

Charcuterie Board

Adding a charcuterie board to an Outdoor Thanksgiving is great because it is finger food. Folks can roam between indoors and outdoors with a no-mess appetizer.
I first fell in love with charcuterie (pronounced shar-koo-tuh-ree) boards when I hosted Bunco for my Colorado Ladies Group. The ladies loved it and I so enjoyed preparing it!
Shopping for those specialty meats, spreads, crackers, picklesdried fruit and assorted cheeses was fun!
But wait...a charcuterie board does not need to be fancy and it can be customized so easily for the party goers you have invited! 


Afton Prepared the Charcuterie Board and Jeff Air-Fried The Turkey

Keep It Cozy With Blankets, Pillows and Sweaters

Keep Outdoor spaces cozy on Thanksgiving by adding pillows and blankets

Weather changes quickly this time of the year and when a North wind blows in it becomes chilly! I like to keep a stash of cozy blanketspillows, shaggy jackets and chunky sweaters in a handy spot and easily accessible.

Decorate the outdoor fireplace and light an inviting fire.

Keep It Toasty With A Fireplace, Firepit Or An Outdoor Heater

Our home in Texas had this wonderful and fun to decorate outdoor fireplace. 
It was wood burning and put out the best heat!

Firepits add warmth and a marvelous glow for outdoor parties on Thanksgiving

While living in Florida we had a swimming pool to cool off in, but no fire to keep us warm on Fall Days. So we purchased this Bali Propane Outdoor Firepit and it works great. The firepit puts out a nice flame and takes the chill off. Another great option would be an outdoor heater.

Our Blessed Thanksgiving




Thank you for joining my family and I! We wish you a blessed Thanksgiving!

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  1. Jemma, you have moved three times and are amazing with all you do! What is my excuse????

    Love your outdoor tables. You have a great knack for decorating! Your charcuterie board ideas are helpful.
    Of course, I love your family pictures. They speak love through and through!
    Wishing you a lovely Thanksgiving.

  2. Such a beautiful family Jemma. I just made a charcuterie board. They are so yummy and a great appetizer to please a lot of people. Having Thanksgiving outdoors sounds so wonderful. We here in Illinois will be bundled up inside for Thanksgiving. Our fireplaces will be on inside. Enjoy being outside. xoxo Kris

  3. Happy Thanksgiving! Loved all the ideas which would carry over to other gatherings or celebrations too! Love the family pics! You are so blessed to have all of your gang! ❤️

  4. Good morning beloved Jemma! I love that you have discussed the ways that families who live in warmer climates can create tablescapes that keep with the tradition. What we seem to see a lot of are the "quintessential" expressions of the holiday, namely tablescapes and home d├ęcor surrounded by the features of a chilly climate. Bare trees who have disrobed from their brightly colored leaves, snow on the ground, roaring fireplaces....something I dreamed of as a child living in Los Angeles! But your focus on family and the fun that together, a family can create is the best "centerpiece" - then to gather around the hard work and efforts of a loving family. May your day be blessed my dear and wonderful friend!

  5. You've had so any moves and each holiday season you rock things out of the park. I wish I had that ambition for creating a welcoming home environment. Keep sharing and love the family pictures too. Hugs- Carole


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