KIRKLAND, Wash — The holidays can be a crazy time of the year — but lifestyle expert Monica Hart believes Thanksgiving doesn't have to be one of them.
"Thanksgiving to me is kind of the calm before Christmas. So I like it to be natural, not glitzy."
Monica shared some of her natural Thanksgiving decorating ideas at a recent photoshoot for 425 Magazine.
"This happens outside a lot. People do that cascade of pumpkins or gourds down the staircase. But I thought that's lovely, but you only see it when you come in so let’s take it inside," said Monica. "Instead of traditional orange, I used whites and blues and grays. A couple of dozen gourds and a dozen different candles and it just creates this magic."
Even though people are planning smaller gatherings than in the past, you can still turn your table into something special.
"Whether it's a Friends-giving or more intimate setting, lots of gourds again, lots of candles. I have my grandma's glassware which is really cool."
And what better thing to put on your table to eat than a dish honoring a person from your past.
"I'm going to be making ravioli. My Grandma Nettie, Italian born, would make ravioli for every holiday," recalled Monica. "It's just one of those things that stays with you. It doesn't matter how old you get. If you have a favorite dish that your mom or your grandma made, that's a memory that you just hold on to. You don't have to do it perfectly. You decide what kind of flour to use, what the filling is. But the thing is you're extending this tradition and it's beautiful."
So whether you're keeping traditions alive or making new ones, that extra effort you put in can serve up happy memories for all.
"And that's what Thanksgiving is — happiness, family, friends."
You can read more of Monica’s tips in the November issue of 425 Magazine.