Thanksgiving Countdown Corner Nov. 16: Welcoming your guests

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Loretta Gillespie

Known as both Osage oranges and common horse apples, these lime green beauties fall from the tree just around Thanksgiving and make wonderful decorations. They last about a month outside, longer if the weather is cold.

 

Thanksgiving Countdown Corner Nov. 16: 

So far, if you have followed this guide to staying on track for the upcoming holiday, you have accomplished several things that you can mark off your list. You’ve done most of your grocery shopping, set your table and/or gathered the things you will need to do so, baked and frozen your desserts and done some decorating with your leftover pumpkins.

Now, another thing that sometimes gets left undone because of last minute hustle and bustle is putting out the welcome mat and making your entrance a warm and inviting place for guests to enter your holiday home.

Start with adding some greenery around your door. You can add lights, but those are optional; however, they do make for a festive look if your meal will be in the evening, so go ahead and add a couple of strings, you’ll be glad you did when you finish.

Once your greenery is placed and lit, think about using some color to brighten it up. Pumpkins, again, are usually still in stores and markets, so if you didn’t purchase one for Halloween, pick up a couple now and place them on either side of your entrance. This could be at the end of your driveway, or at your door. If you live in a neighborhood with sidewalks, you might even have a gated entrance, which can be made more festive with a small wreath or a garland of leaves and berries.

You might also think of using votive candles in pretty jars, or battery operated ones that give a soft glow to your windows and doors.

Rely on nature to drop some Osage oranges (horse apples) at just the right time! These chartreuse orbs give a lot of punch to your holiday décor. You can even take them inside and put them in water in a clear vase with regular oranges and lemons to make a colorful focal point on a foyer table, or a sideboard in your dining area. Osage oranges will keep well outside until after Christmas if the weather turns cold, if not, place them in your refrigerator when not expecting company.

Wrap some fall leaves around a grapevine wreath the day before your company is expected, that way they will still be fresh, then hang the wreath on your garden gate, or your front door.

Find a garden flag with a fall theme; add a cheerful welcome mat and you have your entrance ready for your guests’ arrival. One more thing you can mark off your list!

 

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