Looking to freshen up your Thanksgiving celebration? Our national holiday and other seasonal fetes may be tradition-bound, but you can always spruce them up with a few strategic updates. Christie Troxell, CEO and Creative Director of Ritzy Parties, is planning a modern, fun Thanksgiving with all the trimmings. Here, she shares her tips for ways to update a traditional holiday party. Troxell’s motto: “There are no rules; celebrate everything!”
- Change Up Your Color Palette. “I always like to take a little departure away from the traditional colors and the expected themes. So this year, I’m going with some mercury glass paired with a dusty teal and pink and coral shades. I’m still doing traditional pumpkins and formal place settings, but it’s very modern and fun. It’s a more hipster, chic vibe, compared to your traditional warm-toned Thanksgiving.”
- Throw a Blanket on Your Table.“One of my favorite tricks is not to use traditional table linens, which can be very expensive. I found a grey tweed-patterned blanket instead for the base table linen. You can throw it in the dryer, you don’t have to iron it, it lays completely smooth, and it’s a fantastic texture and base layer for the table. And I think tweed is very hot this season!”
- Think Outside the Card. “For place cards, I spray paint leaves and give them some gilding and then write calligraphy names on them. You can basically write on anything with a marker or paint pen or I like to use a Sharpie. You could also use a mini-pumpkin or a pear. Spray paint the pear an ivory color, put some gold leaf on it to give it a metallic glint, and then write on it with a Sharpie for a nice creative place card.”
- Dessert is for Fun. “Usually where I translate the more modern, fun stuff is in the dessert. I will probably do a pumpkin creme brulee, but I will tint it in the party colors, so it will be pink instead of the traditional pumpkin color. And then some pretty whipped cream and matching sprinkles that go with the color theme. The top is broiled so it turns dark, but when you crack into it, it’s kind of a nice surprise that it’s pink inside!”
- Start With a Signature. “For an opener, I like to offer a signature drink for all my parties – something seasonal and curated for the event. For Thanksgiving, I’m going to offer a pumpkin spice martini. You can rim the glass with sprinkles that go with the colors of the party and use cute paper straws.”
- Lighten Up. “I try to inject a little humor by putting some cute signs around, like a funny quote in a frame next to the drinks or on the bar. I’ve also done a fun tradition where everyone signs the tablecloth. Provide a selection of Sharpies and let everyone autograph it, even the little kids. Encourage people to write what they’re grateful for, but sometimes they write a funny joke. Or you could use a large pumpkin and have everyone write what they’re grateful for on it, and you can leave that up for a while after Thanksgiving.”
In short, Troxell recommends bringing some fresh colors, a bit of surprise and a dose of humor to liven up what can be a predictable, traditional holiday. Based in southern California, Troxell has produced events and designed concepts, product and art for her clients for over two decades.