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Although times have seriously changed since the first memorable Thanksgiving of the oldest person at any Turkey Day table this year, all of the best things this holiday has to offer are the same: it stands for family, food, and gratefulness. Some holidays are exciting to each generation for different reasons. With Halloween, for example, kids love trick-or-treating, most teens and young adults love Halloween parties, and many adults enjoy setting the scene with fun décor. But with Thanksgiving, the youngest and oldest people at the table are all there for the same reasons. It’s a holiday that truly brings us all together.

Nicole at Goodwill of Orange County (Santa Ana, CA) shared a heartwarming story of her traditional family Thanksgiving over on their blog. She wrote that although the table was only ever set for eight, her granny placed such an emphasis on the importance of the day that anyone she spoke to would have thought she was hosting 30 more. It’s this kind of significance that we can all recognize in our own celebrations no matter our age and it made such an impact on Nicole that she decided it was necessary for her to follow in these footsteps with all the pomp that granny would have carefully set herself. Seeing as Nicole was just starting out, she knew that the only way to acquire entire sets of Thanksgiving-worthy dishware would be to shop for it at Goodwill. The results were exactly as anticipated and she checked out of her local thrift haven with more than enough plates and platters for three Thanksgiving feasts!

Although little ones attend Thanksgiving without a lot of responsibility, even at a very young age they know it isn’t just any other day. The importance of the holiday is instilled within us almost from the start. Perhaps that’s because people of all ages can pinpoint what they are thankful for whether that’s a warm home, a rewarding job, or – if you’re the daughter of blogger Corey Moortgat – pumpkin pie! This delightful treat was exactly the motivation Avery needed to get through a family photoshoot when she and her siblings were decked out in their perfect Thanksgiving outfits from Goodwill! Mom was delighted to note that one of the shirts was even handmade! In her blog post, she mentions how surprised she was to find something hand-stitched at Goodwill, but the truth of the matter is that you can find just about anything at Goodwill! Since this organization has earned the trust and support of more than 86 million donors in the United States and Canada, you could theoretically even find the silver buckle from a pilgrim’s shoe! Now wouldn’t that be something for the centerpiece…

I don’t know if my family is unique in this, but when we set the table (centerpiece included!) we all do it together. A few people carry in small stacks of plates, others grab napkins or candle sticks or gravy boats, and the little ones set the silverware. It isn’t one job of many that the host completes, but, as with every other aspect of Thanksgiving, it’s something we all share. With that in mind, when I saw these last-minute fall décor ideas from Horizon Goodwill Industries (Hagerstown, MD) I was particularly charmed by the hurricane candle holder idea filled with leaves! A quick project like this is something that 8- or 80-year-olds can collaborate on together to prep the table before the turkey’s carved. My local thrift shops are brimming with glass jars like this and colorful leaves litter the ground outside so the preparation ahead of time is limited!

This Thanksgiving (as on every other day), we are truly grateful for you. Our creative readers, thrifty shoppers, and generous donors are the heart of Goodwill so we wish you all the very best heading into the holiday season. We hope these simple ideas are just what you need to one-up every Thanksgiving celebration that has come before, be it that of 2022 or 1950.

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