These printables are generic enough to use year-round, but they’re also really fun for your Thanksgiving dinner.
You can see a fun way to use the conversation starters in the paper pumpkin above. To create the pumpkin itself, we cut 12 pumpkin shapes from our Cricut® Artistry collection, folded them in half, and attached them together to create an accordion effect. Then we looped some Fern ribbon together, tied it together with Fern twine, and attached it to the top with glue.
We also have this dinner party thank you card. Again, it’s generic enough to use for any formal dinner party, but it adds a beautiful, personal touch to your Thanksgiving place settings.
We hope these printables make your Thanksgiving one to remember! Click on the links below to download and print these free printables!
Whether you’re celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday tomorrow or not, I’m sure each of you has special traditions around this time of year that you’re looking forward to sharing with your loved ones. One of my favorite parts of this holiday is the conversation that we always have over dinner and throughout the evening. It’s just so nice to be together as a family, talking.
I often make reference to the Close To My Heart family because Close To My Heart feels like so much more than a company to me. This family would include all of you who are reading this blog, so I wanted to do something to share this Thanksgiving holiday tradition with you, too.
Here’s my idea: Remember the printable conversation starters we shared in a blog post last week? I thought it would be fun to give my answers to a few of my favorites, just like I would if I were with you in person! And I would love it if you would pick one of your favorites from last week’s list and share a response with me in the comments, too. That way, though we won’t all be together around a dinner table, we can still enjoy getting to know more about each other. I’ll go first!
Q: What is the most mischievous thing you did as a child?
A: When I was about 3 or 3 ½, my mother was taking me on a trip by bus to visit one of her family members. She was pregnant with my brother, and she said that I was quite the handful. I was running on the chairs and all over the place. I would go to the ashtrays, grab the cigarette butts, and try to mimic the people smoking at the bus station. Then I took my little hand and pulled on the station fire alarm. Everybody started screaming and running out; my mom was trying to grab me and keep me from running out with all the people!
She also said that I’d stare out the window. I’d see flies and say, “Look at all the little airplanes!” Once I realized they were flies, I would take the dead ones from the windowsill in my hand, stroke them, and say, “Poor little dead flies.” My mom would slap the flies out of my hand—I think she was afraid that I was going to try eating them!
Q: What nicknames have you been called?
A: I have one that I was called when I was in grade school. All my friends would call me “Jeanetti Spaghetti.” That’s what I went by just at school until my mom adopted the name, too. It wasn’t that funny when she said it, but I guess it was endearing. My husband, David, calls me “Honey.” I know he’s really serious when he calls me by my name, so I’d rather be called “Honey” than “Jeanette” by David.
Q: Which decade best describes your personality and why?
A: I love the 70s without a doubt. The music from the 70s captures my heart. I love Three Dog Night, Bread, Carole King. . . . I could name off every group. I sang every song, and I loved it. So I think that the 70s best describes me because of its music.
Q: Which smells remind you of your childhood?
A: Every time I smell a warm rain on a warm day on a warm street, it reminds me of playing and jumping around in the rain as a child—just carefree. It was a happy time to be outside in a rainstorm, when the rain first hit the pavement.
Q: What is the most beautiful place you’ve ever seen?
A: I’m thinking about the beach in Maui. I love looking at the ocean—sitting on the beach, and just watching the waves roll in. Our family had a special palm tree we would sit under when we visited that beach. I love Maui—I love everything about Maui.
The other place I love is American Fork Canyon; it’s probably the most beautiful place in the whole world. It’s just right here in our backyard. I love the big cliffs, the rocks, the trees, and the beautiful Tibble Fork Reservoir in front of all those pine trees—it’s just gorgeous! I think that we have the most beautiful mountains in the world, and I think people around here take it for granted. But I find the greatest pleasure every time I look at them, which is often.
I’ll stop there, though it would be fun to keep going! Go ahead and look at the full list of conversation starters, pick your favorite one, and then share your answer to it in the comments on this post.
As I’m focusing on gratitude this Thanksgiving, know that I’ll certainly be thinking of you. I’m truly grateful to be able to count friends as supportive as you among my many blessings. God bless you!
Maybe you volunteered for it because you enjoy making everybody comfortable. Maybe you were stuck with it because your dining room is actually big enough. For whatever reason, you’ve got it: Hostess Duty. The big dinner is already too close for comfort, and it’s only getting closer.
No fear! Whether you’re in charge of your family’s Thanksgiving gathering or another large dinner party, Close To My Heart will help you get prepared. We want you to be able to focus on the most important part of any party—the people! With that in mind, we’ve created printable thank you cards and conversation starter cards that will help you create wonderful memories as you gather around the table. Take a look at this Thanksgiving place setting: Beautiful, right? The thank you card and the conversation starter card add a personal touch to this elegant place setting. In this example, the thank you card was printed on kraft cardstock, trimmed out, matted on paper from the Urban paper packet, and topped off with a bow made from gold glitter paper—so simple!
And as you’ll notice at the bottom of the card, our printable thank you card includes a spot for you to type in your name or family name! This will make the cards personal yet ridiculously quick and easy to put together.
Now let’s take a closer look at the other piece of this place setting: Conversation starter cards are a fun way to get people around the dinner table to put away their phones and enjoy the company right in front of them. We’ve created two different sets of conversation starters—one for children and one for adults. Simply print them out, cut them up, and attach them to a folded piece of paper as you see here. You could also cut them up and place them in a container to be passed around the table and have each person take their turn drawing a prompt.
Lend an autumn feel to your Thanksgiving place setting by attaching stamped images to your cards. This colorful leaf comes from the My Acrylix® Thankful Heart stamp set and has been colored with watercolor paints and attached the card with 3-D foam tape. Slightly curling the edges of the leaf upward makes it look ready to blow right off the card, doesn’t it?
Because we know you host special dinner parties throughout the year, we’ve designed both the thank you card and the conversation starters to work year-round—they’re not Thanksgiving-specific. Take a look at another place setting to see what we mean: Whatever the reason is for holding your special dinner party, we hope you get to enjoy the food, people, and the feelings of gratitude. Your guests certainly will! And remember—snap some photos of those special memories!
Coming home from our executive retreat in Park City last week, I was looking forward to wrapping up my last week of work and digging in to the bright festivities of Christmas. Only one problem—I brought home a mean little cough and fever. I stayed in bed all weekend (which is nice to do every once in a while), but by Monday, I wasn’t feeling any better. Oh-oh! I knew I had better see my doctor. What I didn’t want to hear was what my doctor told me: “Jeanette, you’ve got pneumonia. I want you to take an antibiotic and stay in bed for 4 or 5 days.” He then asked if I needed a doctor’s note for work. I just smiled and thanked him.
OK, I decided, I am going to make the most of this. I planned to make meals during the day (only when you can’t taste, you just don’t want to eat anything!). Nevertheless, I knew I had to keep my strength up. A couple of days ago, my sense of smell started returning. Oh happy day! As of a couple of days ago, I can taste, too. I went to my pantry and started to pull out ingredients to make a hearty soup. And not just any soup, but my famous five-minute tortilla soup! Everyone I have served this to loves it. All you need are a few ingredients:
My Tortilla Soup
1- 12.5 oz. can of chicken breast (premium chunk)
1- 8.8 oz. package of Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice(Spanish style)
1- 10 oz. Rotel diced tomatoes with limejuice and cilantro
1- 15 oz. can of pinto beans
1- large spoonful of sour cream
A few crushed tortilla chips
1. Pour chicken breast with its own broth into a soup pan. 2. Break chicken chunks with a fork. Bring to a boil. 3. Add rice, tomatoes, and pinto beans with liquid in that order and stir gently. 4. When soup is hot, stir in the big spoonful of sour cream and top with a few crushed tortilla chips.
One option for those who want a little less hearty soup: add a little chicken broth to your liking. Enjoy hot.
I am doing much better now. I feel better. When the winter weather sets in hard, there’s nothing that warms me up inside and out like a bowl of hot soup. When my family comes in from the cold or someone comes down with the sniffles—or we just feel like celebrating—my tortilla soup recipe really hits the spot. It’s simple enough for everyday eating, but it’s also zesty enough to make any meal something really special.
P.S. I love reading all your Christmas stories. I am reading each one sometimes more than once. They make me feel like a child again. Thank you, thank you for this gift that continues to uplift me and keep me smiling.