Dear Claudia:

It is my turn to entertain both sides of the family at my house for Thanksgiving.

I am overwhelmed; I need your help to make this Thanksgiving memorable.



It is sometimes a challenge to entertain family, but you just need to relax and enjoy it. First things first: how many people are you serving; who is cooking and what is your budget? Here are some simple the décor ideas to create a fall atmosphere.

Start by lighting some candles with fall fragrances such as pumpkin or spice and set them around the house, but not on the table. Use unscented candles on the table so the scent does not interfere with the delicious smells of the food. Set the table with fall colors and add some sparkle using crystal and/or silver. Add a natural arrangement of fruits, vegetables or flowers as a centerpiece for the table. Do not forget to dim the lighting to finish creating the ambience.

If the idea of doing all of the cooking is too much I suggest buying a complete meal from a local restaurant or market, or at least serving pre made desserts to give you time to enjoy the holiday with the family. We sometimes forget that this holiday is to enjoy time with family and to give thanks.


Dear Claudia:

It is our tradition to put up the Christmas tree the weekend after Thanksgiving. We invite some family and friends to help us and it is becoming a tradition that we enjoy very much.

Do you have any suggestions about what style decorations we should use?



What a neat tradition and wonderful idea. It gives us a chance to spend more memorable time with loved ones and create exceptional experiences. I believe that Christmas trees do not have to match the décor of your home or the area where you are putting them. The décor makes a statement all by itself and expresses its uniqueness in a bigger way.

There is no right or wrong way to decorate a Christmas tree. If you like to change the décor from year to year ask the family to suggest the new theme each year. You could vote on the favorite idea or rotate the honor of choosing the theme to a different family or family member each year.

The Christmas tree is very special to each family. Some families even put up two, one for the adults with a more formal look and one for the kids that displays all the handmade Christmas ornaments that have been collected throughout the years. No matter what you choose, the experience of decorating the tree together is sure to create lasting memories for everyone.


Claudia Dabdoub is a resident of Ahwatukee Foothills and owner of D’amore Interior Design Studio. To ask a question for an upcoming column, reach her at (480) 751-9938 or


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