The 5-Minute Trader Joe’s Hack That’ll Solve the Most Awkward Part of Thanksgiving

published Nov 22, 2021
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Trader Joe's canvas bag filled with groceries on countertop.
Credit: Sarah Crowley

What else can you do to really dazzle your guests this Thanksgiving, other than prepare an oven-roasted turkey, buttery mashed potatoes, toasty sage stuffing, and a lovely ginger pumpkin pie? Well, we’ve got one more trick up our sleeves that will wow the socks off your guests — and it all starts with a trip to Trader Joe’s!

Credit: Sarah Crowley

To make Thanksgiving even more festive this year, pull out all the stops and set a table that’s dressed to impress. (We know, we know, you’re probably thinking, Who are you kidding? I don’t have time to get crafty.) But in our humble opinion, setting the Thanksgiving table is great for three really important reasons: It’ll add extra style and pizzazz to this special meal, it’ll make your friends and family feel welcomed with plenty of Thanksgiving cheer, and it’ll solve that really awkward problem all guests face of deciding where to sit. (See? Pretty convincing reasons, right?)

Credit: Sarah Crowley

Place cards take the guesswork out of a dinner party, and as host, they can be a good way to ensure lively conversations. Plus, the good news is that our place card is totally simple and inexpensive.

Here’s how you do it: When you pick up those last-minute dips and frozen apps from TJ’s this week, be sure to toss a few packets of fresh herbs into your shopping cart (think: classic T-Day seasonings, such as sage, rosemary, and thyme, for example). Trader Joe’s has a decently large assortment and great prices. On Thanksgiving morning, round up your supplies — a pair of scissors, a hole punch, twine, a pen, card stock or tags, and the herb packets — and find a comfortable place to work. Once settled, the rest is easy and will take less than five minutes.

Credit: Sarah Crowley

To begin, take your place cards and neatly write all of your guests’ names (this is a good time to map out the order of where you’d like your guests to sit). Then, gather some greens in a small bundle (remembering to evenly plan out the amount of herbs for each setting) and trim them so they are relatively the same size. Wrap the tiny herb bouquet with twine, hole-punch the card, and tie it all together with a sweet little bow. Then, place the pretty greenery on top of a plate or napkin. Repeat for all of your guests. When you’re done arranging, take a step back and admire your fresh and fun handiwork. Ta-da! Cute DIY place settings that not only look gorgeous, but they’ll also smell lovely.

Do you have fall place setting or centerpiece ideas you plan to use for your Thanksgiving table? Share your suggestions in the comments below.