There’s No Place Like Home For Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving. What an amazing time of year, right?

I can admit that November has historically been my least favorite month, but it has grown on me over the last several years – as I have experienced motherhood with littles – as well as crisp, fallen leaf piles with my photography clients. November has got that special something, and it hasn’t always been an easy road to get to this place of tentative November loving.

We take Thanksgiving so seriously around here, because it has a long and meaningful history in the family. While my siblings all switch on and off, and tag team in and out with in-laws, somehow my little family found a way to have our holiday meal with all six grandparents gathered together under one roof. Somehow we have found the “secret” to not having to choose between family. We’re all together. This dream was born many years ago when my husband and I first met and fell in love, but we broke up before November because of distance. After two somewhat sad Thanksgivings apart – on dark and cold days – we finally got our dream wish when we reunited years later. The dream! And we have a photo from that magical day:

There have been more challenging Novembers since then – like when we moved to the east coast and I was pregnant with Scarlet and couldn’t stand the smells of food cooking! Then, three years later, I was pregnant with Des and couldn’t even stay awake to eat! If my parents host, we have to travel and listen to Des tell us for four hours how much he hates the highway, and is it a big highway or a little highway, and how many highways will we take to get there, and do any of them have doughnuts? (true story) Then there was the trip shortly after potty-training in which we stopped no less than ten times.

Sometimes on the side of the road!

When we host, well, that’s not always easy either. You want everything to be just so, and although perfection is unachievable and overrated, you are still going for getting your home to be welcoming and comfortable. Clean. That’s a good one. A place of respite and relaxation. A place to focus on giving thanks and eating. Don’t worry, because S.C. Johnson has you covered!

Do you find yourself getting overwhelmed, during this holiday of messes, unsolicited advice, and weary travelers? Don’t worry – all you need is a sense of humor, a good appetite, and all these tools to help you handle what the holiday throws at you!

The Home Depot has you covered too!

You can find a variety of wonderful S.C. Johnson brand products at The Home Depot, to help you be the best hostess with the most(ess) on this absolutely wonderful, but overwhelming, late fall holiday.

The Home Depot has everything you need to break up the large job of preparing for Thanksgiving into ten tinier and more manageable tasks that will have you feeling more prepared than you could have imagined! You’ve got this!

Ten Easy & Manageable Ways to Get Your Home Ready For Thanksgiving:

1 – Clean the bathroom! Maybe the kitchen seems like the obvious place to start, but I always start in the bathroom. A dirty bathroom is the most unpleasant “surprise” to find when you’re a guest. Scrubbing Bubbles® Lemon Scent Bathroom Cleaner will clean your tub, toilet, tiles, sink, and shower and make sure to disinfect and clean everything that happens “behind bathroom doors”!

2 – Clean those surfaces where people will gather! Pledge® Multisurface – Antibacterial has you covered. Pledge® takes care of and protects the things you love and celebrates the beauty of homes, so you can focus on food, family and fun!

3 – Don’t stand for! Glass tends to hold dirt and smudges more than other surfaces. Windex® Original Glass Cleaner is perfect for so many surfaces throughout the home.

4 – Use Glade. Do you want wonderful and comforting scents throughout your house? Of course you do. Glade® Apple Cinnamon Candles create a cozy and wonderful smelling environment, in any room you choose indoors.

5 – Don’t forget small details in the home! Once you’re finished with all the surfaces of the house, and the full bathroom, re-stock the toilet paper, empty trash cans, put out fresh towels, and then light another candle!

6 – Vacuum! It can sound daunting but just focus on the rooms where your guests will be during the holiday – entryways, bathrooms, dining rooms, living rooms, and maybe a guest room or two.

7 – Start the dishwasher cycle early. There will likely be many dishwasher cycles! Start it running while your guests are arriving so you have no dishes stacked on the counter.

8 – Ambiance! Quickly fold up blankets, fluff up pillows, and put on some music. This will set an inviting tone in just minutes.

9 – Set a place for coats and purses. If you have a coat rack, great. If not, make up a bed for everyone to place their belongings.

10 – FOOD! Yes, there will be plenty of food for the feast itself, but guests often arrive hungry. Since we save pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving night, we make our Pumpkin Surprise for the day before. And I have a recipe for you too!

Pumpkin Surprise

Pumpkin Surprise

These easy and quick pumpkin party recipe is a wonderful alternative to Pumpkin Pie. We love it every year!


  • 1 (15 ounce) Libby's Pumpkin
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • crushed walnuts and/or whipped cream are optional.


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C)
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the pumpkin, eggs, brown sugar, salt, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon and evaporated milk
  3. Mix until smooth and pour into 9x13 inch baking dish
  4. Top the pumpkin mixture with yellow cake mix (dry), melt 1/2 cup butter and drizzle over cake mix until covered
  5. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until crust is golden brown
  6. Allow to cool uncovered and serve

And there you have it! Ten simple and quick ways to make your house look dreamy, and to give you more time to focus on the excitement, joy and responsibility that comes with being a hostess – and making other people also have a great holiday!

What’s the number #1 item in your cleaning toolkit for such an awesome holiday?

About Tamara

Tamara is a professional photographer, a mama of two, a Lifestyle Blogger/Social Media Influencer/Brand Ambassador, and a nearly professional cookie taster. She has been known to be all four of those things at all hours of the day and night. She is a very proud contributor to the book, The Mother Of All Meltdowns, the Stigma Fighters Anthology (volume 1), and The HerStories Project: So Glad They Told Me. She is also a proud Community Lead and a regular contributor to the SoFab Food blog, and the Target Made Me Do It blog. After two cross country moves, due to her intense Bi-Coastal Disorder, she lives with her husband, daughter, son, dog, cat, and 11 chickens in glorious western Massachusetts.


There’s No Place Like Home For Thanksgiving — 23 Comments

  1. Seriously, scrubbing bubbles toilet tabs are life savers!
    I wish my siblings would get on board with the whole spending Thanksgiving with one family thing. They are never happy when they go to the other side. So, this pumpkin surprise is now on my Thanksgiving list because, um YUM!

  2. Oh yum! You know how I feel about pumpkin anything! So, I am hosting the big Turkey day his year and my house is no where near ready. Better get to work!

    • What?? Who is he?
      Ok, so I know I’m two months late here, but I went to a pumpkin party once. There were pumpkins to paint, and also pumpkins that were made into soup bowls, to fill with pumpkin soup.
      There was pumpkin dip. There was even pumpkin chocolate! Maybe next year I’ll throw such a party with Lindsay and you’ll come.

  3. We’re hosting this year and it’s going to be crazy, I can already tell. I would never have thought to go to Home Depot for anything though since when I think of them all I think is the big stuff. 🙂

  4. Cleaning up for Thanksgiving is my plan for this weekend. There isn’t one specific cleaning item that is more important than the other. Having all the essentials makes the task easier.

  5. I am almost ashamed to admit, but I find those scrubbing bubbles sooooo satisfying. Like I’ll just spray them in the sink when it’s not even dirty because I just love to watch the bubbles. I need help. LOL And I also swear by the Glade candles too. I love using the clear containers for crafts after. More than few have been turned into some kind of teacher gift! Of course I wash them with the scrubbing bubbles 😉

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