Party Food

Non-Traditional Holiday Decor & Menu Ideas

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Because neither of our families are in close proximity to us, we often celebrate Thanksgiving with friends in our home. This year I got to have a double celebration. I just returned from an impromptu trip home to Newfoundland over the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend. It was bittersweet. You know how wonderful it is to be back in the house you grew up in, with family all around? I had all that, but the reason I went at this particular time was because my grandparents are seriously ill.

Nontraditional Holiday Decor Ideas

My grandparents have always been a major part of my life. Even though I don’t get to see them every day now, they are daily in my heart. Sometimes I find myself doing something a certain way and wonder “why did I do that?” And when I follow the thought, I discover Grandma at the end of it; she did it that way. Or I realize when something frustrates me, I step back and figure another way to go at it and keep on keeping on. That’s like Grandpa. He’s tenacious.

My grandparents are neat as a pin. Their home is comfortable and peaceful. Not only does their house look orderly, it always sparkles. As a kid, I knew I liked to be with them at their home but I didn’t process why. Now, I recognize that their home was an extension of their way of looking at life. Their view has influenced me! I still think a clean and well organized house says “welcome.”

Scrubbing Bubbles Toilet Cleaner

When we got back from Newfoundland, one of the first things we did was go to Walmart and stock up on supplies and food since our cupboards were bare and company was coming! While I was back home, I noticed my stepmom was using Scrubbing Bubbles® Toilet Cleaning Gel in her toilets and I really liked it, so I grabbed some. Besides making sure the house is picked up and dusted, getting ready for company always means being sure the bathroom is fresh and ready for guests. The Scrubbing Bubbles® Toilet Cleaning Gel is a continuous clean product, with a fresh scent. I especially like the lemon citrus.

Windex: Getting Ready for Party

Grandma always says dirty windows are depressing (she’s right!) and “let the sunshine in” so Windex® Original Glass Cleaner helps me easily comply with that rule!

Unique Thanksgiving Color Palette

With the house in order, I’m ready to turn my attention to the menu. This time I wanted to take some traditional flavors of the season but serve them in a non-traditional way and I didn’t want it to take forever!  Baked ham slices, Canadian bacon and pineapple with a rich butter sauce would appeal to my guest list. Sweet kale salad and an upside-down sweet potato tart completed the main menu.

Turkey Alternative for Thanksgiving

Ham Recipe for Thanksgiving

Recipe for Sweet Potato Tart

Sweet Potato Appetizer Recipe

Unique Sweet Potato Puff Pastry

Sweet Potato Puff Pastry Recipe


Non-Traditional Holiday Decor & Menu Ideas

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  • 1/2 ham, cut into 6 slices
  • 6 slices Canadian bacon
  • 6 pineapple slices
  • Preheat oven to 350


  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 stick butter
  • 2 teaspoons lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1 package puff pastry
  • 3 shallots
  • olive oil
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • balsamic vinegar
  • feta cheese
  • Preheat oven to 350.



  1. Bake ham slices on cookie sheet for 15 minutes
  2. Fry bacon for approximately 3 minutes per side
  3. Remove ham from oven, layer bacon and pineapple
  4. Bake for approximately 15 more minutes


  1. Whisk yolks on high until doubled in mass and creamy.
  2. Melt butter.
  3. Put yolks in a stainless steel bowl, place over a small saucepan with simmering water. Do not let the water touch the bowl.
  4. Gradually add butter and lemon juice, whisking until doubled again.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste.


  1. Thinly slice sweet potato. Place in a single layer on small cookie sheet. Lightly brush with olive oil. Bake for 10 minutes.
  2. While sweet potato is baking, roll out puff pastry into a thin layer the size of the cookie sheet.
  3. Remove sweet potato from oven and raise oven temperature to 400.
  4. Drizzle sweet potato with balsamic oil. Cover with puff pastry (be careful, cookie sheet is hot).
  5. Light brush exposed side of pastry with egg.
  6. Bake according to package instructions.
  7. Remove from oven and flip.
  8. Garnish with shallots, feta cheese and additional balsamic vinegar.


  • Calories: 1978
  • Sugar: 105
  • Sodium: 3245
  • Fat: 126
  • Saturated Fat: 71
  • Unsaturated Fat: 45
  • Trans Fat: 4
  • Carbohydrates: 165
  • Protein: 62
  • Cholesterol: 917

I decided on purple and white as a non-traditional take on holiday décor. It’s fun to greet guests with something a little unexpected! Rich purple and white look elegant and fresh at the same time.  A purple/white patterned table cloth partnered with dark rimmed plates, purple plates with a pebbled texture, and white linen napkins balance the arrangement. My glassware adds another textural element. There are actually quite a few textured patterns on my table but they don’t read as busy because they’re in a limited color.

Unique Thanksgiving Decor

I love the abundant blooms on the orchid centerpiece! Notice the white-on-white planter too.

Candlelight Thanksgiving Dinner

Candlelight adds ambience like nothing else. The purple glass exterior boasts a simple pattern and the silvered interior multiplies the glow.

Thanksgiving Party Ideas

It felt a little overwhelming to come home, needing to prepare for company as soon as we walked in from my family holiday, but an evening with our friends turned out to be just what we needed. Life is worth celebrating, whether it’s spicy, sweet or bittersweet!

Sweet Kale Salad

Unique Thanksgiving Ideas

Get ready for company at your house by taking advantage of these great coupon offers that start (11/1) just in time for the holiday rush: save $1.00 on any TWO (2) Windex® Products and save $1.00 on any TWO (2) Scrubbing Bubbles® Bathroom Cleaning Products. Plus, you can preserve your Thanksgiving memories at the Walmart Photo Center with $5.00 off holiday photos. Just use the TPG Rebate Offer.

Stephanie Keeping

Stephanie is in love with a boy named Sam. He has taught her that it’s okay to jump first and look later, to wear a dirty shirt to the park and to decide that today is a good day to take a nap in your rubber boots. She hangs out here blogging at Spaceships and Laser Beams and at our printable party shop on Etsy.