With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, those of us hosting the day in our homes are already at work getting our places ready for family and festivities. While your Thanksgiving table (and hopefully the food!) will be the main attraction, don’t limit your decorative attention to just that space. Spread the holiday décor around your home to keep your guests in the holiday spirit no matter where they are.

A great place to start outside your dining room? The mantel over your fireplace! As the focal point of your family room, it’s a simple place to make a holiday statement in a room where your friends and family will kick back to relax after their Thanksgiving feast. Here are just a few essential pieces we think will help you create a festive and fun mantel for your Thanksgiving gathering this year.

A wreath. One of our favorite pieces to include above a mantel year round, a wreath is particularly perfect for a holiday themed mantelpiece. A wreath can act as the perfect focal point for your mantel, standing alone or as the centerpiece for your overall display. While a classic magnolia wreath is always a favorite of ours, you can also go with something in a more autumn harvest color scheme. Think browns, burlaps, or natural woods.   

Candles. Nothing creates a more welcoming glow than a few well-placed candles. Create some layers to the display with small, decorative candles throughout or go for height with bigger candlesticks placed around the mantel. Just remember of course that less is more! You don’t want your display going up in flames. Keep it simple and go for a subtle glow.

Nature. Bring the outside in to add some natural elements to your mantel display. Pumpkins in a variety of sizes and colors are perfect for Thanksgiving. The smaller the better here as you don’t want to overcrowd. Sprinkle in leaves and pine cones for a classic autumn look. Or consider something a little different and incorporate cotton stems. They’re one of our favorite natural elements on trend to accessorize this season.

Your message. As the focal point of your room, why not use your mantel to display the focal point of the season in your home? On a day designated to celebrate gratitude, family, and life’s greatest blessings, keep the message in mind by incorporating it in to you décor. Purchase or create small signs or pictures that represent what the season is about to you. Or create your own basic burlap banter or bunting to spell out what’s important this holiday—giving thanks!