Thanksgiving can get lost amid Halloween boos and Christmas frenzy when it comes to festive tables, grand decor and sparkly touches. But why not, on the day we are most thankful, be grateful for all that is beautiful around us? Bring it in and set it on the table.
One of our favorite table decors for Thanksgiving is potpourri and nature. I know, moi, nature? Bear with me; I’ll get to the glittery. Spread your favorite cloth on the table. Pick any color–yellow, orange, silver, gold, blue, berry, anything that suits your fancy. Of course, if you’ve got traditional turkey day dishes, you’ll want to coordinate. Coordinate doesn’t mean matchy-matchy. It means pick up a color and run with it.
Next, use the little pumpkins from the grocery store. Throw in some gourds, small twigs, greenery both fake and real and flowers both authentic and not so much. These should be elements on their own, not groups. Individual stems, not necessarily a clump of mums in a single pot. If you rest the pot on the table no one will be able to flirt with their dinner partner across the way. Break everything apart so the elements are unique and can be admired on their own.
Large things down the center of the table first. Pumpkins, gourds, large flower heads, long-stemmed candle holders as well as chunky ones that are tallish. Now add in twigs and greenery. There is no specific setting. Just stick some in here and there, wherever it feels right. There are no edges. Some parts may even touch plates. Egads! Some areas will be thinner or thicker than others. Once your basic mat is done, begin to build upward. Not too high. The best thing about Thanksgiving, besides the best food of the year, is the company.
Fill in empty spots with greens–really there can never be too many. Less is more is simply not true. Not in life and not on a Thanksgiving table. Ferns are a great filler. Apples, oranges, limes and lemons add to the turkey day feel. Add some dried corn cobs and some kitschy items–a little pilgrim, a pilgrim hat, a small ceramic turkey or things that are meaningful to your family. Tuck them in amongst the greenery and embellishments. Now grab your votives and slide those in any spots that still remain bare.
Next comes the potpourri. From above, trickle potpourri over the top of the mass you have created. Pieces will fall to the side, that’s okay. Other pieces will grab hold to whatever they land on. It will also add a festive fragrance to the table. For the last flourish, sprinkle some fake snow atop the whole thing to remind everyone of the season.
Now place the plates, glasses, silver and place cards. Better to tell people where to sit than to leave someone feeling left out. “Sit anywhere,” always leaves someone odd man out. From the hostess side, make sure you keep in mind who hates who, who’s not talking this year and who judges other’s drinking. Separate those. Put people together who haven’t seen each other for a while. Putting the older kids–high school and college–together creates a kinship.
Too many people for one table? No matter. Decorate each table differently. Give each it’s own theme. Just change up the decor a bit. Move from harvest colors to blue and white for a frosty theme. Or sparkle covered branches for a golden theme. Spray paint your little pumpkins gold and silver. Snow, and plenty of candles, makes each table light up from within and welcomes everyone.
Get the tables ready early in the day. You want to be able to admire your work undisturbed. And candlelight always looks good on you doll.