It may seem like summer just ended, but the holidays really are around the corner. Since holiday gatherings with family and friends will likely be hosted in person this year, it is not too early to start planning. Why not change things up this year with a fresh approach to decorating your Thanksgiving Day table? Here are some easy decorating themes that will add an extra flair to your table this year.
This time of year is known for all things pumpkin. Get on the bandwagon and create a pumpkin-themed Thanksgiving table. Visit your local farmer’s market or pumpkin patch and purchase a variety of small-sized pumpkins and one medium-sized pumpkin. Using several colors of spray paint from a local hobby/craft store, give some of your pumpkins a different hue. Consider a fun color combination like gold, light blue and dark blue that will compliment natural orange ones. You could even add spray glitter to the natural ones to give them sparkle. Cover your table in a gold cloth and arrange the pumpkins along the length of the middle of your table on a gold or fall-colored table runner, placing the largest one in the center. Add some greenery to resemble a pumpkin patch. Use gold chargers with neutral-colored dinnerware and orange napkins. Write each guest’s name in gold marker on small pieces of card stock, adhere them to a short stick or toothpick and secure them in a candy pumpkin in the center of each plate. Add a few extra candy pumpkins for fun.
Bring nature’s bounty to your table this Thanksgiving Day. Take a walk in the woods or in your back yard and collect pine cones, vines, leaves, greenery, berries, flowers and the like. Purchase an assortment of fall vegetables and fruits including mini pumpkins, gourds, pears, apples, dried corn, grapes and squash. Arrange all in a basket set at an angle so it appears to be spilling out onto the table. You can also use a cornucopia, also known as a “horn of plenty,” basket. Add a sweep of greenery and other treasures from your nature walk on the table, as well as a few candles for ambiance. Place a small pear or apple and a few berries on a gold napkin in the center of each plate.
Shine the Light of Gratitude
Set your most formal table using your best china and crystal on a solid white or gold tablecloth. Place a variety of different-sized, white and gold candles (pillar, taper, tea light) all around the table. In the center of the table place a glass “gratitude bowl" with candles surrounding it. Place a tea light candle in front of each place setting with a small bowl of glass rocks beside the candle. When dinner is served, lower the lights and enjoy the warm atmosphere of candlelight. During the meal, ask each person to share things for which they are thankful. Have each guest place a rock in the bowl each time a thought of gratitude is shared. Take a moment at the end of the meal and encourage everyone to notice how full the bowl is and how that symbolizes the many things we have to be grateful for in life.
For a different twist and building on the adage that “less is more,” decorate your table as simply as possible using all white and minimal decorations. Cover the table with a white tablecloth and place a single, white dinner plate, white napkin, glass and minimal utensils at each place. For your centerpiece, place a small vase of flowers with a tea light or short pillar candle on either side. Wrap each napkin with a piece of twine and secure a small flower between the napkin and twine and place on each plate.
For an unconventional take on this holiday meal, make your entire table into a large charcuterie board. Purchase personal-sized charcuterie boards to serve as plates for each guest. They can be found inexpensively in larger quantities online. Cover your table in butcher paper and place a board at each seat along with utensils and fall-colored napkins. Create a Thanksgiving menu that includes presenting food “charcuterie style” by laying out all items along the center of the table on the butcher paper. Food items might include rolled-up turkey slices, cheese cubes, brie with jam, assorted crackers, assorted nuts, apricots, orange slices, figs, candy corn, pomegranate seeds, roasted pumpkin seeds, mini baked stuffed squash, sliced apples, fresh bread slices, veggie skewers, mini biscuits with butter pats, mini pumpkin pies, cookies and brownie bites. Have bowls of mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes and other favorite dishes with small cups beside each so each guest can take an individual serving. Also have small cups for jams, gravy, mustard, honey and other condiments you may want. Have each guest put together their own Thanksgiving charcuterie board and consider taking a photo of each board to capture the unique creations.
No matter how you choose to decorate your Thanksgiving table, may your day be filled with people you love and care about, food to nourish you and the gentle reminder to be grateful for life and all that encompasses it. Happy Thanksgiving!