The Thanksgiving Table: 101

Dishing out advice on setting a nice place for friends and family.

It can be a daunting task to host Thanksgiving! So many traditions, so many dishes that simply can’t come up short, so much pressure!

Well, let’s start at the beginning: The Thanksgiving Day Table. A beautiful table can be set without being all “Matchy-Matchy”. Choose your theme. Whether it be colorful, kitschy, period or regional, go for it!
The Thanksgiving TableI chose a natural theme to compliment the décor of my house. I first chose a table runner made of slate tiles from an old construction job I found in the garage. I wanted something natural and appropriate for the setting. Once I had that picked out, I picked everything to go around it. Four standard square tiles run the length of the table with three smaller ones acting as pedestals for votives.

I didn’t have 10 matching plates, so I found some that went together acceptably. Plus I wasn’t looking to spend a lot on themed linens, so I simply used stencils to make leafs cutout of construction paper and arranged them under the plate settings. Besides being fun and playing up the theme, it helped draw the mismatched plates together into a logical theme.

The only linens of any kind on the table are the green napkins with leaf prints to enhance the theme. They are tied with silver leaf Christmas tree ornaments which make a nice gift for your guests to take home.

I don’t like frilly florals, as people have to talk around them, so I used two barely budding Paper-whites to add some life to the table along with some pumpkins and gourds picked up at the farmers market.

Carmel and Chocolate dipped Pears make for a great dessert and place card combination. They really make the table beautiful. After you dip the Pears into melted Carmel and melted Chocolate and let them set up, use a pencil sharpener to sharpen a stick and put it in the Pear’s top. Then cut a slit in the other end of the stick in order to hold the place card, which is made of construction paper and shaped like a Pear leaf. I always like to create a seating chart at large parties to enhance conversation.

Serve wine in a carafe, so you don’t have to worry about impressing your guests with some fancy label. And always go with a buffet. Carving a turkey at a table looks good in the movies, but it is messy and harder than it appears!

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