How to Set a Memorable Thanksgiving Table

by Stephanie Goins on November 21, 2012

setting the thanksgiving tableGolden, fragrant, cozy, and crisp. These are the words that come to mind when Thanksgiving season rolls around. The light has changed, the sun is low and offers more of a glow than a shine. The landscape is vibrant and aflame in color as well, submitting its suggestion to seek warmth, fire, and the hearth. The harvest has passed, and the abundance of produce and splendorous natural growth is brought within. The Thanksgiving Table is a perfect place to express what your senses feel, and is also the perfect avenue for creating a visual statement for what stirs in your soul.

Give the soft flicker of candlelight, and the warmth it spreads over faces and food, with an abundance of different sizes, colors and shapes of candles. This provides a romantic and timeless atmosphere that crackles with festivity. Setting them on a mirror that is laid on the table will provide even more illumination and mystery, and both kids and adults will enjoy sharing stories and laughter by the flicker of candlelight.

Nature’s Bounty
There is always something to harvest from those long fall walks that we go on. Branches bearing seed heads and berries make for elegant and organic table décor. They are also very easy to have children help gather and assemble.

A creative use for your leftover Halloween pumpkins is to transform them into place setting markers by carving the initial of the guest into each pumpkin. The squirrels are sure busy gathering nuts, and if you have a nut-bearing tree you are sure to uncover an abundance of them in your fall raking. Try filling clear vases, mason jars or glasses with nuts and then top them with a rich colored fall flower like a chrysanthemum. Nuts make a good base in candle jars as well.

The aroma when you step into a home is always a lasting and pleasant memory, evoking the thoughts, sights, sounds, good food and good company that holidays are all about. One way of bringing the scents of the season into your home is with clove scented fruits. Simply press whole cloves through the peel of an orange, lemon, or apple in a specific design or just in a random pattern. The spice will preserve the fruit and will emit a delicious smell that will last for quite some time. Bowls of handmade potpourri will not only add a good scent, but are a visual feast of texture and autumnal tone

Mulled cider is another great way to add holiday fragrance and a festive look to a table. Serve it hot in clear glass mugs; you can also float a cranberry or an orange slice on top for added pizazz and color.

Kids Table
Holidays are such impacting and memorable times for children, why not make their dinner table something fun and special. Set a small table and chairs close to the adult table, yet far enough away so they feel like they have their 'own space'. Cover the table with brown paper, and write the menu items with a Sharpie along with a fill-in-the-blanks sentences stating things like: “I am thankful for...”

You can also draw circles where the plate, glass, and cutlery goes; arrows, pictures, poems, riddles....have fun! Be sure to leave a mason jar with markers, pens, or pencils for your young guests to use throughout dinner as well.