Thanksgiving is right around the corner! While you are probably focused on your shopping and cooking, we’ve compiled our best tips for a sometimes overlooked area – the Thanksgiving table.
THE TABLE ITSELF
Placecards are a must! Not only do place cards eliminate those awkward “where do I sit?” moments, but they make your guests feel welcome. They don’t need to be fancy. Enlist one of the kids to help make these and let the creative juices flow!
THE COLOR PALETTE
When decorating your Thanksgiving table, use nature’s fall palette – think warm reds, oranges, golds, and browns for your linens and decor. Or for a twist with a big impact, set an all white table for your Thanksgiving meal.
MAKE THE MOST OF NATURE
Use nature to adorn your table. Scatter pumpkins and gourds along your table perhaps decorated with some holiday sparkle. Use a grapevine wreath as a charger. Other options are pinecones, acorns, feathers, and moss.
Use butcher paper as the tablecloth for the kids table (or even the adult table!). Set out some markers and crayons and watch what happens – the spontaneous artwork is always fun and a great conversation starter.
A few key things to avoid:
- strongly scented candles or flowers, which can interfere with those Thanksgiving smells
- very large centerpieces which can inhibit conversation.
SURPRISE & DELIGHT
Continue to make your guests feel welcome as they sit down at the table. Leave them a little treat at their place setting – it can be as simple as a little gourd at each place setting or a little scroll with a note about why you are thankful for that person. Or place a small box of chocolates on it at their place setting.
THE DETAILS MATTER
It is a holiday after all! Make sure your silver is polished, the knife blades are turned inward, arrange crackers in a pretty pattern, tie a twine bow around the napkins….you get the idea. Your guests will appreciate all of this attention to detail.
ADD SOME WHIMSY
The holidays are the perfect time to show your personality. Break out your depression glass, funky china, or salt and pepper shaker collection. Don’t be afraid to mix and match china and glassware.
Make sure key items are accessible. Place items like salt and pepper, butter, and gravy at strategic and central location on the table, ideally more than one location if you have a large group.
A NOTE ON BUFFETS
If you offer a buffet service, make sure you set it left to right. Start with the plates on the left. Then place the turkey (and any other proteins you are offering) and heavier dishes (like stuffing) that you likely have a lot of. Next, place the items you don’t have as much of (guests will take less because their plates will getting full). Finish on the right with salads, rolls, and the condiments. Roll up utensils in napkins to end the buffet on the right.
Do your guests favor and label each dish so there are no surprises!
CREATE THE MOOD
Turn down the harsh lights! Warm cozy (read: dim) lighting creates the perfect environment for a meal that brings family and friends together. Play some jazz or classical music in the background. Or check out one of these curated Thanksgiving playlists from Epicurious, Vogue or Babble.
That’s it! Sit down with your guests and enjoy the special day!
For more lifestyle articles like this, sign up for our weekly blog roundup.