TXK 411

photo by Matt Cornelius
photo by Matt Cornelius

Setting the Table

Tips for a lovely Thanksgiving table

  • Start by making a plan. Casual table or formal table? Plated meal, family style, or buffet? Color palette?
  • Add natural elements to the table. This can be a simple bouquet of flowers from the grocery store placed in a pretty rose bowl, potted rosemary plants, fresh cuttings from the yard, or pumpkins and gourds down the center of the table. Small pumpkins can be used for place cards, or use a sprig of rosemary as a napkin ring.
  • The most beautiful tables are layered. Layer textiles such as tablecloths, table runners, placemats, and napkins with chargers, dinner plates, salad plates, and glassware. Set a small pumpkin, a menu card, or a place card on the plate. This adds dimension and interest to the table.
  • Cloth napkins with embroidered monograms elevate the table and provide an opportunity to add interest by using pretty napkin rings or layering them with the dinnerware. If dining in the evening, place unscented candles at various heights down the table.
  • For a more casual table, skip the fine China and crystal, and instead, mix and match dinnerware such as a patterned dinner plate and a solid salad plate or vice versa and use colored glassware.

Creating a Thanksgiving children’s table

  • Use butcher paper as a tablecloth or table runner, and provide crayons for drawing. Print off Thanksgiving-themed coloring sheets to place at each table setting to keep kids entertained.
  • Create festive and inexpensive chargers by hot gluing artificial fall leaves to round placemats.
  • Cut leaves out of cardstock, punch a hole, and tie them with a ribbon. Place the leaves around the table for the kids to write what they are thankful for. Use a tree branch as a centerpiece, and let the kids hang their leaves from it.
  • Melamine plates are a good alternative to China for kids. They come in a variety of festive colors and prints and are a step up from paper plates without the fear of breakage.


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