Thanksgiving Centerpieces

Today in my local newspaper there were photos and an article about Thanksgiving table centerpieces and I just had to start writing. The table styling was done by a local designer and it was the kind of design that makes me nuts. Of course anyone can lay a walloping big horn of plenty cornucopia thing spilling fruit in the middle of a table or line the table with a ton of pumpkins and a giant floral piece, but come on! We all know the practicality is this - you need a place to put all of your wonderful food AND you need to see the person sitting across from you (even if you aren’t wild about them). Ultimately, these huge centerpieces have to leave the table when you sit down to eat, so what is the point of having them? As a young bride I purchased a large pumpkin tureen and filled it with flowers for the center of my table. Not only was it hugely expensive to fill, but the minute the food was ready I had to take it off the table. Now it sits on my table in the fall everyday BUT Thanksgiving!

You can make your Thanksgiving table look beautiful and festive without going overboard. The photo below from Country Living is a great example. Individualize each place setting instead of doing a large central piece. I like to place a votive in an autumn styled votive holder (I have tiny wrought iron ones with leaves) at each place setting so there is pretty candlelight but not a gigantic candle. Please use unscented candles at dinner so they don't compete with the food. Give each guest a favor next to “their” candle, like a colorfully wrapped chocolate turkey or personalized pumpkin cookie. At each end of the table you can have a small, SHORT floral arrangement in a clever container like a wineglass or pitcher or vase – use orange tulips cropped short, any type of fall mum or my favorite natural look, bittersweet. Just make sure they are small and you can see over them. Don’t even try that trick of hollowing out small pumpkins. I did that one year and every variety of squash I tried was SO HARD that I needed a knife and saw to make a holder. Go to Michael's or Tuesday Morning or HomeGoods and buy a cute fall holiday votive holder. They can look colorful and interesting and you can spend your time perfecting that pumpkin pie!!

I will be writing more about Thanksgiving dinner soon since it is coming up so quickly. Creamed onions, anyone?

Photos from Better Homes & Garden and Country Living

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