No matter how you celebrate Thanksgiving Day, the table itself is meant to welcome all.
A circle of plates and chairs are meant to gather everyone close, belly-close, in friendship and gratitude. The meal is a ritual of warmth and connection to those we love most-even Uncle Warren and his propensity to lick his plate.
Whether you set your table with heirloom china or a kaleidoscope of colors and patterns, the ceremonial Thanksgiving table is meant to remind us of abundance. This is a day reserved for the slow savoring of all things loved most: food, wine, friends and family, and as long as everyone feels welcome, your table is successfully prepared.
12 ways to create a meaningful Thanksgiving Table:
- Don’t be afraid to intersperse the old and the new. After all, Grandma would always welcome someone new to the table!
- Use the China, if not now, when?
- Personalize. Nothing says “You Belong” more than a handwritten nametag or place card.
- Display photographs. Whether it’s a famed or failed turkey, everyone loves to reminisce about past holidays traditions.
- Celebrate the Senses: Fill your table with the sights and smells of the season. Consider using natural herbs and spices in your décor, like cinnamon sticks and rosemary twigs.
- Use a variety of textures, like pinecones and burlap, to create depth on the table.
- Candles: Ceremonial lighting of candles not only reminds us of those who are not able to join us at this year’s thanksgiving table, but also that each of us brings our own spirit, or light to each other. (Avoid scented candles- no need to compete with that golden turkey).
- Individual samples: Give a little taste of what is to come- a delicious bite reserved at each guest’s place seating.
9.Keep centerpieces low to the table: Guests should be able to enjoy conversation with eye contact on this special day.10. Kids Table: A must at any successful Thanksgiving feast! Consider including quiet distractions and silly surprises to keep them entertained, yet still engaged in tradition.
11. Use cloth napkins and tablecloths. It doesn’t matter if you choose an elegant fold or a plumed turkey, cloth napkins are a way of conveying the importance of the meal.
12. Thankful Tree. Have guests create their own ornament of gratitude by writing on cloth or paper leaf to hang from a branch centerpiece. Keep the cards for future years of celebrations.
The yummy stuff …
Of course, the food steals the show at the Thanksgiving table. While the turkey may be the champion of the meal, the colorful sides typically make the meal memorable. Here are a few of our favorites:
Wishing you a day of meaningful connection and gratitude.
Come, claim your seat and give thanks.
…..And please pass those sweet potatoes…
Heidi and Maren