Thanksgiving Countdown Corner Nov. 12: Setting the Thanksgiving table

Loretta Gillespie

Give your centerpiece a lift with a small stump, adding dried flowers, leaves or small pumpkins to hide any uneven spots. This gives your centerpiece presence, but make sure your guests can maintain eye contact.

Countdown Corner: Saturday, Nov. 12:

If you have room and an extra table for the holiday, you can start setting your table now. If you have just the one table, start gathering things that will turn your everyday dining area into something elegant and representative of the season.

Mixing rustic and formal has become wildly popular over the past several years and you can’t get much more rustic than antlers, wooden chargers and stump risers.

First choose your table covering. You don’t have to stick to traditional tablecloths anymore. There are dozens of choices from which to make a start, the most popular these days is, of course, burlap. You can find hemmed burlap tablecloths online, or you might be crafty and sew several of the $1 burlap bags at Tractor Supply into a thing of beauty.

If using natural burlap, you’ll want to put something under it to cover the table, like kaki material or brown craft paper. If using patterned dishes, you might use a solid tablecloth. If using solid colored dishes, your patterned tablecloth will add a little pizzazz.

Once your tablecloth is on and adjusted (lol), think about placemats, which can be eclectic or formal or anywhere in between. After the placemat comes the charger. Using wooden circles cut just a bit larger than the first plate works well, and leaving the bark on the disk is even better, lending texture to your tablescape.

You can add another charger on top of your wood round if you have enough room. Something metallic or a deep rich color adds interest. Start with your dinner plate, then your bread and butter plate and then either a soup bowl or a small favor for your guests- maybe a pumpkin with your initials, or their name, inscribed with a gold paint pen- these are always nice additions to the Thanksgiving table.

Add water glasses and stemware next. Grab your linen napkin in the center, then shake it to fluff it out, and put it into your water glass, or use a napkin ring and put the napkin on top of your plates.

Place flatware on a napkin and roll the cloth so that you end with a corner on top – forks and spoons facing up. Tie each one with raffia, and place on top of dishes, or to the right of your dinner plate.

For a memorable centerpiece, use a small stump, the more bark the better. Place the stump on plastic wrap to protect your tablecloth, and decorate around the edges with miniature pumpkins, antlers, green moss or fall flowers.

Place your tureen or best serving bowl on top of the stump, making sure that you are not blocking eye contact between your guests. Place some greenery around the base of your dish for color and to hide uneven edges.

Add candles in festive votives, or hollow out small pumpkins and add tea lights for an extra special effect.

Now, don’t you feel better? You’ve just knocked out one more thing ahead of time, allowing you to concentrate on the last-minute preparations.


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