Thanksgiving

 

 

 

Set an Elegant Thanksgiving Table

Thanksgiving table settings, in my experience has been a more formal occasion from other meals and family gatherings. However, I was raised in a rural community so the standard of living was not a five star hotel quality experience by any means. My mother had formal training and a life in the city before she fell in love with her country boy husband, my father. She was bound and determined that her children would not grow up uneducated on proper etiquette. Yes ma’am, we had formal meals with chargers and goblets. However, we didn’t have three course meals. There was dinner and then there was desert, if we were lucky.

Despite my mother’s efforts, the different sizes of forks didn’t take on any more meaning than the smaller one fits in my mouth better and the bigger one has more shoveling capacity. In fact I don’t know that we ever had enough matching utensil sets to ever really set a perfect formal table. We had nice dishes, but with so many kids and a father who ran-off with the the spoons for lunch at work, it was tough to keep a full set around. Looking back, I suppose we looked kinda cute trying so hard to set a nice table with mismatched dishes. But I loved it. Setting the table was my favorite job for family gatherings.  

In our small home, especially with all the extended family and the extensive table decorations, buffet style was usually the way the meal was served. This may have also had something to do with the sheer amount of food. There was simply not enough room for Aunt Lou’s gluten-free stuffing, Grandma’s whole wheat stuffing, and mom’s cornbread stuffing. For everything to fit, and everyone to get a fair shake at at least a little taste of everything — if you like celery in your stuffing — it had to be a buffet. This eliminated the need for salad plates or soup bowls at the table. Actually, salad plates, in my childhood view were actually just plates made for small people such as my younger siblings.

The good news, from our hodgepodge efforts at a formal Thanksgiving dinner, I was not completely lost when I found myself seated at a formal meal in a fancy hotel. I was not taunted by three plates, three forks, two goblets and a coffee cup. Nervous, but not overwhelmed as I could have been, if not for my mother.  By that time I knew what a salad fork looked like and to start from the outside and work inward. Thank heaven’s! That was not the time to be asking for instructions.

The point I am trying to make is this. A homemade Thanksgiving dinner is exhausting effort. Formal table settings may seem like overkill and create an seemingly unnecessary amount of dishes to clean. Please remember to look past the extra work and recognize the opportunity this is to prepare your kids for life one day. The cooking can be a bonding experience with your child. Trust him or her enough to let them help prepare the turkey and bake pies. The formal table setting is a teaching opportunity. Trust your son or daughter to set the table with the fine china. Broken dishes, if something does break, can be replaced and aren’t worth getting angry about. These moments may never come again, don’t lose them.     

Make Thanksgiving a time to remember how to be refined. Stop and actually taste your food, be grateful for the good things in your life and reflect on how you have changed over the past year. Despite everything life continues to throw at us almost daily, we have so much to be thankful for.

I have included a diagram of a formal table setting and a video to help you set your Thanksgiving table, in case you are completely lost.

 

Set an Elegant Thanksgiving Table

Good Luck!

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Five Star Holiday Décor is a full service company of holiday lighting specialists. Their expertise will have your home lit up and fabulous for the holiday season giving your home holiday style without the hassle. Click here for a free estimate.

Here at Five Star Holiday Decor, we know what light can do to set the mood and tone for your space. We especially encourage the use of lighting for your holiday displays. With Thanksgiving right around the corner, we thought we’d share a few ideas we found that are sure to brighten up your dinner table this year:

1) Candles and Greenery: This display of white candles garnished with natural elements (pine branches, Oranges and pinecones) creates a simple table setting with an element of delicate contrast.

Photo courtesy of http://www.bhg.com

2) Tree Lanterns: If you live in an area where it’s warm enough to enjoy your Thanksgiving dinner outside, these lanterns interspersed in the limbs of a sprawling tree create a fun, yet beautiful environment for your family feast.

photo courtesy of http://www.blog.freepeople.com

3) Votives in a Mason Jar: Votive candles placed in Mason Jars are a popular way to create a beautiful runner of elegant lighting for your Thanksgiving table this year.

photo courtesy of http://www.blogspot.com

4) Message in a Bottle: If you want to enhance the Mason Jar idea and get even more creative, table candles in long-neck bottles are a unique variation of the illuminated jar concept.

photo courtesy of http://www.deptoftheinteriordc.blogspot.com

5) Under Glow: Running low on table surface area? You can still bring illuminate your table by simply running Christmas lights underneath the table cloth and placing small candles between each place setting.

photo courtesy of http://www.newenglandfineliving.com

6) Halloween Leftovers: Unsure how to use those small pumpkins leftover from your Halloween decorations? Use them along with other fall decor (leaves, berries, twigs, etc.) and add candles to create a lovely light display for the center of your table.

photo courtesy of http://www.popularpin.com

7) Frosted Pumpkins: If the above suggestion proved just too simple, feel free to frost the small pumpkins with glitter, empty out their insides and add a candle to the centers for a more complicated, yet equally as beautiful centerpiece.

photo courtesy of http://www.romantichome.blogspot.com

Happy Thanksgiving from Five Star Holiday Decor!

14 Fun Thanksgiving Centerpieces

Now that Halloween has come and gone, we focus our attention on the next holiday ahead – Thanksgiving. Just as no Thanksgiving feast is complete without a turkey, no Thanksgiving table is complete without a centerpiece. As you start to prepare for our next fall holiday, check out these elegant Thanksgiving centerpieces that’ll bring even more flavor to your table this November:

1) Wheat by the Bundles

photo courtesy of https://2.bp.blogspot.com

2) Illuminated Thanks

photo courtesy of https://www.3.bp.blogspot.com

3) Orange you glad it’s November?

photo courtesy of https://www.blogs.babble.com

4) Pretty in White

photo courtesy of https://www.camillestyles.wordpress.com

5) Tiers of Joy

photo courtesy of https://www.digsdigs.com

6) Wheat Wisps

photo courtesy of https://www.digsdigs.com

7) A Scoop of Thanks

photo courtesy of https://www.digsdigs.com

8) Pumpkins and Blooms

photo courtesy of https://www.hisugarplum.blogspot.com

9) Thanksgiving Turkey

photo courtesy of https://www.marthastewart.com

10) Horn of Plenty

photo courtesy of https://www.marthastewart.com

11) Knots on a Log

photo courtesy of https://www.pinterest.com

12) Fall Foilage

photo courtesy of https://www.specialistweddings.com

13) Stuffed Pumpkin

photo courtesy of https://www.topicden.com

14) Head of the Table

photo courtesy of https://www.digsdigs.com

 

Celebrate the season of gratitude by embellishing your feast with an elegant and unique centerpiece. You can use pumpkins, corn, wheat, squash, and nuts to add a rustic flavor to your Thanksgiving meal.

Better Homes and Gardens has a gallery of autumn themed centerpieces. Here are a few of the more unique ones.

Nothing symbolizes the bounty of the harvest more than the grains of the earth. The wheat in this centerpiece offers a reminder of those pilgrims giving thanks so many years ago.

Photo courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens

Simplicity offers understated beauty and these butternut squash vases are no exception. They provide a texture and color that glass and metal vases can’t match.

Photo courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens

These cranberry globes bring striking color to the table. Coupled with white or crystal dishware, they offer an elegant dynamic.

Photo courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens

Goodhousekeeping suggests gluing dried oranges and cranberries to the base of candles. Make sure to pick candles with warm, inviting scents such as vanilla, cinnamon, and apple.

Photo courtesy of Good Housekeeping

Pumpkins aren’t just for Halloween, you can use them as fanciful vases for a bouquet of roses.

Photo courtesy of MarthaStewart.com

On your next nature hike, collect fallen acorns to use in this simple, yet elegant idea.

Photo courtesy of Laverty's Landing

By far, this is perhaps the most unique Thanksgiving centerpiece I’ve ever seen. You can create a path meandering through a forest (and your food)to create an aesthetic focal point.

Photo courtesy of Design Sponge

Have any creative centerpiece ideas? Tell us about them in the comments box below.

When decorating for the holidays, the smallest details often provide the greatest impact. You don’t need an inflatable pilgrim in your front yard to celebrate the festivities. Thanksgiving wreaths incorporate the colors and textures of the season in a simple, rustic, tasteful way. Materials from which you can make wreaths can be found in craft stores, at farmer’s markets, the grocery store, or even on a nature walk.

Better Homes and Gardens has many wonderful ideas that you can use to make your Thanksgiving wreath. Wreaths can be hung on your front or back door or on any wall. They create an aesthetically pleasing focal point and, when used for interior decorating, can complement other decorations such as garlands and candles.

This wreath incorporates various aspects of fall by using gourds, raffia, berries, and leaves.

Photo courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens

You can make this wreath using hot glue, moss, and acorns.

Photo courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens

This wreath has two layers, one that you create yourself by gluing the materials onto a cardboard ring. The other is a twig wreath than is attached to the back using wire.

Photo courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens

This wreath truly embodies the harvest with its abundance of apples.

Photo courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens

Woman’s Day Magazine has an elegant wreath that combines clean modern lines and shape with traditional stalks of wheat. You’ll be surprised by what it’s made from.

Photo courtesy of Woman's Day Magazine

Here are some video tutorials you can watch for more ideas.

Lighting enhances any special occasion and Thanksgiving is no exception. Creating pockets of soft, intimate light will create a cozy atmosphere for your friends and family during the greatest feast of the year. In addition to festive touches such as wreaths and centerpieces, lighting can incorporate the colors and textures of the season in tasteful ways. For inspiration on autumn colors, you can read Five Star Painting’s Design Tips post Seasonal Decor: Autumn. Here are a few lighting ideas to consider.

Change the lamp shades in your home or dining room for autumn colors. You can decorate the lamps themselves with garlands of changing leaves or cranberries.

Photo courtesy of Interior Design Pro

Candles not only provide fabulous lighting effects, but also make any space smell like everything we associate with the holiday season, such as apples, pumpkin pie, vanilla, and cinnamon. You can decorate your candles, feathers, and stalks of wheat—just make sure they steer clear of the flame.

Photo courtesy of Buzzing Across America

Photo courtesy of Interior & Exterior

Photo courtesy of All Things Shabby Chic

The containers you place candles in can also help you create an earthy, rustic theme in your home.

Photo courtesy of Blondies Journals

Photo courtesy of Making This Home

Photo courtesy of Blondies Journals

Leaf lights: these would be cute either across a mantle or outlining a door frame.

Photo courtesy of Color Sizzle

Photo courtesy of Your Studio

With just a little creativity, you will find the perfect lighting to compliment your Thanksgiving.