Thanksgiving Day is fast approaching. Many times homes are already decked out for the Christmas holiday season on “Turkey Day”. Even so … I do like to see something relevant to Thanksgiving that says, “This day is special.” Holiday decorating, no matter the holiday, symbolizes the meaning of the holiday while making the get together more festive. Thanksgiving deserves an extra decorative touch even if it is a small one. Most families if they decorate at all for Thanksgiving, concentrate on the dining room table.
Growing up, my mother always put out the set of turkey salt and pepper shakers every Thanksgiving. I’m not exactly sure what ever happened to this set. Today, I have a turkey platter that is used for both its function and for its decorative element. I also have a pumpkin shaped covered soup tureen that sometimes holds the wild rice stuffing or the sweet potatoes. It wouldn’t seem like Thanksgiving if these serving dishes were not on my table!
Usually, I find very little extra space on the table for an elaborate centerpiece. Should your table accommodate a centerpiece, keep in mind that it does not visually block any of the guests. Also if it contains fresh flowers you need to be aware of strong fragrances and foliage that easily “drops” everywhere. A basket or bowl of vegetables … or fruit and nuts can be just as colorful and just as decorative. Mix a few autumn leaves in and it looks very seasonal indeed.
Candles always elevate an occasion. If the candles are in the dining room, consider unscented ones. Just like strong smelling flowers, scented candles can overpower the aroma of delicious food being cooked and served. Also consider candles in containers (glass jars) for a more casual look than tapers provide. If you have a buffet or sideboard, it is often better to decorate these pieces of furniture than the actual table. Don’t overlook draping a silk autumn leaf garland on the chandelier above the table. Another possibility would be to gracefully drape the garland on a framed picture or mirror hung in the dining room.
Of course the best decorative elements of the Thanksgiving table are the dishes of wonderful food prepared with pride and served to loved ones with smiling faces! Have a blessed Thanksgiving Day!
Susan Gimbel is owner of The Evergreen Co. in Uptown Galion.