When it comes to Thanksgiving centerpieces, it’s best to go simple. You could spend a fortune on a giant cornucopia overflowing with gourds, nuts, and flowers, or you could keep it simple with a small vase, some fall leaves, and candles. Here are a few of my favorite ideas for Thanksgiving table decorations.
The Simplicity of Fall Leaves
This is probably the easiest to put together. Come Thanksgiving morning, go outside in search of well-formed colored leaves. I find that they look the best if they’re still on the tree (and have a bit of moisture), rather than completely dry and crumbly. Just arrange them around a couple of silver candlesticks on the center of the table. If you’ve got a few gourds or mini-pumpkins, add those to the mix, too. It’s simple, attractive, and leaves lots of room for food.
Delicate Floral Centerpieces
Some people don’t feel that a table is complete unless there are flowers on it. If you’re not one for arranging your own flowers and don’t like the look of grocery store arrangements, check out some of the lower-priced Thanksgiving flowers at FTD. Some of them are even on sale.
An Array of Candles
If you like to keep the lights low while everyone is gorging on carbs, skip the live decorations and instead dot the table with votive candles. Place a pair or trio of tall tapers in the center for drama. Just make sure you leave room between the votives for food. If you have silver serving dishes you’re not using for food, place short pillar candles in sugar bowls and other small dishes for an eclectic arrangement.
Acorns and Gourds
Acorns, gourds, and whole walnuts scream Thanksgiving. Create a table-long “centerpiece” by scattering a few gourds and nuts down an orange or brown runner. Again, make room between the nuts and gourds for platters of food.
Don’t Go Overboard with Thanksgiving Centerpieces
The most important thing is to not go overboard with your centerpieces and decorations. Don’t be like Sandra Lee and create a Thanksgiving “tablescape.” You don’t need leaf-shaped place card holders, oversized topiaries, harvest wine glasses, and a small pumpkin favor for everyone. You don’t even need a full set of matching dishes and silverware. Feel free to mix and match, because no one will see those plates once they’re piled high with food. Instead, focus on serving good food in a warm atmosphere.
If you’re really stumped for your table decorations, then don’t use any at all. There’s no law that says you need a Thanksgiving centerpiece. I doubt I’ll be able to fit one on my tiny table, so I’ll simply set out the silver candlesticks we received for our wedding, use our crystal for the first time, and serve up a delicious dinner. If my husband doesn’t like it, he can go cook his own turkey.