Based on the weather forecast for the coming week, I’m mentally preparing myself for an indoor Thanksgiving this year. I so wish we could dine in the backyard, like we’ve done the past few years, but at the same time there’s something refreshing about the crisp, cool air that is guaranteed to force us to eat inside.
My mashed potatoes are already prepped and I have two cake layers bound for the freezer as well. I’ve asked for contributions in the form of side veggies and dinner rolls, and I secured my table decorations on the weekend when I hauled out a wooden board, a few things from my basement, the fruit from the bottom of the fridge, and the small pumpkins that were huddled on the outside table. Jackson and I rounded out the items required when we took the dog for a walk and collected a small bundle of leaves. Within 20 minutes I had put together a simple Thanksgiving table setting.
Because of the size of our crowd, we serve the food buffet style, keeping the dining table clear of platters and other serving pieces. Thankfully, this leaves plenty of space for decorations. People fix their plate, and then find a place at the table, squishing as many bodies around the natural table décor as possible.
I’m not big on store-bought pieces for my holiday table décor. It’s not that I have anything against them – I’m guilty of walking by Pottery Barn and spotting no less than ten things I’d want for my table within 30 seconds – it’s just that I don’t have the space to store them for the other 50 weeks of the year. So I resort to using what’s available naturally to add some colour and festive appeal to my table.
Here’s what I’m using this year for my Thanksgiving table setting:
- Wooden board
- Small wooden flower box
- Galvanized metal container
- White candles
- Branches with berries
The wooden board is something I’ve used for a few years after spotting a similar idea in Martha Stewart’s Good Things for Easy Entertaining book. It can be used to hold table decorations, or hot dishes, which allows you to forget about potholders and trivets to protect your table. Her version includes small pedestal legs, which elevate the board from the table, but I was too lazy to include that part of the project, so instead we use a simple piece of lightly stained wood.
To that I added a wooden flower box that was a gift from a friend, and a galvanized metal container I’ve had for years. Then I starting filling the space with the plain white candles, gourds, apples and pears, pumpkins, leaves, and some branches with berries (you could also use flowers, plain branches, or something with leaves). The result is, I think, simple and seasonal, and elegant enough for a dinner party. As someone in my Instagram feed said, “fall is definitely the stand-out season for nature’s table props.” Yes, yes, yes.
So, what’s your Thanksgiving looking like this year? Are you hosting? Heading out to someone else’s house? Curling up with a good book and a few movies? Making turkey or buying pies? I’d love to know how you plan on spending next weekend.