The Thanksgiving table reflects the warmth and caring of the holiday. The table setting is almost as important as the meal itself. If you are setting a Thanksgiving table for the first time, or just looking for a new idea, then here are some suggestions to get you started.
The first thing to decide is whether you will use a tablecloth or placemats. If you are putting two or more tables together in order to make one long table, you will want to use a tablecloth or two. Add a runner don the tables to make it more uniform looking. If you have a beautiful dining room table that you really do not want to cover up, you might choose a cream colored table runner down the middle, and neutral colored placemats. Once you make the decision, you can move on to the next step.
Decide at least a week or two before Thanksgiving what plates you will be using. Check to see if you have enough settings. Decide if you will buy additional matching plates, or use a mix and match method with the plates you have. Check for chipped and cracked plates, and do not use any that you might find. Simple white plates can be very elegant on the Thanksgiving table, and very versatile for other occasions as well.
Flatware and glassware
The same time you go through your plates, also take an inventory of flatware and glassware. Wash all the flatware and if necessary, polish. Make sure you have enough wine glasses and water glasses for all your guests. Check to make certain you have serving utensils for the different dishes you will be serving. All purpose wineglasses are simple and more elegant on the table than cluttering your table with seperate white and red wineglasses.
Centerpieces and table décor that you create are often more heartwarming and memorable than store bought centerpieces. There are many ideas for table décor at Thanksgiving time. Here are some items you can gather together and create a wonderful centerpiece with:
Mini white pumpkins
Cream colored candles
Gourds, Berries, Squash
Make collections in glass bowls, on cake platters, or on trays. Place a wreath in the center of the table and fill it with items noted above, and anything else you think of.
Place cards are nice to have and can be inexpensively made.
Setting The Table
The night before is a great time to focus on setting your Thanksgiving table. You will have one less thing to worry about on the big day.
First lay down the linen you’ve chosen for the table.
Next, do your centerpiece. Try different ideas out until you find just the right centerpiece design for your table.
Forks go on the left of the plate. Spoons and knives go on the right.
Place utensils in the order in which they will be used, with the first utensil farthest away from the plate.
Knife blades should face in towards the plate.
Bread/Side plates go to the left of the fork.
Napkins are folded and can be placed on the main plate, or they can be rolled lengthwise and placed inside a napkin ring. If you are not doing a fancy fold with the napkins, then you can do a simple fold and place it under the knife and spoon.
Glasses are placed to the right of the plate, with the water glass first, and wine glass next.
Place cards can be placed above the dinner plate
Finally, add any extra decor you would like by each setting or inbetween place settings such as foliage and mini pumpkins.