Let me guess. You’re pregnant and hosting Thanksgiving. Or you’re simply scouring the web for sensible ways to make the holiday table look lavish without having to work or pay for it. Well, BINGO! You’ve arrived at the spot that can save you time and money as you put together the big feast. Following are a few tricks I used when I was pregnant, playing hostess, and looking for the biggest tabletop bang for the least amount of bump bumping.
I don’t have fancy table linens. But I do at Thanksgiving because I RENT them. They’re inexpensive and come nice and ironed, which means everyone gets a pretty cloth napkin without you having to own them or wash and press them after the fact. Totally fine to skip the idea, but it does make a visual difference.
Since you need lots of room at the holiday table and don’t want to block guests views, it’s great to go with a couple of low, tight arrangements. No need to blow the bank, either. The arrangement above is nothing more than flowers from my garden adorned with pretty beads affixed with a sewing pin (see the closeup below). I glamorized the container by wrapping it with a piece of banana leaf from my freezer (for Thai-food cooking purposes; you could also use cloth, gift wrap, or other leaves) tied with raffia (ribbon or twine would also work). Add a few pieces of brightly colored fruit for design flavor and scatter a few small candles and–viola–you’re done with the hardest part.
FANCY NAPKIN PRESENTATION
It doesn’t take much to turn an everyday napkin into a tabletop statement. There are tons of websites offering napkin folding tutorials, including this one. Scout out your design, fold away, and add a little something decorative to finish it off. The leaves I used were plucked from my driveway.
You already know this, but now is a good time to remind you that everything looks better by candlelight. Break out the candles, light the wicks, turn on the music, and you’re good to go.
STOCKING THE TABLE
The secret to enjoying Thanksgiving as a hostess is to put everything out so people can serve themselves. Butter, water, wine, non-alcohol beverages, second helpings, salt and pepper, gravy…everything should be within arms reach of guests so you can get down to gluttony with everyone else. If the table is long, put two of everything out and let folks fend for themselves.