Countdown to Thanksgiving

November 25, 2015

Countdown to Thanksgiving

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For me, decorating the Thanksgiving table is a real pleasure.  I like starting from a blank slate and creating a sense of bountiful harvest and plenty in my dining room.  I think about Thanksgivings past, going way back to childhood holidays spent at my grandmother’s house in Sweetwater, Texas.

Sneaking bits of mahogany-roasted turkey skin, sitting overlong at the table telling stories that have been told before but deserve the retelling, playing touch football in the back yard to work off the third piece of pie…Thanksgiving is redolent with tradition and memories.

I love Thanksgiving and that feeling of connectedness to others while sharing a meal and reflecting on our blessings. Another blogger described the special feeling of setting the Thanksgiving table perfectly in her post, Setting the Holiday Table.

About table-setting – I’ve learned over the years (the hard way) not to wait until Turkey Day to figure out the seating, set the table and do the decorating.  The first step is to get the table(s) and chairs figured out.  This year’s tally is only 11, so we can squeeze in at one table, dragging in chairs from the breakfast room and adding a card table at the end.  This was done on Monday.

Thanksgiving Table, Pre-Decoration
The blank slate of the Thanksgiving table, pre-decoration, supplemented with chairs from around the house and a card table.


Now it’s Wednesday morning, and the table-setting is well underway, minus the glasses and silverware.

The chargers, plates and napkins are out, and the place cards indicate who sites where.  Next step:  glassware and silverware.

Don’t be shocked – I’m using paper plates (again) this year.  They look just fine atop gold chargers and paired with cloth napkins – and the clean-up process is accelerated exponentially. I love my china sets but using paper plates some years makes it more about the meal and less about the aftermath.  I like to think of the mix of paper plates with cloth napkins and crystal candlesticks as the “business casual” of table settings.

The turkey is brining, the assignments for side dishes have been distributed, and the next step is to make the dressing. Did I say I love Thanksgiving?


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