Decorating Your Thanksgiving Table to Impress Your Guests

Decorating with Fall Color on Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving Day is a time for gathering family and friends around the dinner table and giving thanks for your health, happiness and good fortune. This tradition began with the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock, when they celebrated with Native Americans, to show their appreciation of a bumper crop of food to meet the needs of the people. Today, we not only have an abundance of fresh vegetables and meats available, we have the ability to decorate our surroundings and our Thanksgiving table to show our Fall spirit. Call upon your imagination when decorating your Thanksgiving table by using color and texture. Provide a beautiful display of Fall plants, flowers and vegetables to impress your guests on Thanksgiving Day. See the examples that follow for some decorating ideas.

The Dinner Table

The traditional Thanksgiving turkey is usually the focal point on the Thanksgiving Day dinner table. Adding items like hurricane lamps with colored candles inside display a warm glow on the table. Keep in mind that this is not the place for scented candles. Guests would rather smell the feast layed before them instead of the overpowering aroma from candles. Consider your basic color theme and use contrasting colors. Use hues of orange, brown, yellows, rusts and gold in your arrangements. Artificial fall leaves scattered around the table accentuate the candles on your Thanksgiving table. Try a contrasting linen table cloth with matching or contrasting napkins with gold napkin rings. If you opt for a Fall themed tablecloth, be careful that you don’t over do it by making your table too busy. Always remember not to crowd the table too much with decorations. Your guests will need elbow room to eat and on this special day and they will appreciate your forethought for comfort. Also keep in mind that your guests will be carrying on conversations at the Thanksgiving Day dinner table and they will want to be able to see each other from across the table, without having to move items about.

Buffet or Side Tables

If you have a buffet or side table full of food for your Thanksgiving feast, consider a runner in a contrasting color as the main table and incorporate a few of the same items such as colored candles. Think about making a beautiful centerpiece for your buffet table with a clear vase filled with gourds, small pumpkins or cranberries. Indian corn or fall fruits scattered around your centerpiece make an inviting display of color and texture for your

Thanksgiving Day dinner.


If you have a lot of color going on on your table, consider cream colored earthenware. If you want a more elegant feel, try gold charger plates underneath the dinnerware for a dramatic touch.
Serving Pieces

Choose serving pieces that contrast with the color theme on your Thanksgiving table. Leaf shaped serving dishes or colorful platters of rust, orange, brown, green or cream can catch the interest of your guests.


Use appropriate stemware for what you’re serving to drink. In the south, we always drink sweet tea or water with our meals. You may be serving wine, so choose accordingly.

Place Cards

Get creative with place cards on your Thanksgiving table. Small pumpkins with each person’s name beautifully written in brown or gold on the pumpkin will impress your guests. You can also try writing each name on a pretty piece of paper with a hole punched in it and tied with a colored ribbon around the pumpkin stem. Hot glue artificial leaves around the pumpkin stem.

Accentuate Your Entrance Area
This is the place for your scented candles! Hopefully, they will be far enough away from the Thanksgiving dinner table so as not to overpower the tantalizing smell of the food being served. Try cinnamon or pumpkin scented candles in this area for an inviting aroma. To incorporate your Thanksgiving Day table theme in your entrance way, try using a fall wreath on the door to welcome guests.

Have fun with your Thanksgiving Day table decorations. Use your imagination and get creative. If you have the time, visit department stores for ideas and remember that Thanksgiving is a special time and you want to be sure to make your guests feel warm and welcome. Happy Thanksgiving!

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