Thanksgiving dinner is a strong tradition with few overdone decorations. Focus on the natural simplicity of the holiday and get children involved by making themed place card holders for each guest at Thanksgiving dinner.
Plant a fall flowering bulb, such as autumn crocus or meadow saffron, in a small flower pot. Use high-quality black potting soil. Hand paint a guest’s name on each pot. Or just paint a design and let the guests sit where they want. Each guest can take a pot home and watch their flower grow and bloom as the Christmas season starts.
Gather a variety of miniature pumpkins and colored gourds. Sit each piece on the table, especially the uniquely shaped gourds, to see which side they sit best on. Make a slit in the center and top about in inch deep. Place a name card for each Thanksgiving guest in the pumpkins and gourds and place around the table.
Let young children trace their handprints on construction paper and color a turkey hand. Draw on eye on the thumb and lead children to color in the finger feathers. Use a marker to write a guest’s name on each turkey hand and place on the plate at each table setting. This works especially well for close-knit family gatherings with small children. Most family members will be thrilled to have a keepsake of the Thanksgiving dinner made my a young cousin, grandchild or friend.
Paint simple wooden cut-outs of leaves or fall designs and glue to simple wooden napkin rings. Write a guest’s name on each cut-out with a marker.
Gather medium sized river rocks from vacation or a local mountain stream or river. Wash them to remove excess dirt. The rocks should be smooth, round and gray. Handpaint a simple Thanksgiving design, local flora and fauna or a few words from a Bible verse or proverb. Add the guest’s name and let them take them home as paperweights.
Gather scraps of cloth in fall colors. Makes strips of each pattern about an inch thick and six inches long. Using tiny drops of glue, begin weaving the strips into a loose square. Place a drop of glue between the strips wherever they overlap. When the squares have dried, use pieces of brown twine or raffia to form the letters or initials of each guest’s name. Glue the letters in place on the square. Add a loop at the top for hanging. These can be kept as Christmas ornaments later or hung in the kitchen as a keepsake.