Have you begun to pull out the good china, crystal, silverware, linens, servers, platters, candles and the many elements that go into setting a Thanksgiving table?
I usually begin the weekend before, pulling out the table pads and ironing the tablecloth and napkins.
Depending on the number of guests, it can mean setting up multiple tables in several rooms.
Today, I’m sharing one of several Thanksgiving table settings I used for the holiday last year.
That’s when out-of-town family came in from five cities. People arrived by car and plane over several days. There were multiple trips to and from the airport to pick up family. Breakfasts, lunches and dinners to serve. Movies and meals out too. I couldn’t have been happier!
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Abundance of Good Things on Thanksgiving Table
It was the first Thanksgiving table, I didn’t want to cover and hide my beautiful mahogany table under protective pads and tablecloth.
New brown chargers with leaves and pinecones in relief, not only helped protect the table from gravy and cranberry relish spills, but looked seasonal.
With such a large crowd, seated in two rooms, the meal was served from a buffet set out on the nine-foot kitchen island. Chargers were useful to carry the Lenox Eclipse china dinner plates through the buffet line. They also worked well supporting paper plates on laps for other meals during the holiday.
Unlike most chargers that can be very heavy, these are made of plastic or resin and are very sturdy. Don’t they look like they’re made of wood? Discovered on a rare trip to Walmart, they were a value too! Chargers can be so expensive.
For the last few years I’ve been hoping to find a white version with snowflakes. Fingers crossed!What I saved on the chargers I splurged a bit on the leaf placemats from Pier 1.
A round, felt underside works nicely against the wood of the dining room table, or placed on top of a tablecloth. I’ve also used them under a seasonal centerpiece, or on a cocktail table with a large candle on top.
By using the chargers, there were no spills onto the placemats. Although, with a buffet line most of the gravy and cranberry ladling occurred in the safety of the kitchen!
Like the chargers, I’ve used the leaf placemats in a number of seasonal and Thanksgiving tablescapes.
The Rebel Bird Isn’t a Turkey
Here’s a good overhead view of the Thanksgiving table setting in the dining room.
For salad or dessert, I use these brown transferware plates depicting a peacock. The peacock was the primary reason I had to have them. Peacock’s are one of my “things,” due to a Revolutionary ancestor by that name. His first name! Seriously.
Peacock was an officer in three militia’s, Valley Forge quartermaster, at Yorktown for Cornwallis’ surrender, and said to be one of Washington’s spies. In a wanted notice, the British put 500 pounds sterling on his head, and referred to him as The Rebel Bird. Peacock fascinates me!
He’s actually my husband’s ancestor, but I rediscovered him. My sons tease I have ancestor envy, since Peacock is their ancestor too. Wait until you see my Decorating for Christmas with a Peacock Theme, and Peacock Theme Menu for My Favorite Things Party.
On my bucket list is to write a book about him. On the cover I envision a tri-corner hat with a peacock plume. What do you think, a future best seller?
Peacocks are the Official Family Bird
Back to the peacock plates. I first saw them in Pinterest. Initially, Ithought they were vintage. Nancy’s Daily Dish very kindly looked into for me. After an internet search, I discovered a boutique store in New England who was willing to ship the new salad plates and a platter.
Peacocks are also the star of my flatware by Wallace. Heavy weight stainless looks like silver, but never needs polished and is dishwasher safe.
I use the peacock flatware set to supplement vintage sterling silver that belonged to my husband’s great-grandmother. A family heirloom, it has a gorgeous patina and was a wedding gift from my mother-in-law that I treasure.
Much of my formal tableware were wedding gifts; 12-piece Lenox Eclipse china from my parents, and Waterford Kenmore crystal from my father-in law.
Cornucopia is Star of Thanksgiving Table
A very large, grapevine cornucopia serves as the centerpiece of my dining room table. I found it years ago. It comes out of the attic and is on display throughout the fall season.
It’s overflowing with an artificial pumpkin, gourds, acorns, fruits and other floral picks that I’ve collected over the years.
Although the cornucopia looks beautiful on the dining room table, I remove it for the actual Thanksgiving meal. It just takes up to much real estate — room needed for the feast itself. Plus, it’s a conversation blocker.
Before the feast, I close the lid of the grand piano, cover it with a tapestry fabric in harvest colors, and place the cornucopia on top. There aren’t too many other places it fits! See the cornucopia incorporated into another Thanksgiving Horn of Plenty Table.
Pilgrims, Indians and Turkeys, Oh My!
Candles and Byers’ Carolers accommodate the bountiful spread and conversation much better. Did you notice the Indian man and pilgrim boy holding a turkey on the Thanksgiving table? I forgot to take a picture of the pilgrim woman and Indian girl on the other end.
Of all my carolers (and I have quite a few!), the pilgrims and Indians are probably my favorite group. There are a trio of each, which I frequently incorporate into centerpieces.We are going out of town this year for the holiday, but I set the dining room table right after Halloween with the cornucopia, leaf placements, chargers, and peacock plates anyway.
The main difference is that I incorporated new twig flatware I featured in the last post.
I really like how the copper twig handles look laying on the “wooden” chargers with the brown transferware. A less formal look without the china, crystal and sterling.
How do you set the Thanksgiving table?
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