hanksgiving might feel a bit different this year: celebrations will be smaller, or perhaps you're setting up a zoom dinner. Whatever shape it takes, you can still set a beautiful table that can be special and keep that wonderful Thanksgiving spirit alive and well!
Thanksgiving is all about giving thanks for all the blessings we have in our lives such as family, friends, good health, and of course food. When planning your thanksgiving dinner this year, we can also give thanks to our essential workers who are giving so much to us to keep our country going during such a stressful time. Our smaller gatherings not only honor them but also keep ourselves safe. Smaller is often even more special and means you can go bigger with decor and beautiful touches! Here are some of my favorite entertaining tips to help you make a great thanksgiving celebration this year...
5 tips to create a beautiful thanksgiving table for a small gathering:
1Begin with selecting your table linens. Fabric tablecloths and napkins look much more elegant than paper, are softer on your skin, and are eco-friendly. Invest in some pretty table linens in fall colors or that match your holiday dishes. Make sure to coordinate colors, but I like to keep the linens less busy by using a neutral color for them. Then you can layer on patterns in your dishes. If you have plain dishes, then you can use an interesting pattern in the linens. A beautiful table runner with matching placements and napkins will also look fantastic and are a good option.
2Next, create a beautiful floral centerpiece. Nothing elevates the look of a dinner table like a beautiful floral arrangement. I like to match my flowers to the colors of my dishes and then add some autumn hued flowers to bring in the colors of the season. Keeping your arrangements low will allow you to see your guests across the table while eating. Making your floral centerpieces a day or two ahead of time is always a good idea. This frees up your time to cook on Thanksgiving day and can also allow for some of the flowers to bloom a bit more.
3Break out the good dishes and drink ware.
Small gatherings mean less clean up, so break out the good stuff! If you have nice china dishes and/or crystal stemware, this is the perfect time to put it to good use. Even if your dinner is just for yourself or another person, using more elegant utensils will make you feel special and enhance the spirit of the holiday. Using a pretty napkin ring in a coordinating color is also a beautiful detail to add to your elevated dinner table.
LARA'S PUMPKIN COBBLER IN A CUP - INGREDIENTS:
4 tbsp unsalted butter at room temperature
One 15 oz can pumpkin puree
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 c granulated sugar
1/2 c packed light brown sugar, divided
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, divided
1/8 tsp table salt
1 1/2 c roughly chopped pecans
1/4 c all-purpose flour
Heat the oven to 350 degrees F and arrange a rack in the middle. Coat an 8 by 8-inch baking dish with butter and set aside.
Combine the pumpkin, cream, eggs, sugar, 1/4 c brown sugar, ginger, nutmeg, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/8 tsp salt in a large bowl.
Whisk until evenly combined and pour into the prepared baking dish.
Cut the butter into small pieces and add to a medium bowl. Stir in the pecans, flour, and the remaining 1/4 c brown sugar, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, and 1/8 tsp salt and mix until it holds together somewhat but still crumbles. Scatter the topping over the pumpkin mixture and bake until the edges are puffed and the filling is set in the center, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove to a rack to cool to room temperature. Scoop cobbler into pretty shot sized cups and enjoy!
Nothing creates ambiance like the glimmer of candles! It is an absolute requirement for all of my entertaining and special occasions. Not only does candlelight create a warm and inviting atmosphere, but candles add style to the table as well as functioning as an extra light source. Find a bunch of candle holders in colors/finishes to match your room and dishes and get them in varying heights. Add in some pretty votives to match too. Different levels of candle light always look amazing. Their soft glow also makes your complexion and skin tone look wonderful...an added bonus! Keep the candles for the table unscented, so as not to compete with the amazing dinner aromas. But, I like to light a wonderfully scented candle in the powder room during special occasions for guests to enjoy.
5Leave a small gift of thanks.
Last but not least, place a small gift or token of thanks on your guest's dinner plate or chair. This is always a big hit and really appreciated. Who doesn't love a little unexpected surprise? This could be just a small box with a simple treat, like a couple of chocolates or gourmet dinner mints. Of course, it must be wrapped with an orange or seasonal colored bow!
I hope you enjoyed learning about my process to create a beautiful thanksgiving table for a small or any size gathering! Let me know what you thought of it and if you have any questions, I’d love to read them in my comments section below! ☺