Thanksgiving Decorations

By Caroline Ranoia
Posted November 2004

This year, I'm hosting Thanksgiving dinner!

My mom always made our Thanksgiving table look special, and I vow to make the table as special as my mom always did.

My first plan of action: choose a TABLE CLOTH.

I find a beautiful vintage“1960” Thanksgiving table cloth. It has fall colors of orange, brown, red, turquoise, and yellow, with a pheasant design.

I angle this on top of a cream damask tablecloth from the 1920's, with matching napkins. The whole thing looks stunning in a “retro” kind of way.

For the children in my life, (nieces) instead of those plastic or paper Thanksgiving dishes, I buy special “turkey” soup bowls.

Carefully I tie a place tag around the neck with a little gift of the season - a pin in a shape of a pumpkin, turkey, and cornucopia.

The kids go wild for these special dishes.

For the adults, I use a tiny watering can and create an autumnal floral display.

Through the handle of the watering can, I place my vintage damask napkins; I also make place cards and tie them on as well.

This is my gift to the adults, it can be used later as a holiday ornament on the Christmas Tree.

I pull out my good china, and fine silver. I don’t care if I have to polish it, that’s what it is there for, to be used. Not all of my china matches, but I have found coordinating pieces that work wonderfully to make my place settings have a lot of character.

I like glass plates as chargers underneath the dinner plates because they allow you to see the tablecloth underneath, and it brings back a memory of my dad who recently passed away. He purchased the glass plates from a shop in Philadelphia years ago.

My center piece is a grouping of black cast iron urns in three different sizes ranging from 4 to 18 inches.

Each is filled with rosehips, and bittersweet from my back yard. I also add a touch of wild eucalyptus.

The silver-sage color of the eucalyptus makes the berries stand out. (It also matches my wall paint color).

I found interesting oak and maple leaves on my many walks with the dogs through Higbee Beach.

I coat the leaves with a layer of paraffin to preserve the color and place them inside and around the urns.

My turkey will be served in a vintage turkey dish that is my grandmother’s, My vegetables will be served in my favorite pieces of McCoy, and green depression glass serving pieces, most of which I purchased in Cape May.

Emily’s on Sunset and Bridgewater Antiques on Broadway, both in West Cape May, are two of my favorite places to find vintage china like this.

Keeping cherished traditions alive is one of the most wonderful things you can do for your family. Simple gestures make our hearts burst with pleasure during this season and are what holidays really are all about.

Have a safe, happy and healthy Thanksgiving!!

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