It’s the most anticipated meal of the entire year. So, it’s no wonder why so much love, sweat, and tears goes into the planning, and preparing of a Thanksgiving feast. But when it’s time to sit down and eat, the dinner table presentation leaves a lot to be desired.
Sure, as the head chef in charge of feeding more people on one day than you would in an entire year is no small feat. And the last thing you want is more to-do items to check off. But if you’re spending hours, days and even weeks planning, and preparing this gargantuan feast for your loved ones, don’t you think your meal deserves more shine than the pot it’s cooked in? Let me help you with the answer…HECK YEAH!
When it comes to serving up a meal, presentation is everything! So, here are 5 tips on how you can spice up your dinner table to compliment that culinary masterpiece you’re planning this holiday season. But – we’ll do it with little time and not as much effort as you may think.
- Start early: The earlier the better, actually. And no procrastinating! Simply stated, it will mean the difference between you being a gracious or exhausted host on Thanksgiving day.
- Get Inspired: Even the best stylists and designers need some inspiration to draw from. Grab a few of your favorite magazines or go onto the web and see what your favorite design sites and bloggers are doing. Like these from Elle Décor. Now, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with how beautiful the images are and it may seem a little daunting to pull off, but you’re only looking for themes that you can easily draw from. For instance, candles and fruit, or gourdes and branches.
- Get Organized: This is where you will reach to the back of the cabinets, shelves and closets where all of your “special occasion” plates, linens and silverware are and pull them out. With this task, you’re essentially taking inventory of what you already have. Don’t worry if you don’t have well-coordinated tableware. There are no hard and fast rules here. You can purchase the perfect pieces – or you can use what you have for an eclectic tablescape with character. Also, pull out any fall decorations you might have that can be used for centerpieces.
- Get the Map: If you have no idea of how to set a table– go online! There are many diagrams that will show you how to do a place setting. Here’s a basic one I found on FTD.com. You can find diagrams even more basic than this or much more elaborate for a formal affair. Once you found your ideal setting play around with what you’ve already gathered. This will give you your first glimpse of what your table might look like on Thanksgiving day – as well as help you understand what you need to purchase (or borrow) and what you don’t. Tip: if you plan on having dinner family style, make sure you incorporate platters and casselrole dishes into your design so you know exactly where it needs to sit on the table when it comes time to plate up.
- Get Help and execute: More times than not, a few of your guests will offer to help – take them up on it! Sure, designate someone to chop greens for the salad or make the punch, but make sure you have help you setting the table. In fact, have them come a little early or even the night before to get it done. This will make sure you are able to oversee the execution of your tablescape, while making sure you don’t overcook the turkey!
How do you plan to decorate your table this holiday season? Let me know in the comments below!