A Day to Celebrate
Thanksgiving finds our homes dressed in full finery: candles lit, silver polished, favorite fall centerpiece pulled from the cupboard and linens pressed to crisp perfection. It gives us the rare relaxed moment to focus on the blessings we've received in the past year and to welcome family and friends for the sheer pleasure of their company.
Don't forget to decorate the mantel for the occasion: a pair of cinnamon-colored candles in hurricane lamps can anchor a group of pumpkins and gourds set among bittersweet, Chinese lanterns and autumn leaves.
Timeless Tradition, Contemporary Flair
Timeless tradition and contemporary embellishments are equally at home on a well-dressed Thanksgiving table. But always try to include some personal touches amid all the traditional trappings. Unexpected details, such as leaves looped over chair backs or place cards tucked into dried artichokes, add individual style. Use a multitiered arrangement of seasonal fruits — figs, grapes, pomegranates, pears and persimmons — to add fall color to the tabletop.
Finery on Display
Artful abundance should be the dominant decorating theme throughout the house at Thanksgiving. Transform an antique secretary into an overflowing buffet with russet- and cream-colored transferware and a cornucopia of autumn produce.
The cornucopia, spilling over with the fruits of harvest, reigns as an icon of autumn. Derived from the Latin for \"horn of plenty,\" this basket is the most traditional of Thanksgiving centerpieces. Classically, it overflows with fruits, vegetables, gourds and Indian corn.
Although the tradition of the cornucopia is ancient, its meaning is still relevant today. Because it symbolizes the bounty of life, it can help remind us of the bounty and blessings we've received throughout the year. As a modern-day take on the horn of plenty, ask guests around the Thanksgiving table to write down something they're thankful for and tuck the notes into a cornucopia centerpiece. Before enjoying dinner, read the notes aloud to give thanks.
Horn Of Plenty With Plenty of Style
Don't confine the iconic cornucopia to the dining table. Cornucopias are warm, welcoming arrangements in a front hallway or guest bedroom or on a broad kitchen windowsill. Smaller versions — loaded perhaps with cookies, jams, chocolates, teas or coffees — make much-appreciated gifts.
On a side table, a richly colored collection of gourds provides a counterpoint to a simple Indian figure. Add sprigs of bittersweet and a tiny nesting bird for a sweet surprise amid a display of silver cups.
Rely on a natural theme; nest a creamy ceramic pumpkin on a pewter pedestal lined with brightly colored leaves.