Thanksgiving traditions in the United States bring families together around the Thanksgiving meal.
If this is either not practical or not possible, or if there are no family members to visit or to be visited by, it can be a stressful and lonely time.
How Most Americans Spend Thanksgiving Day
Since this is not a holiday that surrounds itself with gifts, but is celebrated in the sharing of a meal, many families gather together in the afternoon for a mid-day meal or later in the day for dinner. A tradition that has developed in more recent years is to watch the college football bowl games on television or the 1939 film classic, The Wizard of OZ, starring Judy Garland.
Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner in America
The Thanksgiving meal in America usually consists of a roasted stuffed turkey, mashed potatoes, baked sweet potatoes or yams, cranberries or cranberry sauce, some assortment of other vegetable side dishes and pumpkin or mincemeat pies for dessert.
Being without family for the Christmas and Thanksgiving holidays can feel lonely. When spending the holiday away from family, there are alternatives to the traditional celebrations that can make the holidays enjoyable and memorable…it may just take a break from tradition.
Tips on Decorating the Table for Thanksgiving
Friends and family love to gather for Thanksgiving to celebrate all the joys of the year and to acknowledge each other with a special feast. To make the thanksgiving table a special treat to behold, use these creative ideas at this year’s get-together.
Use Seasonal Colors to Dress the Thanksgiving Table
The colors of fall are usually associated with Thanksgiving and they can also be used to create a breathtaking tablescape. Some easy ways to introduce color to the table are to get colored napkins, use a beautiful table runner or select dishes that carry the colors used. Bold reds and brilliant oranges with a mix of neutral browns and creams can give a dramatic impression for thanksgiving.
Take out the Good China for Thanksgiving Dinner
Many homes have dishes that are reserved for special occasions. Thanksgiving is a great excuse to use the good stuff. Simply laying the table with fine dinnerware will take the décor up a few notches.
Pay Attention to Lighting
Lighting goes a long way in setting the right mood. It is also a nice touch to add a layer of warmth and to either soften or brighten the colors on the table. Candles are great for creating a peaceful aura and they can be used as a part of the décor as well. Thick candles make a strong statement especially when set up on a beautiful decorative candle stick or they can be set in the middle of a large glass holder to trap the heat while still giving off the glow.
Make Custom Napkins to Add Some Personality to the Table
Napkins are a necessity on the thanksgiving table to protect clothes from all the juicy goodness of the meal, but who says they need to be plain? Use stamps to add some flair to boring napkins. The pattern can be fall themed or they can be a simple “Happy Thanksgiving” message. Craft stores usually have a wide variety of stamp options.
Create a Beautiful Centerpiece for the Table
The centerpiece has the ability to capture the attention of guests and serve as a conversation piece in itself. It should be beautiful but compact so it doesn’t hamper the passing of dishes or blocking guests’ view of each other. There are many ways to create a lovely centerpiece, from compiling fruits of the season to making a floral arrangement. Miniature pumpkins can be compiled as well to make a nice display.
Leave a Quote on the Place Card
To add a final touch of class, try making handwritten place cards. This gives the host the chance to choose the seating arrangement and the quote gives guests something to share with each other.
A lot of work always goes into preparing the actual Thanksgiving meal, but paying attention to the table will give guests that extra special feeling.