For me, this includes place cards. Place cards do 2 things: Let everyone know where to sit so they’re not asking you while you finish food prep, and allow you to lay out the conversation pattern of the table.
A few years ago, I used my great-grandma’s salt-and-pepper shaker collection as place cards. The shakers added some playful whimsy to the table. That year, I also used a simple centerpiece of clementine oranges and cut leaves and berries on top of a cake stand.
This year, I’m going to use this idea from Holidash. It’s simple, polished, and allows me to use the leftover mini pumpkins I have from Halloween. A quick coat of gold spray paint will do the trick!
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(BTW, Holidash’s tutorial for making a pumpkin flower vase–in that same post– is also great.)
As for the rest of the table, I’m going to weave a garland of “autumn” silk leaves down the table length. I found a nice garland on clearance at Michael’s, and it has touches of gold on the leaves that will look nice with the gold place card pumpkins. Here’s a similar example from Design Cocktail.
Thanksgiving table decorations: Done. Now to clean the house and plan the menu!