Decorating Our Thanksgiving Table

One of my favorite parts about Thanksgiving is that my mom has pretty much given up asking me to help cook. It's not that I don't like to cook, I'm actually trying to get better at it. It's just a very high pressure situation on Turkey Day when there is 4-5 people in the kitchen trying to cook. This year I contributed by defrosting the sweet corn we had frozen during the summer. Other than that, my only other Thanksgiving responsibility is decorating! This year was even more fun because my mom let me go shopping for a few things...

First the table runner and the candle holders I got at Ross. It's one of my favorite places to shop for decorations, because they usually have nice stuff and a good price. I chose the Champagne colored table runner because I could picture it going with many different color schemes on many different holidays. The lattice/moroccan style pattern gives it a nice texture and sheen and is also a pretty classic pattern that is really trending right now. I thought the candle holders were great because they have more of a fall/winter theme than anything specific to Thanksgiving. My mom doesn't let me go shopping for her very often, so I wanted to get things with versatility. Speaking of versatility, the cream table cloth and red runner on the table in the front were bought a few Christmases ago, but fit nicely with the color scheme of the dining room.

My biggest purchase were the plates, and I think I scored a home run. My mom has beautiful china that was handed down to her from my great grandmother that we usually use on special occasions. But, the pattern on these is a white and pink dogwood with gold rims--pretty limiting as far as color schemes go. My mom is not a plain white plate kind of person, but after seeing what I've done with my white plates in table settings, she wanted to give it a try. I found these amazing Pfaltzgraff Basket Weave pattern plates at Christmas Tree Shops for 1.99 each! They are simple, but the basket weave design on the rims give them just enough texture to make them special. (My next assignment for shopping for my mom is to find awesome sets of patterned salad plates so she has options for holidays, dinner parties, birthdays, etc!) As sort of a place card/activity, I cut out 4 different types of cardstock leaves to place in the center of the plates.

For the activity part of the leaves, I asked everyone to write one thing that they are thankful for on their leaf, and then place their leaves inside of an awesome turkey shaped basket (2.99 at Christmas Tree Shops) for us to share after the meal. I don't think I have any pictures of the basket from our Thanksgiving, but it looks just like this:

After dinner, we followed with another family tradition: shooting clay birds!