By Emily Malloy
"What is it that makes Thanksgiving so extraordinary?", I often wonder. It is more than giant floating characters in a parade or piling onto the couch to watch football. Even though it nearly pains me to say, it isn't the delicious food that makes the day what it is. No, it is the reason that airports and train stations burst at the seams that points us closer to what makes the day so wonderful. The joy is in the gathering of loved ones around the table that is complete with bumping elbows and border house reaches.
On my social media, I posed a question asking what folks loved most about the day of thanks and I received an overwhelming amount of responses echoing the above sentiments. One even spoke of the slower pace of life adding to the distinction of the day (woman after my own heart).
The focus of so many other holidays surround a particular feature: for example, at Christmas, the climax of the day is the gift-giving that takes place in front of a tree. But, for Thanksgiving, the epicenter of the day's happenings are at the table because of the individuals filling the chairs.
As the Thanksgiving table is the main feature of the day, so it seems only right that it should be dressed to impress. Thankfully, by making use of some fun elements and creativity, one can create a feast for the eyes without breaking the bank.
There can be a great temptation to collect beautifully festive plates for each holiday, but the reality of storing all of those dish sets (not to mention the purchase of them) really puts a damper on that desire. However, these charming Turkey Toile plates and gold chargers are terrifically festive (and disposable, too)!
Our newly stocked European Tapered Candles add sophistication to the Thanksgiving tablescape. They are well-made and the autumn harvest palette is beautiful. They really create a wonderful finish.
And the Centerpiece, too!
At the heart of the table lies the centerpiece. As you recall, this past Easter, we dug into the method of how to construct a show-stopping centerpiece. In that post, I showed the way to categorize flowers and foliage in order to help build the arrangement's shape and take the guesswork out of creating a centerpiece. Knowing the personality of each flower, not unlike a story filled with a cast of characters, helps to create a role and place for each bloom. Make sure to head over to that post as a reminder of which flowers tend to be focal flowers, supporting blooms, airy accents or textures, and foliage.
The colors of autumn are my favorite. The spectacular oranges and yellows of the season have a way of announcing the time of year. What if you could communicate that same level of autumn with a more muted and interesting palette? Play around with rich, deep tones like burgundy, pairing with softer blues. Swap the traditional orange for a muted copper and you have a new and breathtaking way of communicating the season.
Those familiar with my design style know that I love nothing more than adding interesting, conversation-starting elements to my arrangements. Dried pods, tree branches, and produce are some of my favorite ways to make interesting textures and layers within a centerpiece. The use of food in a Thanksgiving arrangement is also a fun play on the traditional cornucopia. I love using lettuces, artichokes, kumquats, lemons or oranges, and beets to name just a handful! Chances are your garden contains a treasure trove of interesting seed pods and branches that will make your arrangement really stand out!
I also love the use of unexpected containers, like a cigar box, to make a home for floral design. They create fun, warmth, and are extremely economical. All it takes is one stop at a cigar shop, a few dollars (mine was $1) and you have landed a striking centerpiece container. I prefer to remove the lid of the cigar box when arranging, but I do so carefully, making sure the hinges remain intact, so that I can secure it back together to use for storage another time.
Wooden boxes are not "water tight," meaning they don't hold water. Because of this, we will need to make use of soaked floral foam and a plastic bag to make sure the flowers stay hydrated. Floral foam is easily come by either online, your local florist, or craft store. Securing the soaked foam with floral tape is helpful to make sure that it stays in place, too!
Laying out your flowers to take inventory is an important step. Foliage and branchy flower stems help create the shape of your arrangement. After the shape is established, placing the focal flowers give it personality. The addition of supporting blooms and texture help the focals stand out.
Beauty helps to elevate our thankfulness. Also, we develop a deeper appreciation for beauty when we take part in its creation. So, make sure to marvel at the work of your hands this Thanksgiving!
We managed to chat an awful lot about Thanksgiving without digging deep into all of the traditional foods that are the cause of the gathering around a table! Never you fear. We will be talking turkey, pies, and so much more in the days to come as we make a Theology of Home Thanksgiving.