Arts & Crafts Magazine

Setting a Thanksgiving Table with Beauty and Meaning

By Laharris1
Setting a Thanksgiving table with beauty and meaning
This past weekend Jim and I worked on the welcome message for Patrick's memorial Facebook page and I don't need to tell you how emotionally draining that was. I used to think that the most surreal and gut-wrenching thing I would ever do in my life was writing my child's obituary but it turns out when you're a grieving parent, that single pain-crazed obituary experience is only the beginning.
The thing is, even though I felt on the edge of tears that entire day I kept my feelings under tight control. Something that's not easy for me.
But we had dinner plans later in Long Beach with our dearest friends John and Kirsten and their son John, who went to kindergarten with Patrick. And I've figured out that if I can go three days without crying than my eyes look normal and I can dress up and at least feel sorta normal.
Which is actually what happened. It ended up being such a beautiful night and afterwards I felt replenished for a bit. Do you have people in your life that you've known for so long, that you can't remember a time when you didn't know them? Well that's how it is with them.
Ok. So you're probably wondering. Why am I telling you all this when you just stopped by to see a damn Thanksgiving table? 
Setting a Thanksgiving table with beauty and meaning

Well. I wanted you to know that even though my heart is miles away from being able to host a Thanksgiving dinner anytime soon, I said "Yes" to Chloe when she asked me to join a group of bloggers showing Thanksgiving tablescapes, because if there's one thing you should do when you're going through a difficult time, it's find those moments that give you relief. And for me, that happens when I'm being creative. 
Setting a Thanksgiving table with beauty and meaning
By the way, I'm showing you the world's easiest centerpiece. Mums stuck in-between pumpkins
Setting a Thanksgiving table with beauty and meaning
This one took more time. First I filled this entire urn with green floral foam that I soaked. Then I started filling it up white roses, white hydrangeas, a few white chrysanthemums and pink berries. All courtesy of Trader Joes. 
Setting a Thanksgiving table with beauty and meaning

After it was almost full, I clipped some ivy from the front yard and plugged the empty spaces with it. Added some cream and chocolate feathers into a few more gaps for some texture and tucked moss along the edge of the urn for a more finished look. 

I know this doesn't look like a typical Thanksgiving centerpiece, but I kept coming back to white, even when I tried to put those red Mums into it. 


I wish you could see this in person. It really is pretty. And when outside, the white roses have a buttery hue.
Setting a Thanksgiving table with beauty and meaning

To be perfectly honest I've never-ever had a Thanksgiving dinner outside but since today was 74 degrees in Huntington Beach and since my dining room only gets natural light for short slivers of time during Fall, and since I didn't want to worry about taking photos in a dark dining room...well,
 welcome to my outdoor Thanksgiving dinner party.
Setting a Thanksgiving table with beauty and meaning

These napkins are actually tan and white check but outdoors they look lighter. From Pottery Barn last season.
Setting a Thanksgiving table with beauty and meaning

I have Thanksgiving dinnerware with the turkey on the plates but I prefer white plates these days. Maybe it's the memories that hurt and one day I'll feel different about bringing those dishes back out. Hard to know.


Instead of name cards which I've always enjoyed making, I thought I would try to do something different for this post and show you a sweet little gift for guests at each setting. 
Setting a Thanksgiving table with beauty and meaning
thanksgiving a few years ago 

Rather than the typical "gratitude" or "gathering" word that is so often attached with Thanksgiving I decided to fill up jars with fresh thyme wrapped in parchment paper. And on each jar is the message I think we all need to remember: "Time is a gift" which is of course a play on the word thyme. 

I used both words to show you.


Setting a Thanksgiving table with beauty and meaning
When you really think about it, isn't this the real meaning behind all the popular gathering signs and gratitude place cards? It's bringing awareness to this simple truth.
Setting a Thanksgiving table with beauty and meaning

Setting a Thanksgiving table with beauty and meaning

Setting a Thanksgiving table with beauty and meaning
 Not only are these so sweet looking with that parchment paper but they smell delicious. 

Setting a Thanksgiving table with beauty and meaning

I used vintage glasses with pretty etching for my votive candles, courtesy of a thrift store. But if I'd used something larger I would have added coffee beans at the bottom. Maybe a caramel flavored coffee bean would smell delish.
Setting a Thanksgiving table with beauty and meaning
Here's my latest little addition to my tables. Miniature succulents...just spray the plastic containers metallic gold and place them around your cheese platter and they're guaranteed to make you smile.
Setting a Thanksgiving table with beauty and meaning


Thank you for visiting today. Hopefully there's a few ideas you can use except the one about stuffing your feelings. I do want you to know this one truth. After trying to ignore my achy sadness that day, I woke up the next morning with a splitting headache, even after a wonderful dinner with friends. And this made total sense to me. Did you know Gestalt therapists believe headaches are actually pent-up tears? It's the idea that our bodies will always express what we're not saying. I've found this to be true for me, so please don't minimize your feelings. Whatever you're feeling, --especially if it's uncomfortable---it absolutely matters. And it's important for our entire health that we prioritize our inner life even more than all this external stuff. 

Setting a Thanksgiving table with beauty and meaning

Good-bye for now friends. Be sure to check out my friends below for some more beautiful inspiration for your Thanksgiving table.love to you all,LeslieMondayRed Cottage Chronicles/ Panoply/ My Thrift Store Addiction/ The little Yellow Corner House/ A casa of Bianca

TuesdayLife and Linda/ Home is Where the Boat is/ Corner of Plaid and Paisley/ Everyone Living/ Calypso in the CountryWednesdayKatherine's Corner/ The Painter Apron/ Intelligent Domestications/ Celebrate and Decorate/ Bluesky at HomeThursdayWhite Arrows Home/ Our Crafty Mom/ Create with Cynthia/ Gwen Moss BlogFridayDebbee's Buzz/ The Sweet Sensations/ My Family Thyme/ Zucchini Sisters/ Follow the Yellow Brick Home



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