Setting a Beautiful Thanksgiving Table: Creating a Festive Atmosphere For Your Dinner

Setting the table for a special meal creates an atmosphere that will be warm, cozy and invting for you and your guests. Here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing.


There are so many wonderful autumn holiday decorations available to choose from. A local craft store trip can give you some wonderful ideas because they have so many seasonal items to enjoy.

One pretty idea is to put a small scarecrow at each place setting sitting on a straw bale with a small name card tied to it. Place a variety of pumpkins and gourds in the center of the table along with small bouquets of seasonal flowers in rich shades of yellow, red, gold and purple.

Pilgrim and Indian

A traditional theme to use for your holiday table that the kids will enjoy is a pilgrim and Indian theme.

One fun idea using this theme is to place alternating pilgrims and Indians (buy small pre-painted ones or paint your own with the kids) at each place setting (with a name card if desired) along with a small bundle of Indian corn tied around each napkin with raffia or twine. In the center of your table, place two large bundles of Indian corn (one facing each end of the table) and put a large scented candle (pumpkin, cinnamon or apple) between them. You could even add small bowls of popcorn for effect.


A harvest theme is a traditional table theme featuring a mix of freshly harvested foods and flowers. You can find these items at local craft stores and fresh produce and flowers can be found at your local nursery. If you prefer to use artificial produce and flowers, these can be found also at craft stores.

A beautiful table setting idea to use incorporates a large wicker cornucopia in the center of your table overflowing with small pumpkins, gourds and vibrant fall flowers. Trailing down the center of the table to each end place setting is a line of pretty artificial fall leaves dusted with gold sparkles and topped with a few fresh acorns. Each place setting features a napkin tied with a fall leaf tied with twine and a small card with the person’s name on it.


A gratitude theme is great modern theme to use at your table which will promote some great conversation at dinner.

One fun idea for your holiday table is to create and print out little sayings having to do with gratitude and abundance on your computer (using pretty paper and fancy font). Use quotes from famous people or create your own from friends and family. Scatter them around the top of the table for everyone to read.

At each place setting, put a matching paper card and pen on each plate tied with raffia and invite guests to write down something they are grateful for. Place a simple bouquet of fresh fall flowers or a few baskets of mums on the table for an easy and fun centerpiece. You can award prizes (such as the mums) for the most meaningful or silliest idea for added fun.

Each of these themes will help you create a truly wonderful holiday table. If you are on a budget, consider going to craft stores after Thanksgiving to stock up on items for next year’s gathering – they will be on steep discount and you can save a lot of money this way.

In summary, creating a memorable Thanksgiving table is fun and easy using any of the themes mentioned above. Get creative and you will be surprised how wonderfully your holiday table decor comes together.

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