Monday, November 23, 2009

Thanksgiving



For our forefathers to have planned a holiday around giving thanks for nature’s bounty is indeed remarkably fortunate for us. In this hurried world of far flung families, Thanksgiving day combines two of the most important elements of mankind… food and the company of loved ones.

Since the dining is the center of the festivities, it is appropriate to decorate the table with interesting and eye catching elements. Whether one chooses to use Grandmother’s white linen tablecloth, placemats, or a roll of natural burlap rolled the length of the table, an impressive centerpiece is freely available and close at hand. One needs to look no farther than the garden, the bar ditch or a friend’s wooded field to gather items to use as decorations. With the mums still intact there are lovely additions from the field to include and they have changed to hues of yellow, orange and brown... perfect colors for a Thanksgiving arrangement.

Now that we have had a freeze, the field flowers and weeds have dried and stand in stark contrast to the more delicate plants that perished. Collecting then spraying them with inexpensive hair spray will keep them intact and eliminate any allergens still left on them. Pyracantha berries are glorious at this time of year and since they resemble baby pumpkins, they look adorable dancing along a table runner. Add acorns, maple leaves, and bittersweet twining among them for a show stopper. Additionally there are battery operated twinkle lights to lend additional magic to the table.

If one chooses a large centerpiece,it may be arranged from wispy native grasses, sumac, and seed pods and heads. The tallest must be placed in the center and then work outwards, placing the smallest at the outermost edge of your vase. Should one choose a Cornucopia, a Thanksgiving tradition, a variety of miniature pumpkins and gourds are sweet and inexpensive and may be mixed with highly colored natural leaves for a stunning effect.

Sprays of wildflowers and grasses look festive hung on doors secured by decorative ribbon or placed in baskets on porches, stairways and entrances. Using branches with colored leaves and straw-colored grasses and grains surrounded by fall pumpkins is also an excellent composition.

However one does not necessarily need to limit the theme to the natural colors. On impulse one year we spray painted our branches, weeds, leaves, gourds, and acorns gold. We even spray painted our shoes… it was a magnificent year!
Happy Thanksgiving!