Four Easy Tablescapes for Holiday Meals

My son Jeff says with our recent move we’ve “right-sized.” Right-sizing was right for us at this season of life, but poses some interesting challenges. We actually have more rooms, but they’re definitely smaller more intimate! Sadly, I no longer have space for our large harvest table. I sure do love that piece. But I am very thankful that our table found a new home in our daughter’s dining area. With a family of seven it’s definitely being put to good use!

Our newest edition, Calvin Isaac!

It’s been a fun table to decorate during the holidays. Here are four of my favorite tablescapes that take very little time to do and not a lot of creative know-how. (Just in case you’re like me and your art skills got stuck at the kindergarten level.)

Kid Friendly Family Table


One of our family holiday habits is to linger at the table long after the feasting is over. That means coffee, dessert, more coffee and dessert, and a lot of talking. One year I hosted about 10 family members and knew a lot of conversations would create loooooong lingering. We’re also known for chatting away during the meal, so the whole event can drag out for our grandsons. Of course the boys aren’t going to leave the table before dessert, so I copied the restaurant trick to keep little hands busy.

(Pictures from Thanksgiving, 2014)

Our #2 little Indian, Owen, with Mommy and Uncle Jack

I figured if giving kids crayons and coloring paper works while eating out, it would work well at home, too.  I covered the perimeter of the table with butcher block paper, set a small mason jar of crayons at each place setting, and provided sheets of Thanksgiving stickers. Yes, the adults got them, as well! No one could resist coloring. It was rather interesting to watch the big people fashion turkeys and pumpkins with their colors.

Our oldest “little Indian” Levi with Great Grandma Thomas, Aunt Jerri, and Silas (# 3 Indian)



With all the Thanksgiving dishes to pass and many place settings, there’s not much room for a centerpiece. For this tablescape, I just pulled a few things together I had around the house.

Small green cloth in center, lantern candle, pumpkin gourds, and tepee

Our little artist, Owen, was last to leave the table. No surprise! I think he used every sticker that was left behind by the rest.


Oh, and the boys loved wearing the Indian feathers that I bought at a party store. I wish I had thought to buy pilgrim hats for the adults.


Grandpa fitting Indian feathers on Levi

Autumn Harvest Table

Visually, this is my favorite. I still have the bittersweet that I bought from a local repurpose shop. It also makes a pretty arrangement in the living room for the Fall season.


Thanks, pinterest, for the idea to float pine sprigs and tea lights in mason jars. The bittersweet makes a strong focal point and mini pumpkins mark the season.

I love cobalt blue Fiesta Ware. Blue hadn’t been part of my decor for a long time. And I missed it! But when we decided to move, I knew I would go back to it. I discovered my friend Jeanie had her eye on my dinner ware in the more earthy tones and she owned my favorite blue Fiesta Ware, so we traded! Both in our 60’s, we weren’t motivated to spend money on new place settings. So the swap worked out perfectly.


Winter Theme Tablescape

I found these winter snow scene dishes at a clothing shop, of all places. In order to get 12 sets, my sister-in-law and I helped the store clerk dismantle Christmas displays around the store and in the window. It was great fun walking around the shop, finding the pieces to make a set. On top of the sale price, I got a discount for opening up a charge. I’m all for a good deal!


The red chargers were bought at an after Christmas sale at Hobby Lobby. The eucalyptus wreath was a steal at Habitat for Humanity ReStore. Wreaths make an easy centerpiece with a pillar candle. The little holly plants were take home gifts for Jim’s mom and sister.


The lighted pencil tree in the background was also from ReStore. Love buying second hand items at a low price! Rather pretty with the chandelier lights lowered.


Simple Christmas Setting

That lantern and candle get a lot of use. The greens are real and I just pulled out some ribbon and red berries from my Christmas decorations.

It’s been heartwarming for me to reminisce over our dining room table. Is that silly? Of course, the precious reminders are the living ones and the ones to which we have said good-bye, our family that supped together over many a holiday meal. Tomorrow my daughter hosts her husband’s family for Thanksgiving; more memories around this great table will be made. Christy is an excellent planner, amazing baker, and great cook. It will be a wonderful day of new traditions with some old favorite family recipes. I confess I’m quite proud of her.

(By the way, now that we’ve moved, blue is almost in every room. Eventually we will get past “early construction” and I’ll have some pictures to post.)

Happy Thanksgiving!







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