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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Gathering together for Thanksgiving allows many busy families to take a much needed break from hectic schedules and pause to celebrate the people and things that matter most. While planning the menu and preparing the meal takes a large amount of time when hosting an event, choosing the right centerpiece puts the crowning touch on the occasion. Why not put away the time-worn cornucopia this year and consider these three easy options that add some fresh fall flair to your table?
Fall Floral Bouquet
Fall is a colorful season and the vibrant shades of gold, orange, red and brown changing leaves are beautiful to behold. Creating a robust bouquet of flowers, leaves, berries and other fall foliage makes an attractive focal point for your table.
In some climates, fresh flower options may be seasonally limited. If available, you can use flowers from your garden. If not, pick up your favorite varieties at your local florist, farmers market or grocery store. Silk flowers are a beautiful, worry-free option and can be found reasonably-priced at your local craft or hobby store. Mixing in colorful leaves and berries adds texture and contrast to your finished piece. Use a bowl, vase, or stand that compliments your dishes and add fall garland or gourds around your arrangement to complete the look.
Nature makes a grand statement in harvest season and natural, earthy elements can be combined to make a lovely centerpiece. Fill a rustic, brambly basket with tall reeds, leaves, corn husks and berries and mix in some fall-colored mums or sunflowers to add dimension. Pair the basket with a candle grouping on a flat wooden base (as shown) and surround them with pinecones and/or twig balls to extend the natural feel of the design. You could also fill your basket with gourds, colorful fall fruits, or small pumpkins if desired.
Note: When lighting the candles, be sure to keep the flame away from any twigs or other elements that could ignite.
Thanksgiving's central message can often get lost in the stress of planning and preparing for the gathering. Creating a centerpiece that highlights the holiday's meaning—giving thanks for the people and the blessings in our lives—is a great way to honor loved ones and get them involved the festivities.
Use a glass bowl, (a pumpkin shaped bowl would be great!) and cut out colored leaves on construction paper, or use synthetic leaves from a craft store, and have family members and guests write what they are most thankful for on the leaves and place them in the bowl. Before or after dinner, have guests draw a leaf from the bowl and read it aloud and then try to guess who wrote each statement. Or, have each guest read their own leaf. This centerpiece looks nice flanked by candles in glass goblets with fall-color stones beneath them. Sprinkle some leaves on the table around the grouping for added decoration.
If you have young children, a fun variation of this activity is using a paper table cloth or paper place mats and having the kids use crayons to draw a picture depicting what they are grateful for. Other guests can write an expression of thanks at their seats. Then, go around the table and read the statements or explain the pictures out loud.
Lori Melton is a freelance writer. Her work can be found on Examiner.com
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