SET YOUR TABLE BEFORE GUESTS ARRIVE
If you are hosting a number of guests it may take longer than you think. Allow yourself enough time so that you are not rushing this at the end. A well planned table is a happy table! Don’t worry if everything doesn’t match. No one cares. Everyone is just happy that you are hosting and not them! [If you’ve never set a table before just follow the simple template included]
BE THOUGHTFUL ABOUT SEATING ARRANGEMENTS
Taking a few extra minutes to plan out where people will sit at your table is an appropriate and helpful detail for family and friends who may not interact very often throughout the year.
As the hostess, you will be able to place people strategically and create a balanced flow for the meal.
Considerations for seating arrangements include.
Seating guests apart who do not jive well together.
Placing your fabulous left handed guests where they won’t bump others [me!]
Being aware of accommodations for (wheelchairs, high chairs, hearing aids)
Do not pressure yourself to create an elaborate tablescape. If you are new to the table setting game, low and simple is way better in the long run. After all, the meal is about the food and the conversation.
If you have kids, it is also fun to get them involved in the meal without having them actually have their little hands in the food. Not only will this occupy them for a few minutes, but they can talk about their creation at dinner and will feel great knowing they contributed to making the meal so special. Win-Win!
DIY Simple Centerpiece for your Kids
Empty glass vase
Snag some leaves, branches, twigs from outside
Fill up the glass vase with the outdoor elements
Place in center or in a line down the center of your table
When done, open door and empty the vase back outside
People do not always agree with me on this one, but my feeling is to not rush to clean up. Enjoy yourself and relax. You have been cooking all day. If your guests start taking items to the kitchen you can absolutely stay seated and simply say “Thank you!”
Even with specific instructions regarding washing your china, etc….it is also completely acceptable to allow your guests to manage the entire cleanup. “Too many cooks in the kitchen” only applies to the cooking. With cleanup “many hands [that are not yours] make light work!”
It is also admissible to inform your children ahead of time that they are responsible for clearing the table after the meal which allows guests to remain seated. Then when a guest does rise to clear you simply say “Oh I insist you sit, Sue - Rue and Julie are in charge of clearing.” [my mother was a big fan of this one for years!]
If you follow these four simple Table Tips for your Thanksgiving table, I guarantee that your guests will be appreciative of your thoughtfulness.