Preparing Your Dining Room Table for Thanksgiving Dinner

thanksgiving tableOverwhelmed at the prospect of hosting Thanksgiving dinner at your home this year? Not to worry—with a plan in mind, preparing your home and dining area need not be a source of stress. Here is a quick guide to preparing your dining room table for Thanksgiving dinner.

Clean and polish.

Of course, you’ll want a clean and attractive base to place all of your Thanksgiving food and decor on. Start by dusting your table with a clean, dry cloth that is slightly dampened. If your table has any sticky spots, treat them gently with mild soap and water, drying immediately after. Follow up with a cleaner that is made for your particular dining room table material, such as a specialized wood cleaner. Finish with a specialized wood polish—nothing with too much oil, which will only leave tons of fingerprints.

Create a seasonal centerpiece.

The dining room table is truly at the heart of Thanksgiving, so it deserves some extra attention in terms of decoration. There are many ways to create a festive centerpiece, and what you do will depend largely on the size of your dining room table, how many guests will be seated around it, where they will be seated, and how many serving dishes you anticipate setting on your dining room table. If you have a long dining room table, for example, you might place a table runner down the center length of your table and then adorn the center of your table with fall florals, candles, and pinecones.

Upgrade your dinnerware.

Now is the time to bring out your best dinnerware. If you only have the basic, solid-colored dinnerware that you use on an everyday basis, not to worry—you can supplement with smaller festive plates, special glasses, or tastefully seasonal linen napkins. Even placing a simple seasonal placecard in the center of each table setting will add a touch of festivity. Another great option is to rent dinnerware—you won’t even need to clean your dishes afterward.

Allow for some breathing room.

Don’t forget that your dining room table is going to be filled with serving dishes and, of course, your guests. The food still is the focal point here. Be sure to keep your table pared down at least to some extent so that your guests have some elbow room. Your centerpiece, for example, should be well-suited to the size of your table, and you should strategically maintain areas of empty space for the many dishes that will occupy the table come Thanksgiving.