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The Daily Dish How to Holiday

We Found Everything Your Thanksgiving Dinner Table Should Have On It This Year

Eleven items you need to set the scene for a successful family gathering (for once).

By Angela Law

Setting the Thanksgiving table is not a task for the weak. This is the one time of year when everyone is supposed to gather without agenda or resentment, around an exquisitely considered table covered with delectables, to laugh and hug and cry with their kin. It is a most glorious and perfect occassion! And it is a total farce!

The sooner we let go of the pretension and expectation -- and come to terms with the fact that Thanksgiving doesn't need to be super formal -- the sooner we can let go of the crushing pressure and actually enjoy each other. Thanksgiving should be more about building tradition rather than preserving it. Get rid of all the stuffy decor and brush the dead leaves off the table. It's time to have some fun.

Let’s start with the oppressive color scheme. Fine. Orange and browns are unavoidable in Fall...perhaps...but if you are going to do it, be careful to not completely drench the table until it looks like the set of "That 70s Show." When designing your tablescape this Thanksgiving, go for more modern shades of those traditional colors.

Also, who actually knows what a cornucopia is? Instead of cheesy, iconic decor, why not go with more of a spirited party vibe for your centerpiece? Think: gold and candles.

Below is a selection of items that we think would make for the perfect setting for a happy, modern, family gathering. Give it a whirl. It might just lead to the happy family gathering you always dreamed of. And if they can't handle it, maybe it's time to consider Friendsgiving next year. 

The Lighting

Nothing sets the mood like candles. Put flowers, fruit, or any other centerpiece-worthy items in the shelf below.

The Runner

The most large-and-in-charge item on your table is going to be the covering. It basically sets the tone for the whole tablescape. A tablecloth can feel overly-formal so we prefer something like this playful runner. You want hints of those Thanksgiving colors without being garish.

The Pie-Holder

This elegant platter begs for a pie...or cake...or any number of desserts.

The Napkin Rings

Red is an appetite stimulant so these napkin rings are the perfect way to ensure clean plates even if you are not the best cook.

The Napkins

Do you see the color story we are trying to build here? Go ahead and splurge on real napkins. Paper napkins would bring the whole event down a few notches. This isn't a picnic!

The Placemats

These placemats add an interesting textural element to the table.

The Gravy Boat Set

What better way to keep the evening light-hearted?

The Wine Ware

In case you did such a good job pulling Thanksgiving out of the clutches of cheesiness that your guests forgot what they were all gathered for, these glasses should help remind them.

The Matching Platter Set

Nothing irritates me more than delicious food served in aluminum trays. We get it. Who has a dozen matching platters? Well, maybe you do from now on! Trust me. Everything will look so much more elegant and appetizing on matching plates. The hodge-podge of random dishes and casseroles is fine but trust us, this way is better. 

The Bar Cart

Every hostess with the mostest has a well-stocked bar cart. I mean, come on. Gotta keep everyone nice and loose.

Gratitude Tree By Celebrate It

Of course, we can't completely forget what the occassion is. This little activity keeps everything on theme and everyone interacting.

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