Home & Garden

Thanksgiving table decorations good enough to eat

Gut mini squashes and fill them with herbs and a photo of guests to use as place cards.
Gut mini squashes and fill them with herbs and a photo of guests to use as place cards. Tribune

If the Thanksgiving celebration includes turkey and all the trimmings and I don’t want to bring a store-bought pumpkin pie, how does a non-cook like me contribute to the festivities? I bring the decorations. While everyone else is baking and cooking and grilling, I am busy cutting and gluing and pasting all of the elements to dress the table instead of the turkey.

It’s fun to make place cards to identify where each person will sit. This year I am gutting mini-pumpkins (squash or gourds would work too), filling them with herbs that look great and can even be used to season the food, if the guests want to pluck off a leaf or two.

I have photos of all of the guests from past holidays, so I am making color copies and using them to label each pumpkin. It’s easy to cut around the subject in each photo, cut a matching shape from construction paper, and sandwich a toothpick or bamboo skewer between the paper layers. Once I fasten the two layers together with adhesive, I need only poke the photo-on-a-stick into each plant for a place card.

To continue the pumpkin theme, I am making napkin rings with die-cut paper pumpkins. I simply cut paper into narrow strips and fasten a paper pumpkin on each end. With a pair of scissors, I cut halfway down from the top of one pumpkin, then cut halfway up from the bottom of the remaining pumpkin so I can form the paper strip into a ring by interlocking the slits on the pumpkin die cuts.

For a successful Thanksgiving, admittedly, the food is more important than the holiday decor. Every Thanksgiving host and hostess will be relieved, however, to know they can focus on the meal while I am busy setting the mood with table decorations that are good enough to eat.