Another "why didn't I think of that" idea from Martha. Plus, I don't have to ruin my favorite table cloth or the table "pretties" such as leaves. Put down your cloth, lay on the pressed leaves (ya, right, like I have time for that, can you say fake ones from the craft store please) and overlay the table with a sheer cloth or fabric. Great effect with half the mess.
See, holiday meals at MY home are more like a battle ground at times. I did teach table manners, but hey, gotta pick your battles in this world. Even on the best day, a spoon falls out of the gravy, a lump of potatoes is "misplaced" on the table, the dreaded cranberry sauce dives off the fork, crusty bread pieces run amuck. Sounds like we are the Beverly Hill Billies doesn't it? Seriously, I prefer people in my home feel relaxed, welcome, and can eat whatever, however they please. It means I have NO pristine linens to worry about, no anxiety over the dreaded gravy spills, no sweat.
The last two years the drug store Longs had these neat organza table cloths, brownish-bronze shimmery deals. they wanted 20 bucks or some crazy things, but thrifty me snagged them two years running in the clearance isle near Christmas for 99 cents a piece. So yeah, this idea will sneak into my home this fall season. But it could be even more fun for a birthday if you laid the table with some photo copies of the birthday boy/girl and overlay with some sheer fabric. I found some great ones at Joanne's while shopping for the didn't-happen-wedding-event. Use the coupons, shop the clearance racks, I got some seriously cheap deals that would have been over 20 dollars a yard for a mere fraction of that. Or throw in that lovely table confetti with words, shapes etc. New Years will rock with streamers, confetti etc. When dinner is done, just shake off the bits into a bag (if you reuse them) or the trash, or the compost pile with leaves.
So, I hope some of these simple things will inspire you for not only Thanksgiving, but any other event you may need some fast, easy ideas to add a little special touch. May all your days be filled with joy, love, and beautiful things!