Wherein I Use the Word “Tablescape” and Don’t Punch Myself in the Face Afterward

We are hosting Thanksgiving this year.  This might be a sign of the apocalypse.  Or that I am no longer considered a “kid” but am now a grown-up* with a china pattern and matching cookware.  Either way, I’m a little freaked out.

I know Ed has the cooking under control, and the menu isn’t some great mystery.  It’s THANKSGIVING, and while our respective families have different recipes and takes on the classics, I know the food will be delicious and carefully, lovingly prepared.  The exact roster of attendees is still somewhat up in the air, but it’s shaping up to be a nice-sized group of our loved ones.  We have a fully-stocked bar and 7-11 is around the corner.

So, what is my problem, exactly?

Ed has placed me in charge of the tablescape.  Meaning: make it all look pretty and worthy of all the kickass food he’s going to cook. 

I am torn between using our white everyday dishes (our pattern for reference) since they are neutral (obviously) and we can punch things up with bright fall colors and a more harvest-y look and feel, OR going with our fancy-shmancy china (seen here) and linens and such.  While we are not super-formal during the holidays, I do want things to feel special (one argument in favor of china), but I also like the warmth and colorful, playful options allowed by using the white dishes (argument in favor of everyday stuff).  Since we will host at least one Christmas gathering this year I am leaning toward white dishes this go-round and bust out the china next time, when the platinum tones match our decor better anyway.  Variety!  Whimsy!  Also: WHO AM I?  It doesn’t feel THAT long ago that my roommates and I decorated our Christmas tree with beer cans.  “Happy Birthday, Jesus, have a COORS LIGHT.” 

I am likely overthinking this entirely, but this is the first Thanksgiving I have hosted, and I want it to be memorable in a good way.  And let’s face it: this is a tough crowd to please.  I’m the spawn of two of the most critical people known to man, and Ed doesn’t exactly come from the Land of Generous Praise, or Even Partial Credit for a Job Well Done For the LOVE, so this obsessive attention to detail is my weird little coping mechanism to shut down potential criticism before it can happen.  What a healthy, totally effective approach.

So, any votes, advice, or inspiration for someone who has arguably the least important role in the gathering, yet cannot help but make a huge fucking deal about it?

*Lest you think I have gone the way of the Real, No-Shit Adult, let me reassure you that many inappropriate, immature jokes were made when Ed bought “caulk saver” at the hardware store.


7 thoughts on “Wherein I Use the Word “Tablescape” and Don’t Punch Myself in the Face Afterward

  1. If you need an excuse to waste a LOT of time, but get some GREAT ideas- head to Pinterest. Maybe you have already!? I did a quick search (above) and lots of people use white dishes! There are great ideas for decorations or name tags- little pumpkins with tags and white mini pumpkins painted with “THANKS” in the middle. Very cute!

    • I have just recently checked out Pinterest and I like the variety, but then get totally overwhelmed. Maybe I need to narrow down my searches so I don’t get sucked into a crazy wormhole? Thanks for the link – I’ll check it out!!

  2. Girl– get on Pinterest and find yourself a tablescape to copy!! i would say go with the white dishes as your base and use colorful items for a decorative flair! You could even MAKE napkin rings and give them as a keepsake, or some other element, to WOW your families

    • Oh, I’ve been on there, pinning away! I also found this adorable monogrammed pear placecard craft in a magazine that I’d like to do. I really don’t know who I am anymore!

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