Here's my dining room table, already set for Thanksgiving. Well, I *did* co-write a book about organization (with San Francisco interior designer Randall Koll) and what could be more organized than setting a holiday table two weeks early?
OK, so there are a couple little lies in that first sentence. It's not my table, not my dining room and I haven't even ordered my turkey yet, much less figured out my table decor. Years ago, J and I were fortunate enough to attend a harvest luncheon at Iron Horse Vineyard, and I still savor the memories of the exquisite food, the flowers and this luxuriant table setting. (You can read more about Iron Horse and the Sterling family in a delightful little book titled "A Cultivated Life: A Year in a California Vineyard.")
The second photo is much more recent: Halloween dinner at the home of close friends--but the table would be just as striking at Thanksgiving. Note the small pumpkins hollowed out for votives and the large one used to hold the flowers.
Finally, minimalism, c'est moi. This is my table from last Thanksgiving when J and I were at our beach house with nary a relative nor guest. Four little artificial birch trees I'd found at a gift shop, straw mats and French jacquard napkins in tones of orange and gold were my nod to the holiday; the best part of the decor was the late afternoon sun setting over Monterey Bay.
If you're the host at Thanksgiving this year -- whether you're using four tiny trees or forty pumpkins to bedeck the table -- it's really not ridiculously early to give it some thought. And I urge, URGE, you to set the table the day before. You cannot believe how much this helps dilute the pressures of The Day.