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Thanksgiving is hands down my favorite holiday. I’m not hosting this year, but my mind is still dreaming about menus and decorations and tablescapes. When Patanjali suggests in sutra 1.40 that we can settle the mind by focusing on whatever we want so long as it’s elevating, I take that to mean that it’s cool to plan parties while I meditate. For better or for worse, I try to encourage my imagination because I spend way too much time being careful and deliberate, worrying about logical, rational stuff that makes me feel heavy and boring. I need more imagination in my life! And so, I decided to let myself go a little crazy with my faux Thanksgiving preparations, to the point of actually setting my own Thanksgiving table. It was glorious. I told myself it was for the blog, but that was just the convenient excuse I used to justify my creative shenanigans.
I always use my grandmother’s vintage turkey plates for Thanksgiving, but, and it’s funny, because this wasn’t a real Thanksgiving table, the pressure was off and I felt free to do whatever I wanted. There’s a big lesson in there, folks. It’s like when people get married for a second time, they actually wear the dress they wanted to wear the first time!
I bought these West Elm plates and bowls this summer and absolutely love them. They’re fresh but classic; they remind me of vintage Italian spatterware.
I got so excited about creating this Thanksgiving table that I decided to make a flower arrangement (any excuse to work with flowers). I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: arranging flowers is not hard. In fact, it’s one of the best ways I can think of to foster creativity. You’re experimenting with something inherently beautiful—how bad could it be? I promise you that you can’t possibly screw it up, because if it doesn’t look the way you want, you can just redo it—or you can throw your flowers into a vase and call it a day. If you’re looking for a fun project that will give your Thanksgiving table a personalized touch, you should try creating your very own flower arrangement.
Here’s what you’ll need:
The sky’s literally the limit, so long as it’s waterproof.
A Floral Oasis
You can buy them at floral supply shops, craft stores, or on Amazon. The oasis can be cut into whatever size you need. Place the oasis inside your base and flood it with water until the water starts leaking out of the oasis into the base.
Obvious, but wait—there’s a science to it.
When buying flowers, consider the following elements:
Color Palette: Choose flowers that share a similar color palette. For my Thanksgiving arrangement, I chose shades of pink ranging from pale peachy pink to dark magenta.
Focal Flower: Use an odd number of your star flower; odd numbers are more dynamic. I chose those gorgeous peachy pink roses as the star of my arrangement.
Supporting Flowers: Supporting flowers are usually smaller than the focal flower but help to create the shape and style of your arrangement. Buy more of your supporting flower(s) to create volume.
Filler Flowers: Your filler flower(s) create density. You could use greenery, leaves, or wild flowers. It’s best to choose something inexpensive because you’ll need more of the filler flower to make sure there are no bald spots in your arrangement.
When making your flower arrangement, you’ll need to create a frame. Think of it this way: if you were to draw a line around the outside of your flowers, what shape would it make? A perfectly symmetrical arrangement is more formal and organized. I wanted a more casual, organic look for my Thanksgiving table, so I created an asymmetrical design. An emphasis on diagonal lines denotes movement and feels more wild.
I used pumpkins and gourds to fill the table and create a rustic, casual mood. Easy but beautiful.
And there you have it! I hope this inspires you to be creative this Thanksgiving. We all complain about holiday stress, but the antidote is simple: put your whole heart into whatever you do. Let yourself enjoy the process, whether it’s setting the table, decorating for the holiday, cooking a meal, or offering a gesture of gratitude—be all in. Let go of your rational mind just a little bit and allow yourself to color outside the lines. It will wake you up and ground you in joy. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!