Oooooh, let me count the ways.
1 1) Make a kick-ass dining or hall table arrangement. Decorate with fall vegetables, fall foliage (including flowers) or a combo.
Different year, with more or less the same ingredients combined in a different way. Even your old standbys can be moved around to create something new. Candles always add to an occasion. The place cards for this particular dinner were made by my pre-school granddaughters, proving that you can involve the entire family in the table decor!
2) Decorate the table itself. Iron some colourful fall leaves in waxed paper and sprinkle them around the table. If that's too Martha Stewart--hey, watch it. I've done this for years!--you can find packages of fake fall leaves in specialty stores like Pier One.
Add fall-themed napkins. In the photo below, the "napkin" is a new dishcloth. An autumn leaf and a single mum blossom take it from ordinary to wham!
I made my table festive by also using gold chargers and cutlery, and adding simple fall-themed decorations to the napkins. These tiny pieces are uncurled wine glass stem decorations.
3) Decorate the turkey (and other foods)! Bring the turkey to the table dressed in brilliant reds and oranges.
Here the holiday bird is surrounded by orange slices, grape tomato halves and assorted salad greens.
Last year, I served the pre-dinner veggie plate dip in a hollowed-out pumpkin.
Because I didn't want my smoked bacon dip to taste of raw pumpkin, I lined the pumpkin with a cut-down plastic container.
4. Make your dessert Thanksgiving-themed--and I don't mean just pumpkin pie. This pumpkin cheesecake on a ginger cookie crust (one of last year's desserts) is served with a warm praline sauce and topped with an unfurled cape gooseberry to extend the season's colours.The whipped cream is spiced with cinnamon, cloves and allspice.
5) Bring Thanksgiving to your seating arrangements. An orange-and-brown plaid throw pillow says "Happy Thanksgiving" before your guests sit down to a pre-dinner cocktail.
6) Make a statement outside your house. If you live in a secure neighbourhood, you can bring your decorations outdoors. Pile some hay bales beside your front steps, add a few corn stalks and a pumpkin or two.
7. Dress up a pre-made, plain evergreen wreath with autumn leaves, acorns, mums, anything that makes you think autumn.
You don't have to spend a bundle to welcome your Thanksgiving guests with special decor. Use your imagination.