Happy Thanksgiving week from Tumbleweed Tidings! I am glad you are here. Today I wanted to share a Thanksgiving centerpiece idea that could be modified for any occasion. Most years, I decorate our dining room table for Thanksgiving with a “more is more” attitude, laden with orange pumpkins, leaves, orange flowers, and what-have-you, that runs the full center of the table. I have loved those centerpieces, and they were a nice addition to our gatherings over the years.

With all that is going on this year, the holiday is going to be a little simpler, and I wanted my table to reflect that. So I opted to take the central color scheme in the dining room, greens and white, and create a “less is more” installation that was not only easy, but cheap…in other words, it hit all the right notes!

I am in love with white pumpkins this year…

First, I started with a collection of six clear and green vases and glass water bottles I had on hand. At first I could only find a couple of green vases, until I found the green water bottle and a matching clear one and thought “why not?” I ran those down the center of the table runner in a staggered row. Next, I collected some of the white pumpkins I had in other arrangements, and placed them randomly down the table runner. I found some votive holders that matched and interspersed them throughout the arrangement.

Glass water bottles make the perfect vase…

The last step was to find the flowers. While many people prefer roses, carnations, or lilies, my favorite cut flowers are the spider mums…preferably in white. I love them for many reasons, starting with the fact that they last forever. While roses and other flowers fade in a few days, the spider mum will last for 10 or more days by changing the water daily and re-cutting the stems periodically. I also love them because they have a wild, unstructured look that makes the arrangements more interesting to me. And lastly, along with calla lilies and cream roses, spider mums were in my bridal bouquet.

Usually, you can find spider mums anywhere. They often have a foam covering over the flowers, meant to hold them together until you are ready to use them. So I began my search for some white spider mums. First, we looked at Costco where they typically have them. No luck. Next Fred Meyer, nothing there either. I finally figured out that when you are looking at fresh cut flowers in the fall, you are presented with a predictable plethora of shades of orange, yellow, and rust, but not much simple white.

The long view towards the window…

Finally, I was at Walmart and they had the usual fall palette, but way in the back, there was a bouquet of white daisies. They might actually be something else, but to me they are doing a very good imitation of a daisy:) Success! And even better, they were only $4.87 for the entire bouquet, which was more than enough to fill my six green and white vessels.

The long view towards the kitchen…

To add another dimension to the arrangements, I went outside and clipped some greenery from our shrubbery, in a dark forest green. The shrub greenery really filled in the arrangements and made the white flowers pop. In the end, I really liked the simplicity of this centerpiece, and it will last just fine until Thanksgiving Day.

Yesterday was my dear husband Jim’s birthday, and since the restaurants here are closed, we opted for a nice dinner at home with another couple. I set the table with lime placemats and napkins, used our crystal and silver, and lit the candles. We dined on Caesar salad with my homemade parmesan crisps (see recipe here Hail Caesar…) some fancy seafood, rosemary potatoes, and we finished it all off with carrot cake, at the birthday boy’s request. I didn’t get a picture of the table in all of it’s pre-dinner glory, but here is a shot earlier in the day with the plates set.

Earlier in the day, the table ready for the birthday dinner…

We are a small gathering of three this year, but we will still dine in style. I hope I’ve given you ideas to make your dining table special, in a very simple way. Sometimes simplicity can come by just tightening the palette. I encourage you to raid your vases and glassware to develop a scheme, add some inexpensive flowers and greenery, light some candles, and you will have a lovely table that won’t detract from the most important aspect of any gathering…the people who are there.

Good tidings and Happy Thanksgiving,


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