Maybe if I dry 100 perfect oak leaves months ahead of time, hand paint them all gold, and then arrange them around tiny pumpkins so they look like a perfect replica of the Horn of Plenty, I will finally achieve Stewart Status...
Setting a holiday table can be overwhelming (especially in this era of Pinterest that we live in). Being able to Google any craft or scroll through 100s of photos of what everyone else is doing is great, but we can spend so much time browsing that we'll run out of time to make the meal! That might be an exaggeration, but you get the point. We as a culture can get a bit obsessed with out Martha-ing Martha, or at least each other. It shouldn't have to be a competition! It does, however, feel nice to serve the meal you worked so hard to prepare at a table that is worthy of it's flavours.
We think we have your answer. Pick a guiding principle for your decor and stick to it. Our suggestion? Sustainability. It is the perfect theme really. It will easily eliminate anything plastic or mass produced, so you know your table is going to look unique. You'll want to choose all reuseable or recyclable items so nothing will go to waste. Plus you'll feel good about everything you lay out knowing that the Earth will be thankful for your conscious efforts to reduce waste.
Place settings are easily achieved with a set of Falcon Enamelware dishes. Their jugs are great for drinks or flowers too. They will last so long you'll probably be able to use them for every dinner you ever host. That is value!
Dans le Sac has your lap covered with their hemp/cotton reuseable napkins. Try your hand at a little fancy folding with these quick instructions. Spending a few minutes on the details really elevates your table.
The main event itself, the food, should have a place of honour to rest. Convivial's ceramic serving trays and bowls are solid and their white finish offers every side-dish the perfect backdrop. All their products are handmade, so even if you have multiple pieces in the same style, they will all vary a little bit, giving each item it's own character. Same goes for their vases, which can be used for centre pieces or bouquets around the room.
As for greenery, get out some shears and head to the forest. Long cedar branches, fluffy fir needles, smooth salal leaves, and spikey pine are all things easily foraged in our West Coast forests. Lay them in a long, runner-like line, or tuck them around serving platters. Pop a few into vases with some locally sourced flowers or some colourful leaves from a deciduous tree like a big leaf maple for an extra pop.
Not hosting? Great, pressure is off for you! But wouldn't it be thoughtful to bring a gift to the person going to all that work? A 100% soy wax, hand poured candle would be a perfect addition to their sustainable decor. Plus they can light it up after dinner to re-set the scent in their home and create a little evening ambiance.
It is often the ingredients on the plate that get the most attention at a big meal, as they should. Supporting local farmers and sourcing the most sustainably grown food should be a focus of every meal we plan. It is important to keep a handle on the whole picture. Staying mindful of how your meals are prepared and presented means you will always have something to be thankful for: good food, a beautiful table, and a cleaner, happier planet.
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