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Setting the Table for Thanksgiving

October 7, 2016. Home How-To's

Madison Hope

Posted by Madison Hope

With Thanksgiving on the horizon I always start to think about setting the table. What will my centrepiece be like? What kind of dishes will I set out for my guests? I often feel like setting the table can turn into a rushed, last-minute task that we leave to family members who awkwardly stand in the kitchen asking how they can help you as they watch you run around. But, with just a few minutes of prep, your table can be something you feel proud to share with your loved ones this Thanksgiving.

Luckily for you, we’re here to make it easy this year!




When getting ready to properly set the table you will want to start with the basics.

  • Set our your place mats. If you’re in need, we’ve got a great selection here!
    • I like to mix and match my placemats. Sometimes I’ll rotate the colours and patterns around the table, and sometimes I use something extra special to go at the heads of the table to compliment the upholstered chairs at each end. For more ideas on seating, you can prep for the big day here.
  • You’ll want to set out your plate in the centre of the placement, with everything else around it. Like the above diagram, you’re going to want to put your knife on the right side, accompanied by your spoons. Little one (dessert spoon) on the inside with the largest spoon (soup or beverage) on the very edge. As for the left side, you’re going to want to put your biggest fork (your dinner fork) next to the plate, and the smallest fork (salad fork) on the very outside.

And well…that’s about it. It really is as easy as (pumpkin) pie!

On a final note, of course we have a few tips and tricks to pulling off the perfect dinner party:

  • When picking out and arranging your centre piece, make sure it isn’t too tall (10 to 12 inches is about as high as you’d want to go), otherwise guests won’t be able to see each other across the table. As you know, the best dinner parties are the ones with the best conversation!
  • Serve appetizers and beverages in the living room before sitting down to the table. This will help keep guests out of the kitchen and out your way, and the added bonus is that you’ll have one less course to bring to the table.
  • Before serving dessert, clear the table of all dishes, including extra glasses, salt and pepper shakers, cranberry sauce, gravy boats and all the rest.
  • If you have an assortment of desserts feel free to bring it all out onto the table – no need to keep it in the kitchen – along with coffee and tea cups for your guests if they’d like some. Place your dessert dishes and utensils on the table and don’t forget the cream and sugar!
  • Enjoy your evening with your guests! Avoid the temptation to clear the table and start washing dishes…that can wait until after your guests leave.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Susan Green - October 7, 2016

Fork goes on the left, knife on the right. The diagram is correct but the description is not, for anyone using this to set their Thanksgiving table.

Madison Hope - October 7, 2016

Hi Susan! You’re totally right! Oops! I have updated the post now. Thanks for your comment and Happy Thanksgiving!

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