Let’s talk turkey. Thanksgiving in the era of the coronavirus is going to be different. Large gatherings are out and small get-togethers will be altered. But why let 2020 take the fun and tradition out of everything? No matter how pared down your Thanksgiving will be, make it special by creating a beautiful table. Here are some ideas, plus suggestions for items guests can bring to socially distanced gatherings.
Mismatched artist-made settings
Mismatched table settings are striking when done right. With Tampa Bay being home to so many ceramic artists, it’s easy to create a table that showcases their range of talents while supporting someone local. The Morean Center for Clay in St. Petersburg is a good place to start. The center offers classes and is home to artist studios and an artist-in-residence program.
A recent visit proved it was easy to pull together a tablescape of unique handmade items in colors that reflect the season. That’s the key to a mismatched table: finding common colors throughout for cohesiveness. Using artist-made functional pottery means you’ll have one-of-a-kind items that can be conversation starters. The items featured in the photo are made by many different artists and range in price from $15 to $90.
Thrift store finds for a table for two
When it’s just two people, there’s a temptation to eat off paper plates in front of the television. But since we’re making this Thanksgiving special, make an effort and set the table with nice dishes. This can be done without breaking the bank by checking out local thrift stores and combining the settings with things you already have.
The setting in the photo was made for about $20. The plates, which are from Pier One and are porcelain, were $4 each at the St. Vincent de Paul Cares Thrift Store in St. Petersburg, where the floral saucers, mismatched teacups and drinking glasses were also found. (Those were all less than a dollar.)
The wine glasses and assorted cutlery came from the CASA Community Thrift Shop in St. Petersburg. The gold and brown velvet ribbon was also found there, and I used it to create napkin rings and decoration for a candleholder. The candleholder, tablecloth, napkins, wine decanter and ceramic bowl were all things I found around the house.
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Finding the gold swirl plates set the table’s scheme. The saucers with pale turquoise flowers echoed the round motif shape and have hints of gold and silver in them, which is mimicked in the drinking and wine glasses and gold and silver mismatched cutlery.
Socially distanced gathering suggestions
Among the ways to maintain social distance at a small gathering is to eat outside or avoid a communal table entirely. Another idea is for guests to bring their own food. All these strategies call for the use of trays, to bring food on and to eat from. Find them at big box stores like Target, or make it special with this cheerful serving tray by Florida-based Art by Mele. It’s $103 and available at St. Petersburg gallery Florida CraftArt.
Food could be easily transported in these resin fruit bowls, too, also from Art by Mele. Load them onto the tray and bring your own Thanksgiving dinner while being safe among loved ones.