homemade thanksgiving centerpieces use natural itemsWhen the last piece of Halloween candy has been devoured and the sugar high is over, it’s time to look forward to the cozy festivities of Thanksgiving.  If you happen to be preparing the feast this year in addition to being pregnant or the mother of a little one, you may feel oppressive exhaustion just thinking of a centerpiece.

Fear not!  There are several gorgeous things to choose from which are probably laying in your front yard or in the park up the street.  On a brisk autumn walk you and your child can easily gather lovely items to display on Thanksgiving without breaking a sweat.

Here are some of Mother Nature’s offerings that will make for an elegant display:

  1. Fall Leaves: Gather them now and press them between heavy books.  If possible, look for dramatic contrasting colors so that you have a vibrant display.
  2. Mini-pumpkins, gourds and squash: Your local farmers market probably has some beautiful offerings that can be elegantly arranged on your tabletop.  And many of these artistic masterpieces are edible!
  3. Acorns: My three year old son has begun hoarding acorns in his pockets whenever we go to the park.  I didn’t understand his obsession until I looked a bit closer.  These little gems are so elegant!  Sprinkle them across your table runner and then save them for next year.
  4. Candles: For just a buck or two you can enjoy the soft glow of candlelight.  It enhances the mood, makes the food look even more delicious, and totally fascinates the children.  Could it even lead to better table manners?  We can hope…
  5. Potted Plant: Contrasting the shiny green leaves of the plant with your other fall centerpiece items will make for a lovely display of colors.
  6. Pine cones: If you happen to live in a zone full of coniferous trees, gather up a variety of pine cones and display them in all their geometric brilliance.  Days before the event you’ll want to immerse them in a bucket of water with some rocks on top for an hour or so and then dry them.  Otherwise you may have insects exiting the cones and making an entrance during Thanksgiving dinner.  Yuck!
  7. Apples: The bright reds, greens and yellows of this seasonal fruit go perfectly with fall leaves and autumn gourds.  Pick up a pretty array at a farm stand and then sample them in the days after the feast when you’re hungry for something other than bread and potatoes.

Do you have other easy ideas for Thanksgiving centerpieces? Are you in charge of the cooking this year?  Do you have tricks to share with the rest of us? Do tell!