If you are anything like me when I go home for Thanksgiving, you may have attended a mini high school reunion at your local dive bar the night before the big day.  Not that it has ever happened to me but said reunion may often times result in a less than clear look at being grateful on Thanksgiving morning.  Which is why I’m here to save you from yourself with a few easy tips for setting the Thanksgiving table that will wow your guests and still give you time to take a nap.

As you drive into town on Wednesday morning fully ready to lose it from the traffic, venture over to your local fabric store to pick up a table cloth (where you also might lose it from the crowds but I really can’t handle everything for you so good luck and god speed).  That’s right – you don’t need to shop the sales at the stores you can’t afford to impress your in laws, you can simply head over to the fabric store and select a beautiful luxe pattern for your table.  Now comes the tricky part – the math.  Add the drop measurement you want to the length and width of the table measurement to determine how much fabric you need. For example, if your table is 8 feet long and 4 feet wide and you want an 11-inch drop, you need 9-by-5-foot fabric.  Have your hometown friendly associate cut your measurements and walk out the door brushing your shoulders off.  If you care about a hem, you could go home and make one but I promise you it is a waste of your life as everyone will be so wowed by your Neiman Marcus (JoAnne Fabrics) tablecloth that they won’t notice a few rough edges. 

Next, before you meet your high school best friends to talk about how skinny you used to be, head over to the grocery store for flowers.  Yes.  GASP.  The grocery store.  And if you are extra lucky and don’t have to leave the city, head on over to the deli.  If you were feeling super creative at the craft store, you could have picked up a cornucopia for your flower display but it is my guess that you were just trying not to kill someone so a plain glass vase will do.  My favorite style is between five and seven low glass vases (approx. 4 inches tall) packed tightly with the colors of the season – orange, yellow and maroon with greenery.  Or do all white flowers to make whatever amazing pattern you found at the fabric store is the star of the show (similar to how you will be the night before at the bar but I digress…). Make your own arrangement and do low vases so your guests can actually talk to each other.

Finally, the piece de resistance – the napkin holders.  Make a coffee cup full of wine and Uber to the mall.  (I never said this was easy prep, just easy the morning after you tried not to stare openly at your high school boyfriend’s new fiancé).  Go to the local teeny bopper jewelry store.  Buy out the gold and silver bangle bracelet section.  Go home and get out the white linen napkins from your parent’s basement that your mom gave you when you moved into your first apartment and she thought you would be entertaining.  Put said bangles on said napkins.  Have another glass of wine.  Go out to the dive bar. 

Wake up the next day.  Follow the instructions from the top.  Take a nap.  Pour a wine.  And listen to Great Aunt Mary talk about how easy it was to find a good man in her day.

Happy Thanksgiving!