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118_homespun.jpgBy Lorrie Browne

RISMEDIA, Nov. 8, 2008-Fresh off Halloween, let’s dive into Thanksgiving preparations. This is probably a good idea because there is so much going on during the fall season that the big feast can often sneak up on you. While making food preparations for the big day, don’t forget to dress up the dining room table. Setting a beautiful table is a good way to start the festivities and will have your guests feeling welcome the moment they step into the room.

Here are some simple tips to add a special twist this year:

Easy Color – You don’t have to purchase new china or a tablecloth to update your color palette. Use an ivory or white tablecloth and bring color in with candles and napkins. It’s simple, inexpensive and very effective. The food is aromatic and beautiful and the true center of attention anyway.

Name Game – Place cards are a great way to personalize the party and encourage lively and new conversation. Split up spouses and seat people together that do not normally get a chance to mingle.

Center of Attention – Centerpieces do not have to be complicated. Scatter a variety of nuts or beans in your hurricane lamps or put out small floral arrangements. Avoid anything too big, you want to encourage cross-table conversation and have ample room for the food.

Overflow – Clean off your buffet table or set up a card table covered with a table cloth. There is rarely enough room on the table for the all the food, so make sure you have room for the overflow ahead of time instead of scrambling once the hot food is ready to be served.

Dessert Buffet – Usually there are several desserts and not everyone is ready to indulge at the same time. Put the sweets out along with coffee and tea and allow people to enjoy them when they are ready.

So start creating your Thanksgiving vision, take your time to plan and enjoy the little things that make the day so special. The best Thanksgiving meal is one that is made with love, encourages laughter and relaxation and in the end motivates everyone to forge a group clean-up.

Lorrie Browne, a licensed Interior Designer, shares her decorating expertise with easy-to-follow tips, practical advice, and hundreds of categorized online retail sources at