Make holidays extra-special with dressed up tables
It's not always easy to preserve traditions and try something new during the holidays, but the table is a safe place to start.
Dressing it up with simple touches can make the holidays extra-special without changing family memories too much. Look around you; fall's bounty provides a wonderful array of possibilities.
Try using place cards: This is a very easy way to add an extra touch to your tablescape. Try pine-cone place card holders. Indian corn husks also lend themselves to this idea. Buy the corncobs with dried husks still attached, and write each guest's name directly on the husk.
Candle decorations: Candles add so much to ambience, and you can spruce them up in so many ways. Try an artichoke candle: Snip off 1 1/2 inches of the top of a green or purple artichoke, trim the sharp pointed edges of the outer leaves, and cut the base stem so the artichoke will sit on the table. Push open the leaves at the top with a fork and place a votive candle inside with about 1/4 inch of the candle sticking out on top. If you do several, this can work as a centerpiece as well.
Centerpieces: For a sleek look, fill low glass or silver bowls with baby artichokes, acorns and polished stones. Intersperse natural vines between the bowls on the table and add lots of white votive candles. The look adds great texture, and the green adds color to the table.