I have seen some very fancy, formal table scapes at Thanksgiving, but my favorite one did not even have a table cloth. My daughter found the idea and we did it last year.
First, she taped brown paper (bought from a school supply store off of the roll) over the table. This became a blank canvass. Then she purchased crayons (she got specialty colors for fall, but it doesn’t matter) and we tied bundles up with raffia for each place setting. We used candles for a center-piece.
I picked up some clear plates at the dollar store and my daughter wrote with a white crayon on the brown paper a personalized note that the plates framed. This was intead of place tags.
We added oreo turkeys–everyone made their own (I had the candy and frosting laid out). I usually tie ribbon or raffia around the goblet stems, but we didn’t want the table to look over cluttered. The food was served buffet style.
Then during dinner, everyone drew a picture of things they were thankful for from the previous year. (For example, this year I would draw hiking the Subway in Zions with my children.) We went around and everyone told about their picture.
My daughter-in-law (who takes much better pictures) blogged about it last year. Check out her page.
Side note: My daughter wrote under the plates before her brother arrived. Then she ran an errand. When he came and saw the message she had left him (shown on the blog above), he also realized she hadn’t written under her own yet. So he repaid the compliment. Love sibling affection.
And see my granddaughter helping load the dishwasher. lol