By Nadia Arumugam |

Thanksgiving Table Centerpieces Using Mini Pumpkins, Gourds and Cranberries

I can’t say that I haven’t been just the slightest bit obsessed with Thanksgiving this year. It’s our first year of hosting the festive occasion to kickstart all other festive events, and well, I’m quite excited about the prospect. As a transplant from the U.K., Thanksgiving has always held a certain mysticism for me. The menu seems filled with dishes that should repel me yet curiously appeals. If no-one physically stops me, or confiscates all marshmallows from the vicinity, there will be pureed root vegetables smothered in toasted, pillow white fluff. My turkey has undergone at least 20 preparations in my mind, but I think I’ve settled on brining the crown over 2 days in a salty sweet concoction, then roasting with a thin layer of truffle and wild mushroom butter under the skin for a boost of flavor. With the legs, I’m reaching deep into my Eastern roots and going for a Tandoori roast – I’m convinced this will either be the showstopper, or I’ll be the only one gnawing at a bone at the end of the table.

As for the table decoration, well, my desk has a perfect view of our dining table, and in between short bursts of work, I’ve been occupied by revelries of table decor that would put Louis XIV’s extravagances to shame. Suffice to say, none of my dreams of Parisian excess will come to fruition, firstly because it looks like I’ll have my hands full of turkey parts, and secondly because I don’t have the patience or the creative expanse to actually fulfill whatever grand landscape is the flavor of the moment.

So, instead I ordered a $30 box of mixed mini pumpkins and gourds. I probably didn’t need $30 worth – which translates to about 12 mini pumpkins and the same number of mixed gourds, but that’s all they had at Autumn Harvest Pumpkins, and so that’s what I got. They arrived in good time, and were in almost perfect conditions, however, they weren’t wrapped or buffered with any protective tissue or bubble wrap and so some of the squash were a tad bruised and a few of the stems on the mini pumpkins broke off (a shame since I hoped to tie ribbons around them to attach place cards).

I also shelled out on a packet of fresh Ocean Spray cranberries, dug out my one nice candle, a vase, and our special cake stand. With these few accessories, I tried my hand at putting together some centerpiece ideas that I think look quite lovely and festive. I haven’t decided which I’ll go for on the big day, but I’m really loving the cake stand filled with cranberries as a base concept.

What do you think? Please share if you have any other ideas!


  1. Jt | October 8th, 2012

    I have used acorns, popcorn crabapples and small pine cones as base filler. as well as purchased preserved autumn leaves and Babybreathe from craft store or local florist.