This year, instead of grabbing a quick slice of pizza before going trick-or-treating, start early and throw a Halloween dinner party with a candy-filled table that will make everyone want to stay a while.
Place a mini pumpkin on each plate for a placecard. Use an edible food writer marker to write each guest's name on her pumpkin, or tie small nametags onto the stems. Roll up napkins and wrap with black licorice whips. For favors, pick up mini metal pails in the dollar section or at galvanizedpail.com, and fill with your candy of choice. If you're into coordinating your candy with your color scheme, you'll love the Candy Warehouse sort-by-color feature. For the centerpiece, go candy crazy with a Candy Kabob. Pick gummy candies in an assortment of sizes and shapes (color-coordinated, of course) and skewer onto a long bamboo stick. Place the skewers in vases or jars.
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Thanksgiving is all about gathering around the table and staying a while. So while we're here, let's make it an engaging Thanksgiving table that's all about giving thanks.
At each place setting, place a small piece of paper and a pencil for your guests to jot down their words of thanks and place them in an apothecary jar in the center of the table. These notes of thanks can be pulled out during or after the meal and read aloud. Roll up a napkin and tie on a faux wishbone with raffia. For favors, set each place with a small gratitude journal and twig pencil, so your family and friends can express their thanks all year.
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Fall means harvest time, so bring the bounty in with a nature-inspired table. Line the center of your table with wooden berry baskets filled with crabapples. Between each berry box, place clear vases or jars filled with small bundles of wheat tied with raffia and tucked into dried beans or popcorn. Tie rolled napkins with raffia and a single wheat stalk. For placecards, cut out paper leaf shapes with names written on them, and attach to the top of a crabapple with a straight glass head pin. Serve your hearty fall meal from rustic wood serving platters and bowls to complete the natural look.
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Garlands are great decorations for harvest time or Thanksgiving.
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