The last column offered ideas on setting your holiday table. Today’s column will offer ideas to create a focal point for your table – the centerpiece.

Fresh flower arrangements create a beautiful centerpiece on any table. There are so many options available at local florists and in grocery stores. You can make your own arrangement with purchased flowers and added greenery from your yard. A lovely zygocactus in full bloom adds both texture and color to your table. Consider using a hollowed-out pumpkin with a vase inside to arrange your flowers or use the pumpkin as a planter for the zygocactus.

A collection of clear mason jars of different sizes serves nicely as a centerpiece. Simply add one or more flowers to each jar. The jars can be grouped in the center of the table, or spread out along the length of the table. If your table is round or an oval, give each person their very own flower arrangement.

Put all of those mini pumpkins left over from Halloween to good use. Hollow them out and insert an empty glass votive holder and add one or more flowers to create mini centerpieces.

Place tree branches with brightly colored leaves still attached into a tall vase. To preserve the color of your leaves place the branches in a solution of glycerin and water. (Glycerin can be purchased at drug stores and craft stores.) First give the branches a fresh cut and lightly crush the ends of each branch stem with a hammer. Place the branches in a vase filled with a glycerin-water solution and place the vase out of direct sunlight. Use 1 part glycerin to 2 parts water, so if you use 1 cup of glycerin, use 2 cups of water. Begin this project a week or so before the holiday to be certain the leaf color is to your liking.

Perhaps you want to create a horn of plenty for your table. The cornucopia is the traditional symbol of bounty and good harvest often seen on Thanksgiving. Simply purchase a “horn of plenty” wicker basket in a size that fits your dining table. Place some burlap, or a large serving platter under the basket. Fill your wicker basket with foods like sweet potatoes, gourds, winter squash, small pumpkins, or nuts. If you want something more colorful, use apples, oranges, grapes and pears. Allow the items to flow out of your basket and onto the burlap or platter. This creates the abundant appearance of a “horn of plenty.”

Make a “Thankful Tree.” This idea was recommended for Halloween in the form of a “spooky tree.” The same principle applies. Find a vase you want to use for your centerpiece. Add branches to the vase.

Ask each member of the family to write a few words about what they are thankful for on a small slip of paper or card stock. Punch a hole in the corner of each paper, attach a piece of twine or raffia and tie the papers to the branches.

During your holiday meal, ask each participant to remove a slip of paper from the tree and read the message. Not only is the tree decorative, but it reminds us of the importance of gratitude.

Use a runner in the center of your table. Along the length of the table, add greenery, small pumpkins, gourds, nuts, and even some shiny beads.

Add in some tall candlesticks with tapers or several votives and you have a textural and harvest themed centerpiece for your guests.

Thanksgiving is more than eating and decorating. This holiday, take some time to reflect on gratitude in all things. I wish each of you a holiday filled with abundant joy. Happy Turkey Day!

Sharon Preston is certified in interior decorating and has been decorating residential and commercial spaces for 11 years. Email her at