Does anyone have any tips for making a great, creative holiday centerpiece? What are your favorite centerpieces? Any rules you always follow?
My mom mixed it up this year at Thanksgiving and sort of casually bunched up the table runner here and there instead of laying it flat, with little gourds and tiny dried ears of purple corn scattered down the middle. Short candles in the center. It was lovely.
My two rules of thumb are: if it's in the dining room, you shouldn't be able to smell it (except perhaps the smell of fresh pine or fir). Heavily scented holiday decorations make it impossible for many of us even to taste our food, much less enjoy it, not to mention that they are tacky. And as others have said, keep it low. I generally break the time-honored rule of no candles before sunset during the winter months, at least on cold, overcast days. But I only light small candles, nestled in fresh greens. ;o) P.S. To me, there's no more appealing and inviting holiday table than one with beautiful trivets on it, with serving utensils alongside them, waiting for the fragrant dishes to be brought out from the kitchen.
Ditto on keep it low. Yes on candles.
Do NOT include small pieces. I have some wonderful vintage lead German skating figures that I usually display on a long piece of mirror that sort of simulates ice. One year I decided to use the display on the table instead of on a mantle. What with passing dishes around, some of the figures got knocked off the "ice," and I began to worry that a guest might swallow one!
I like using fresh cranberries with white candles. For my TG table, I filled a long, rectangular white platter with cranberries, with three white votives down the middle. You can't get much simpler, and it's really pretty.
Here is an edible centerpiece I make = a Yeast Wreath. The photo shows a vase with bow in the middle that has some height, this particular one was made for an open house party so height wasn't a problem. The center of the wreath is up to you, whatever fits the occasion.
Yikes! No idea why the link is looking so messed up, just type in : Rosemary-Thyme Yeast Wreath. (PS-Editors, could you delete the bad link? Thank you)