Put the free printable on every place setting!

By Real Simple
Updated October 25, 2016
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Create a “runner” by lining up various potted herbs and nestling in a few bread boards, etc. (You don’t have to be too perfect with the placement.) Stick with neutral pots—gray, white, terra-cotta—if you’re planning on colorful place settings. Fresh herbs are a bang-for-your-buck pick: they lend a table a lush, leafy look along with a subtle scent.This display does double duty: the potted plants can turn into parting gifts when your guests are ready to go home. To buy: American Modern dinner plate in white, $36, schoolhouseelectric.com. Matte black flatware set, $39 for five pieces, westelm.com. Cape recycled glassware, $40 for four, westelm.com. Marble and wood cutting board in paddle, $39, westelm.com. Bread knife, $34, brookfarmgeneralstore.com. Small plate in check pattern, $20, ovoceramics.etsy.com. Square brushed-wire fruit bowl, $12, anthropologie.com.
David Meredith

There are so many ways to talk gratitude at the Thanksgiving table, but none of them are this much fun. (Yes! Gratitude can be fun!) And if you have family members—ahem, teenagers—who aren’t necessarily eager to get sentimental about counting their blessings, this is for you. Jenny Rosenstrach, author of How to Celebrate Everything (and a mother of two teenagers) created a version of the famous Mad Libs that you can print and place at every plate to jumpstart the whole “What are you grateful for?” conversation. It’s a trick she’s used at her own family table, and now you can, too. Here’s how it works: Leave a printout at each seat—or let this be a cocktail hour activity—and have guests pair up. Each person can ask her partner to fill in the blanks (activity, food, verb, noun—you remember doing this in elementary school, right?), and then read the hilarious results around the table. If you want to be more sincere, let each guest fill out her own. Or put the finished sheets in a stack, read them out loud, and let guests guess whose is whose. They might be completely absurd or make no sense at all, but who cares? At the very least, it’s a break from talking about politics (yikes) or an ice-breaker for a big group that doesn’t all know each other well. It’s our special Thanksgiving gift for you—because, sorry, we can’t ship you a pie. Enjoy.

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