While we love Christmas, and all the cheer that comes with it, we’re only in November, folks–and only the beginning of it, at that. We’re just not ready to pull out all the ornaments and don the tree yet; there’s still a lot of time this fall to sit back, cozy up, and be thankful for what we have all around us (despite what the big box retailers want us to believe…it’s not all about the race, Black Friday, and whether or not we’re opening ON Thanksgiving). Maybe it’s being a small business, on Main Street, in an OLD building, that keeps us moving at an ‘old time’ pace…but, we’re all about slowing it down, and sitting down, to the meat and potatoes instead of zipping around, grabbing at the fast food. (Hmmm. Did that analogy make any sense to you? It did to us. Kinda…) Anyway, today we’re sticking to Thanksgiving and want to talk a little bit about the centerpiece. It’s such a staple at the table…but, why?
Typically, a centerpiece is used to set the theme, and help to decorate for a special occasion. They usually sit at the middle of the dinner table and are, most times, low enough that you can see over them (to keep the conversation going). The psychology behind them says that they are a good focal point to keep folks focused inward, toward each other, during mealtime. Many centerpieces are made up with seasonal flowers and, sometimes, contain a candle in the center. Whatever the reason we use them, and whatever they look like, we love them so much.
Centerpieces have been around for quite some time, dating all the way back to Roman times. The Romans would use foliage, vases, and pottery at their tables for decoration. During the Middle Ages, Aristocratic tables were often too crowded for ‘traditional’ centerpieces, so they would include the desert (pastries, and marzipan shaped like people and animals) in theirs. (That, actually, sounds genius to us. We could add some treats into the ones that we make…right?) Throughout the 18th, and 19th century, centerpieces were often vertical in display. They would use pyramids of food, often times built up on epergnes, or tiered dishes. (We are totally picturing the Great Hall at Hogwarts right now. 🙂 ) As the 19th century rolled on, the use of flowers, and foliage, came back to the dinner table. The flowers that were chosen would often reflect the season. Candelabras were also a popular choice for dinner tables. As the 20th century began, floral arrangements left the tables and objects took over. A hostess might, for example, use a miniature Christmas tree at a Christmas meal, or a small windmill for a Dutch themed event. Toward the middle of the century, food came back into style for the centerpiece; and during the 60’s and 70’s, flowers came back in (with the flower children, of course 🙂 ) and have never really left–which brings us to where we are now.
Whether you’re hosting Thanksgiving this year and need something to spruce up your table–or, maybe you are looking for the perfect hostess gift, our centerpieces are exactly what you need. Give us a call if you’d like to order, or have questions about what we can create for you. We’ll deliver it the day before Thanksgiving (because there is no WAY we will ever be open ON Thanksgiving), or you can stop in to pick it up. In fact, since we can’t bake the turkey, make the kids use their manners, or deal with your in-laws, this might, actually, be the easiest part of your holiday. 🙂