Happy Thanksgiving to all!
I thought I’d share the pictures from our family Thanksgiving celebration earlier this year. Canadian Thanksgiving is held on the second Monday of October, which is Columbus Day in the US. We held ours even earlier, as Glenn and I were going to be away in October. How fondly I am now thinking of the gorgeous fall weather we had.
As anyone who has hosted a big holiday meal can attest, no matter how prepared one thinks they are, there is a telescoping moment right near crunch time as the final tweak is completed, everyone is seated, and the food is served. So I try to do as much as I can either the day before or early in the morning the day of. I had lots of help this year setting the table.
Yes, I think she has the right number of leaves in the table. I wonder where I will be sitting?
Tablecloth ironed, the runner in place, lanterns filled with mini-pumpkins and candles. Check.
This year’s theme revolved around a vintage Fitz & Floyd set of serving ware from the 1980s called Pilgrim’s Progress. It’s a funny set, bound to appeal to youngsters and the young at heart. I discovered it on eBay when looking for some Thanksgiving-themed napkin rings. There were four of this adorable turkey on offer and I snapped them up, not realizing there was an entire set of coordinating pieces.
Once I figured out the extent of the collection, I started accumulating the pieces, not sure if I’d get a set together in time for Thanksgiving this year, but luck favoured me. The common element in all the pieces is the hapless turkey.
The candlesticks came next. One features hatchet-wielding Percival the Pilgrim, cheerfully seeking out the sneaky turkey, perched above him in the tree. The second is of a falsely smiling Prudence the Pilgrim concealing a hatchet behind her back while attempting to lure the turkey down from his perch above her. (slideshow below)
Beyond collecting the pieces, I hadn’t given much thought to how to style the table until the morning of the meal. Yikes – better get cracking. I thought that the pewter-rimmed Emerson plates from Juliska might work and that proved to be the case. The octagonal chargers worked, too. After that, though, I hit a bit of a snag.
The Pilgrim’s Progress pieces feature mostly pastels; the grey has a pale blue undertone. Hmmm.
Venetian “basket glasses” in peachy shades seemed to work.
The tablecloth was the real coordinating feature. It had both the taupes and the greys needed, and the bold pattern provided a strong geometric relief to all the whimsical detail in the figurines.
Yawn…Who cares? Just bring on the turkey, already. This boy is fading away.
Me, too, The smell of that roasting turkey is driving me crazy. When do we eat?
Turkey. Do you mean me??? You’re after me, too? Not only do I have to evade those wretched axe-carrying Pilgrims, but apparently I now have a cat to contend with, too. And a vicious dog. Or three.
The butter dish is among my favourite of all the pieces. Those dangling wattles just kill me.
The gravy boat has Prudence hauling away at the turkey at one end…
while he leans back, resisting mightily at the other. It comes complete with a ladle.
Gradually, I accumulated twelve napkin rings. I dithered for some time over the napkin choice and finally settled on the grey gingham edged ones from Williams Sonoma a few years ago.
Oddly, the most elusive pieces were the salt and pepper shakers. I’d almost given up on them but managed to snag a pair just as we were leaving the Cape at the end of the summer.
I set up a dessert station in the adjoining family room. Giving little girls something to look forward to goes a long way toward rapid vegetable consumption throughout the meal.
The teapot had quite an adventure in joining its brethren. The first one I bought arrived smashed into a zillion pieces. The lid was intact, though. I contacted the vendor and let them know. They issued me a credit and I was in possession of a lid and no teapot. Strangely, a teapot body with no lid showed up a few days later on eBay and voila. I was once again within reach of a complete teapot. Happily, it arrived unscathed; lid and body were united.
The two mugs feature Prudence and Percival handles. Watercolour Leaf plates from Pottery Barn coordinated very nicely with the set.
Pilgrim Cupcake Toppers from MeriMeri adorn Apple Spice cupcakes.
The dogs have their eyes riveted on the front door, eager to greet the family as it arrives.
There are two water jugs in the set, and I bought the Percival Pitcher, with him reading a recipe book with the alarmed Thanksgiving Turkey looking over his shoulder.
All set. Ready to go. The turkey roasting in the oven, all the veg preparation has been done. The stuffing is ready to go into the oven in a few minutes. The kids and grandkids have arrived. Ok, everyone. Before the girls get too involved down in the playhouse, let’s get outside for the annual photo. The light is in entirely the wrong place this late in the day, but who cares? Get the timer going. Smile everyone! You too, Rabbit the Dog.
Now for the semi-annual girls on the porch swing picture. We try to do one at Easter and another at Thanksgiving. They’re a very happy crew.
From our family to yours – Happy Thanksgiving!
I’m sharing this post with Between Naps on the Porch.
Oh my. This is such a delightful tablescape – it would be impossible not to smile when looking at it. The expressions on the faces of Percival, Prudence, and the turkey are just priceless! I’m not sure which one is my favourite piece, but the pitcher with the turkey looking over Percival’s shoulder with the recipe book is hilarious. It must have been so much fun to collect and assemble this table. Thanks for sharing.
I had such a good time tracking down the pieces and then assembling the table. It was a big hit with the kids, and a nice change from pumpkins. 🙂
Hope you and yours had a lovely Thanksgiving. Enjoy the rest of the weekend.
Full on prep for Christmas now. From one holiday to the next!
I have quite a few pieces of Fitz & Floyd ware, but this collection! So expressive! So funny! I’m sure everyone at the table enjoyed each and every piece.
They did, Sandra. I’m sure it will make many Thanksgiving appearances. The kids loved it.
Lovely and so well thought out. Can you comment on the napkins? I would love to make a set.
The napkins were a Williams Sonoma offering about five or six years ago. The edge is kind of a diamond check pattern and there is some fine embroidery spaced on the narrow point of the inner scallops. They came in Navy, Grey and I think one other colour. They discontinued them after one season, unfortunately. I have both the grey and the navy. Sorry I can’t give you more detail. I’ve just combed google hoping to find a reference but no luck.
I love the silly turkey gravy boat! Very special goofy butter dish. LOL
Fritz and Floyd has figural pig tureen stuffing his face with leafy greens. Another kid- pleasing piece I wish I owned.