A Thanksgiving Tradition
When you think of Thanksgiving, what comes to mind? Turkey, of course. Potatoes and stuffing. Squash and cranberry sauce, maybe. And don't forget the pies! Apple, pumpkin, pecan...all go together to make your Thanksgiving dining table a traditional beauty. And what rounds out the table better than a gorgeous centerpiece? Thanksgiving flowers are an important part of any holiday feast, bringing some of the beauty of the season into your home and into your meal. Every bit as much a matter of tradition as the food, fall and harvest themed flowers bring with them a touch of season and a hint of nature.
Perhaps the most iconic Thanksgiving floral piece is the centerpiece. The centerpiece comprises seasonal flowers, and often one or more candles. The flowers are fall themed, and often colored accordingly. Reds and oranges are very popular, as are yellows. Orange roses and carnations make great choices for a Thanksgiving piece, and yellow or darker colored sunflowers go very well too, as do seasonally colored lilies. These flowers are arranged around the candle or candles, also often orange and red, which are then lit to bring some warmth and light to the table. Surrounding the centerpiece is often more fall colored flowers, like the aforementioned orange and red carnations, lilies, and roses. Purples are included sometimes as well. Finally, many centerpieces include a smattering of fall colored leaves. Fallen oak leaves and acorns make beautiful additions to any seasonal Thanksgiving piece.
The so-called “horn of plenty” is a popular tradition around this time of year, symbolizing the bountiful harvest we take from the earth as summer ends and cold weather approaches. A reminder of just what we gather together to express our gratitude for every autumn. Thanksgiving is a time to remember how blessed we all are, and the cornucopia never fails to bring this to mind. The cornucopia is a woven wicker basket, filled to the brim with seasonal vegetables and fruits, and it actually predates the Thanksgiving traditions. Originally, this horn of plenty dated back to Greek mythology, and was a basket that constantly provided an endless supply of food and drink for its owner. We see the beginnings of our own traditions in this story, as the cornucopia came to be associated with bounty and abundance. How did it get to be our Thanksgiving centerpiece? Well it may have been derived from older harvest festival traditions in which goat's horns were filled with food to celebrate the season. Today, the cornucopia is on the flag of the state of Idaho, again symbolizing abundance.
What is Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie? Somewhere around fifty million pumpkin pies are eaten every Thanksgiving, making it one of the most popular traditions. But to us florists, the pumpkin is more than just food. In fact, it's a key part of many of our most popular and beautiful arrangements. The pumpkin, hollowed out, can be a holder for flowers, and sometimes becomes a centerpiece in its own right. Pumpkins are native to the new world, and their traditional association with the harvest festival dates back to colonial times. Interestingly, there is no real evidence to suggest that the Pilgrims actually ate pumpkin pies at the feast we now know as the “first Thanksgiving.” It is very unlikely that the Pilgrims would have brought much, or any, sugar with which to make pies. Their Wampanoag neighbors, however, may have taught them to make a pumpkin dish that involved cooking the pumpkin in the embers of a fire, then eating the roasted pieces.
Thanksgiving is an American tradition, and part of that tradition is bringing home some of the autumn we celebrate. Flowers are a powerful way of doing just that. Visit us at The Black Opal Florist for the perfect addition to your feast this year.