Smile Politely

Conversation starting decorations for your Thanksgiving table

A small plastic star trophy that says All-Star Grandma on the base.
Julie McClure

Thanksgiving is a time that brings friends and family together. Sometimes it’s a joyous gathering, sometimes it’s a stressful combination of personalities. Often it involves people that you don’t see on a regular basis. No matter what your situation, if you are gathering with others for this holiday, you will be spending time sitting at a table together. Instead of the usual catching up sort of banter, why not inspire some lively conversation with a few strategically placed decorations that you might not find on your typical Thanksgiving table.

Here is what I found while browsing the decor offerings at Champaign County Restore recently.

A tall plastic trophy with white marble and purple embellishments. There is a gold label that says Mayor's Choice.
Julie McClure

Who is the Mayor’s Choice? Why were they chosen? Which mayor did the choosing? Just how distinguished of an honor is this? Given it’s height, this would make a good centerpiece.

A plastic photo cube with an old photo of a young man with glasses slid into one side.
Julie McClure

Generate a debate about which family member this is, even though it obviously isn’t someone in your family. Alternatively, take turns making up a story about this nice person’s life, and how this photo made its way to the Restore.

A small glass bell with a note attached, indicating that it's a "Make Up Bell", and a person wishing to make amends should ring it.
Julie McClure

Never in my decades on this planet have I seen something of this nature, but I feel that it has serious potential to stir up some old grievances and smooth things over. I can’t imagine any ways in which this exercise could get out of hand.

A small plastic star trophy that says All-Star Grandma on the base.
Julie McClure

This is a sweet one. Place this in front of grandma, and everyone goes around the table saying why she’s an all-star. More than one grandma at Thanksgiving? Well now it’s a debate, and there can only be one winner.

A wooden sign with the number 9 carved in it.
Julie McClure
A handmade ornament with red and white yarn and google eyes with a bell in the center.
Julie McClure

These items are placed together. There are nine eyes on this lovely handmade item. Let’s just see where that leads.

So obviously there are plenty of strange items to be found in a store that sells donated items. However, there are definitely treasures to be found as well. Here are a couple of items I would totally buy for real.

A collection of small frosted red candle holders.
Julie McClure

I love these pretty candle holders. They would be lovely lining the center of a holiday table.

A collection of small glasses with handles sitting on a wooden shelf.
Julie McClure

Look at these great little glasses! Perfect for eggnog or punch. Restore has a lot of glassware, from single items (if you want an eclectic look) to sets like this.

Whether you want to go traditional or a little weird, don’t sleep on Restore as an option for your upcoming holiday needs.

Champaign County Restore
1914 Glenn Park Drive
Tu 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
W to F 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Sa 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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