When you're entertaining for the holidays, don't forget that children may often want to help. Kids can transform pinecones from the backyard into whimsical turkey place settings. Although it keeps young guests busy and entertained, this project serves another purpose -- a card hung around the neck of each turkey will mark each guest's place at the table.
Fruit has a long history of being used as an adornment to grace a tabletop: A first-century fresco in Pompeii depicts a lavish table with a fruit centerpiece, and the French later raised this table decoration to a high art. Try using these easy-to-find fruits and nuts to transform your own table.
Dahlias are very exuberant and seduce the eye, so it is better to get playful than to try to control their shape in a static arrangement. Use one color as a base, playing with another on top -- it's almost impossible to go wrong and you'll get a gorgeous centerpiece.