At the Table With Nfocus: Hugh Howser

What’s your favorite holiday tradition? I love Christmas Eve with the family. I love the excitement the night before the big day!

What’s a must-have dish on your Thanksgiving table? Must have cranberry sauce! Lord, yes!

What’s your favorite part of Thanksgiving Day? I think my favorite part is the couch time after lunch, where we are all in a complete coma and no one can find the remote control.

With everyone spending so much more time at home this year, what’s your best advice for making the house feel special for the holidays? I think this year, to add a touch of humor, find old photos of family members and use them as place cards. Make sure the photos are the most embarrassing for each guest.

What’s your best advice for entertaining or celebrating the holidays in a safe way? [Have] plenty of hand sanitizer on hand, and order some custom guest towels that are disposable with a funny saying on them, like, “2021 can’t get here fast enough!”

What are your favorite seasonal flowers for holiday decorating? I love bittersweet branches, oak leaves, acorns and any rust-colored floral.

What’s your best tip for holiday centerpieces? Have a professional handle it! The last thing we need in 2020 is a rose petal in the gravy.

How do you typically dress up your Thanksgiving table? I use a vintage array of décor. I have a collection of turkeys, and I usually add in fall foliage for a traditional approach. Think Plymouth Rock in Music City!

What’s your best advice for meal planning for Thanksgiving? Don’t try and do it all. I know you want to, but let someone help you with a few of the dishes. It is overwhelming, and this year needs to be stress-free, for sure!

Do you have any Thanksgiving meal prep hacks? Start early! Don’t let the week fly by, [or] you will be in rollers while the guests are taking their seats.

What local takeout items do you recommend to round out a Thanksgiving menu? Sperry’s Mercantile, Something Special and The Picnic Cafe are my go-tos!

How will your holidays be different this year? I am trying to keep the old traditions the same. I guess the only difference is I will serve everyone in a hazmat suit with a pilgrim hat on.

Photograph by Rachel Moore