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Setting the Christmas Table

Nothing says “festive” quite like a well dressed dining room table. This Christmas, try spicing the meal up with a new way of trimming the table.

Here are a few easy, inexpensive ideas.


The General Look

For an elegant table, use a white tablecloth and white china. Use silver, gold, or copper (or a mixture of these) for the placemats, napkins, and other trimmings.

For a bold, old fashioned look, choose burgundy and evergreen hues for the linens and trim with white, cream or gold.

Setting the Christmas Table

For a modern but warm look, select white linens and china and accessories in shades of natural green. Add touches of gold, if desired.



Encircle a pillar candle with a simple green wreath. Fill in the space between the wreath and the candle with glass Christmas ball ornaments, white and red striped peppermint candies or nuts in shells.

Fill a clear glass vase with fresh cranberries, then add water and fresh flowers.

Use a small nativity scene as the centerpiece. If the stable is too large for guests to comfortably talk over, just use the figures to recreate the first Christmas.

Wrap small, inexpensive gifts in neat boxes and place them on a platter or bowl in the center of the table. Once the meal is over, each guest can open a gift.


Place three simple bowls in the center of the table to represent the original Christmas presents. Fill one with chocolate “coins” wrapped in gold.

Fill the remaining two with frankincense and myrrh spices (available at import stores).



Spray ordinary candles with craft adhesive, then roll in metallic glitter. Allow them to dry overnight before placing in candle holders.

Fill old Mason jars with fresh cranberries, add water, and let votive candles float on top.


Other Ideas

Using evergreen clippings from your yard, make a circle shape on a placemat and hot glue or sew in place. Be sure whatever china you’re using will fit comfortably inside the circle wreath.

For a dainty and unusual decoration, fill a small clear glass vase with Jordan almonds. Place one carnation into a florist’s tube and slip the tube inside the almond-filled vase.

To trim the edge of the main food platter, cut red and green apples into wedges, immediately dunking them in lemon juice to keep them from browning. Alternating the colors, set the wedges on their side, completely around the platter.

Other Ideas

Using clear glass plates offers lots of opportunity for creativity. Try sprinkling a solid colored plate with shiny foil stars, then setting a glass plate on top. Or cut scrapbooking paper so it fits neatly beneath the bottom of the clear plates. Or, instead of scrapbooking paper, use a collage of family Christmas photos.

Use a real branch – painted white or silver, if you like – in a vase as a centerpiece or side table decoration. Trim it with small Christmas ornaments.

Trim chairs with wide, wired ribbons tied in a bow, or add a sprig of mistletoe or a few sleigh bells to the back of each chair. Use the same ribbon and sleigh bells as a napkin ring.

Fold napkins in a cone shape and fill with nuts or sweets.


Check out the video version of this article on YouTube

Setting the Christmas Table


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