Tip 1: TableclothA beautiful Christmas tablecloth that matches your color scheme and style sets the foundation for your table setting. It's often the heart of the table and plays a big role in creating the right mood at the dinner table. It also makes the room feel warmer and the sound softer and more muffled. The right tablecloth can transform a simple table into a festive and welcoming dining area. Here are some things to consider when choosing one for Christmas.
Christmas tablecloths come in many materials. Linen and cotton are popular for a classic feel, while shiny materials like satin can add a touch of luxury. A thicker material feels more luxurious and can also help to muffle the sound of dishes and cutlery.
- Color and Pattern
Red and green tablecloths are traditional for Christmas, but a white one can give a snowy, clean impression. Patterns with stars, trees, or snowflakes can add visual interest and festivity to the table.
Make sure the tablecloth fits your table with enough overhang on the sides. An overhang of 20-30 cm looks elegant and complete. If it's too short, it can look stingy, and if it's too long, it can be impractical for guests.
Choosing and presenting the right tablecloth lays the groundwork for a memorable Christmas dinner. It can also complement your other decorative elements and create a harmonious whole for your Christmas table setting.
Tip 2: Napkins and Runners
A runner can be added on top of the tablecloth for extra color and dimension or used as a simpler tablecloth in the middle of the table. Matching or contrasting napkins in linen or another fabric complete the look. Classic colors include red, green, white, and also touches of gold.
- Linen Napkins
They add a touch of luxury and are practical and decorative. They can be folded in various creative ways or used with a napkin ring for a more formal presentation. A simple knot or a classic rectangular fold can add style to your table setting. For a more decorative effect, try advanced folds that shape them into Christmas trees or stars.
- Table Runners
A table runner is a long, narrow piece of fabric placed on top of the tablecloth along the center of the table. It's an easy way to add an extra dimension of color and pattern without overwhelming the design. For Christmas, choose a table runner that contrasts or complements the tablecloth with festive motifs or a simpler design that complements the other decorative elements.
- Colors and Patterns
Choose colors and patterns that harmonize with the tablecloth and the rest of the table's decor. Linen napkins in Christmas colors like deep red, forest green, or cream can match or contrast with the runner and tablecloth to highlight the table's festive theme.
- Napkin Rings
They're not just practical for keeping napkins neatly rolled or folded; they're also important decorative elements for your Christmas table setting.
- Napkin Placement
Place the napkins to the left of the plate under the cutlery or on the plate as part of the presentation. This shows care in presentation and elevates the entire setting.
Tip 3: Table Decorations
Centerpieces like Christmas baubles, nuts, apples, small trees, or a Christmas floral arrangement work great as table decorations. It's relatively simple to decorate with these items. For example, sequins with stars or trees add to the decor!
- A Larger Centerpiece
A larger floral arrangement can be the focal point of your Christmas table setting. It can range from a traditional grouping with flowers, cones, and spruce to a modern interpretation with candles and glass balls. Keep in mind the size of the table; the centerpiece should be proportional and not prevent guests from seeing or talking to each other.
- Natural Materials
Use materials like cones, spruce, and dried citrus fruits to create a natural and rustic feel. They also give a lovely scent that enhances the Christmas feeling. A classic is oranges with cloves!
- Candlesticks and Tealights
Candlesticks of different heights and styles can be combined to create interest and dynamics. Tealights can be placed in small glass holders and distributed evenly over the table for a cozy and welcoming atmosphere.
- Small Christmas Decorations
Use small decorations like snowmen, Santas, or reindeers placed between place settings or in the center of the table to fill space and add playfulness.
Tip 4: Name Cards and Personal Greetings
Name cards and personal greetings at each place setting not only make the Christmas table more welcoming but also add an extra thoughtful and personal touch to your table setting. It takes more time, but a personal greeting is nice.
- Design and Style
The name cards should match the rest of your Christmas table setting in style and color. They can be simple folded cards of high-quality paper or more creative like small wreaths or Christmas baubles with names on them. Use calligraphy for an elegant touch or handwriting for a more personal feel. It's okay to use a printer to print out name tags :) Every thought counts!
- Personal Greeting
On the back of the name card or on a separate little note, you can write a personal greeting for each guest. It can be anything from a simple "Merry Christmas" to a more personal note about a memory you share or why you appreciate the person. This shows you've spent time and thought on each individual and makes guests feel extra special.
Tip 5: Glassware and Porcelain
When combining porcelain and glassware, it's important to think about the overall impression they make on your Christmas table setting. These elements are not just practical but also central to creating the right mood at the table. You probably have wine glasses, shot glasses, and other drinkware for water and beer. See what fits well together! A tip might be to use old crystal glasses.
- Old Crystal Glasses
They are a real treasure and can add a lot of character and elegance to a Christmas table setting. Christmas is a time for history, storytelling, and family, and these glasses fit perfectly into such an atmosphere. Maybe the elders in your family already have such glasses?
- Historical Charm
Older crystal glasses often have a history and can be hand-blown or hand-cut, giving them a unique charm. Using them can be a way to honor traditions and create a sense of nostalgia at the Christmas table.
- Quality and Craftsmanship
Crystal glasses from the past were often made with a high degree of craftsmanship. The fine cutting work, often very detailed and precise, catches the light beautifully and reflects it in the room, creating a sparkling and festive atmosphere.
- Buying Second-hand
Buying second-hand crystal glasses is not just a budget-friendly option but also an environmentally conscious choice. It gives these beautiful items a new life and can help preserve craftsmanship from being lost.
- Porcelain for the Table Setting
Choose porcelain that harmonizes with your tablecloth and decorations. If you have a colorful tablecloth, simple white porcelain with a gold or silver edge can provide a balanced and elegant look. If the tablecloth is subdued in colors, you can choose porcelain with more color or patterns to add visual interest.
Bonus: Small Gifts and Table Favors
Placing small gifts at each person's place is a gesture that can make a big impact and add an even more personal and thoughtful dimension to your Christmas table setting. Here are some ideas and tips:
- Gift Contents
Small gifts can be anything from handmade items like a knitted Christmas decoration or a little jar of homemade jam to purchased trinkets like a Christmas bauble, a chocolate praline, or a mini candle. Choose something that reflects the season or your guests' personal interests.
- Gift Packaging
The presentation of the gift is almost as important as the gift itself. Use beautiful Christmas wrapping paper, fabric bags, or small boxes. A beautiful ribbon and maybe a small spruce twig or cinnamon stick as decoration can add an extra touch.
- Gifts as Decoration
You can use the gifts as part of your table decoration. If they're beautifully packaged, they can contribute to the aesthetics of the setting before becoming a delightful surprise for the guests.
- The Christmas Gift Game
Your gifts can also be part of a Christmas gift game where you compete for who gets to open which package/gift. For example, you can roll a dice, and if it shows a 6, you can take a package from someone at the table. The dice go around among the guests for about 5-10 minutes. It's a very fun game :) But be prepared for it to get rowdy.