decorated Christmas table
Julie Parker
My interest in gardening & wildlife stemmed from childhood days spent working in the garden with my parents & reading books on anything from robins to giraffes. As time has moved on these influences have stayed with me inspiring the creation my own garden & leading to interests in fish keeping & the natural world around me. I still love to read & hope that the knowledge I gain will make topical reading through these articles.

How do I dress my table at Christmas?

Christmas dinner is the highlight of the festive season; it is planned with military precision & is a feast for all your senses not just taste. Before the food is even served the setting should set the tone for what is to come & a little thought can make all the difference. You don’t have to spend a fortune, by using a few accent pieces you can pull a theme together, but it is nice to have some things that are only used on special occasions.

First of all decide on your theme, it may be a colour such as silver & purple or it could be a concept such as the natural look. Then look at the room setting, the table will be the highlight but the room may benefit from some extra touches to create a festive air. Consider placing arrangements to match your theme on side tables or a mantelpiece, possibly vases of flowers, festive garlands, a group of candles or a simple string of fairy lights.

Christmas Display Ideas

Now you need to carry your theme through to the table display starting with the textiles you are going to use. If you have a gorgeous mahogany or glass table you may not want to cover it up, but if your table is pretty ordinary cover it with a plain white tablecloth, you may also want to decorate the chairs too, use ribbons or swathes of material. Concentrate on using your place settings & the centre of your table as the main focus for your theme. Use matching place mats, table runner & napkins in your theme colour or design, if you are finding it difficult to match these up why not try making them yourself?

Christmas Dinner Table Design

Attractive tableware can add style to your Christmas table display. Use your best glasses, cutlery, china & serving dishes making sure they are sparkling clean and unscratched. As guests will probably be serving themselves you may want to layer the crockery in each place setting, alternatively use a charger or decorative plate. Napkins can be folded & placed in the glasses or on the crockery. A simple napkin fold for a wine glass involves pleating the napkin (each pleat about 2cm (1”) wide) then folding the napkin in half and placing it in the wine glass with the first inch bent over to hold the pleats. Then unfold the pleats and shape into a fan. Interlock the two centre pleats to keep the fan intact. If you want to mix family & friends together, consider using decorative place cards so everyone gets to meet somebody new.

Christmas Table Centrepiece

The Christmas dinner table would not be complete without a centrepiece. Whatever design you choose it should leave enough space for all your side dishes & shouldn’t be so tall that it prevents conversation between guests. If you are pushed for space you could have several smaller displays spaced evenly down the table leaving room between, for dishes. Try making your own wreath or garland using evergreens cut from your garden or trimmings from your Christmas tree (see our article on creating your own Christmas wreath). These could have candles & baubles incorporated into the design to make them look especially festive. If you prefer something simple you could have a string of fairy lights, a row of silver candlesticks or stemmed glassware piled high with coordinating baubles.

Whatever theme you choose, a beautifully decorated table helps to create the perfect atmosphere for a festive occasion. So what are you waiting for? Start planning the perfect setting to make your special Christmas dinner memorable for friends and family!