If you’re planning to spend hours preparing an extraordinary family holiday feast, you probably don’t want your holiday table to be boring. You want your table to amplify the holiday mood and delicious food! Whether you’re a gourmet cook whose food deserves an elaborate tablescape, or you’re a beginner hoping your table will enhance your first attempt as the holiday cook, creating a beautiful holiday table doesn’t have to be difficult. We’ve gathered a few ideas to help you pick the perfect décor to suit your menu and your family’s personality. THE BASICS Avoid the pressure finding decorations at the last minute by planning ahead. Also, use your best dinnerware. If you have holiday china, that’s ideal. If you do not, simply make the best of whatever you have and set the table impeccably. For a refresher on the basics of place settings (plus some other great ideas), there’s a “For Dummies®” guide for that! You can add place cards that go with your theme to make each guest feel extra special. Get creative by tying them to candy canes, mini stockings, or other party favors everyone can keep as mementos. COLOR SCHEMES These days, the rules for holiday colors allow for virtually anything. Like purple? Go with it! However, you can’t go wrong by sticking with traditional color schemes that include red, green, and gold. For a simple twist on the basic team of red and green, consider pairing green and silver or red and gold. Alternatively, go for a classy, monochromatic look with a sparkly White Christmas or Blue Christmas! THE TABLESCAPE A “tablescape,” or table arrangement, is a gathering of items on the tabletop, and it’s one of the simplest ways to create a beautiful holiday table. Tablescapes can be understated or elaborate, but they don’t have to be complicated. Simply choose an assortment of items to go with the mood of your meal or reflects your family’s personality, and you can’t go wrong. Here are some easy ideas:
- Family-Specific Tablescape – Ask each immediate family member to select a favorite decoration, such as an ornament or figurine, and pile them on a pretty serving piece. Or start a tradition by creating an annual family centerpiece on the Wendell August Annual Decorative Plate. Add some cotton “snow” or garland to pull it all together. It’s festive, it’s personal, and it’s a great conversation starter!
- Kid-Friendly/Whimsical – Pair candy canes and starlight mints with white table linens or go extra colorful with the complete palate of gum drops! Fill glass bowls or vases with candy, and pile up decorated cookies and popcorn in the center of the table. Add a colorful, inexpensive wrapping paper “table runner” to make it extra fun.
- Less Is More – Keep it simple, understated and refined by adding sprigs of pine or mistletoe to your favorite serving pieces or vases. It’s always in style and inexpensive.
- More Is More – If subtlety isn’t really your style, don’t be afraid to pile it on! More is more can be either uniform to a theme or mix-and-match. Either way, it will grab attention! You might start with a single, favorite piece and build around it with all of your favorite things – keepsakes, flowers, ribbons, vases, bowls, ornaments, gingerbread cookies (or houses!), tinsel, fake snow, pine trimmings. You name it – just don’t forget to have fun with it.
- Candlelight – Candles are the easiest way to create a festive mood. Plus, the lighting is flattering to both your guests around the table, and your table itself. Place pillar candles along a tray like our Evergreen Trio Dish or cluster pillars, votives, and tea lights on a tray or bowl. Select candles in seasonal scents like cranberry, peppermint, cinnamon, or sugar cookie, depending upon your menu and preferences.
- Traditional – If you enjoy the tried-and true or simply want to ensure your table appeals to everyone, consider sticking with time-honored colors, pieces, and arrangements. Dust off your family’s cherished pieces that have been handed down over the generations. Select floral centerpieces in red and green and use simple, traditional imagery, such as stars, angels, or snowflakes.