Christmas is all about spending quality time with family and friends and the meals we share. However, we can’t deny that the holidays can also be a stressful season, too. Especially if we’re hosting!
For some of us, in particular, the idea of meeting expectations and setting an inspiring Christmas table might be challenging and the idea of pleasing everyone, especially our in-laws, makes everything more difficult.
What we often tend to forget is that the joy of being together is what counts most. Here are five top tips that will help you tick all the boxes and keep stress at bay.
To tablecloth, or not to tablecloth? That is the question. For many, a themed tablecloth is the staple of a good Christmas table, but more and more people are opting to ditch the fabric in favour of a simple runner, or even go with nothing at all.
There’s a practical element to tablecloths that shouldn’t be ignored; they protect your table from scratches and stains. If you have kids that get super excited (aka hyper) and an auntie who tends to have one too many glasses of wine at dinner, spillages can occur. So, it might be in everyone’s best interest to keep the tablecloth present this year.
You don’t have to opt for the traditional green and red colours. If you fancy something new this year, choose a neutral colour such as beige or grey. Not only does this give you a great foundation to build on with more eccentric accessories and centrepieces, but it also means you can repurpose the cloth for other occasions.
Get creative with your tableware and dare to mix and match different elements! Think patterned mugs in lovely bright colours, holly and berry side plates, and bowls with stars on. And how about those vintage crystal champagne flutes and wine glasses, your grandma gave to you? It’s completely up to you whether you choose to match all your tableware elements or not. Matching would create a more consistent, uniform look, whereas different designs and styles could add excitement and achieve visual variety.
Styling the Christmas table is a fantastic opportunity to play around with personalisation. Firstly, it’ll contribute to the overall look, and secondly, these little thoughtful details will fill your family and guests with a sense of pride and importance.
If you opt to use place cards, you could keep things simple by nicely writing their names on a piece of card or choose a more complex, crafty idea such as using a bauble to display their name or picture.
The latter – or something similar – could double up as a gift which is always lovely! Personalised presents are a simple way to give loved ones something meaningful and memorable, and they’ll be able to take away a piece of your dinner celebration with them once the event is over.
The accessories are what’s going to really pull your Christmas table together and make it look magical! Once the tablecloth (if you’ve opted for one) is laid down with the tableware on top and personalised gifts directing guests where to sit, you can begin to fill in the gaps with your festive accessories.
Begin by deciding on the centrepiece – the real star of the table show. You can’t get more Christmassy than a Christmas wreath, so you could pop that in the centre of the table alongside some tealights and brass candle holders.
If there’s space (remember, you don’t want your table to look too crowded) and you want to take things to the next level, you could add some mini-Christmas ornaments, such as trees, reindeer, snowflakes, and wrapped presents. Oh, and don’t forget your Christmas crackers! Is it really Christmas if we don’t share those classic jokes cheesier than a cheese board?
Illuminate all your efforts with some fantastic lighting choices and help set the Christmas scene even further. If you like getting creative and crafty, why not make your own LED wine bottles? This unique type of lighting can be achieved by adding the appropriate fairy lights to an empty, clean bottle of wine.
In addition to something special, you can play around with different styles including lanterns, candles, and fairy lights to create the ultimate winter wonderland atmosphere.
Eat, drink, and be merry
Christmas dinner is arguably the best part about Christmas Day (besides the presents from Santa, of course), so, don’t underestimate the power of a table that’s laid beautifully. Use the above guide to create a stylish setting where you can eat, drink, and be merry with those closest to you. These memories are going to last a lifetime, so make sure they count!