The Ultimate Guide to Setting Your Table This Christmas

Having to entertain a larger crowd which is all set to gather around your dinner table for Christmas can make the task of setting the table that much more of a challenge, even if you’re the ultimate master of decorating your tree and your home for the season, let alone getting it to look as spectacular as you’d want it to!

Here’s a simple, three-step guide to make it much easier for you to create that WOW factor you’re undoubtedly looking for with the setting of your dinner table for Christmas.

Step 1: Decorating and Dressing the Table

Start off with a “blank canvas” (take everything off the table) and take into account how many people are going to be coming around for dinner. This will give you an indication of how much space you’ll need. Because your cutlery and crockery will be eating up a lot of space, when playing around with decoration ideas for your table, you have to consider how it will look with the cutlery and crockery forming part of it, as well as how much room it will be taking up.

Utilise a plain patterned or coloured table cloth to keep your table dressing simple if you suspect that you won’t have that much left by way of room. It should be enough to dress the table a little differently and more elegantly than how you’d dress it for your regular dinners, otherwise the table can be dressed with beautiful coasters, accessories and placemats if you want to show off the table itself.

For a longer table or if you want to achieve both effects discussed, you can make use of a table runner. If you have the room to work with then you can apply both approaches uninhibited, combining your beautiful table cloth with spectacular, layered placemats of different sizes and textures. Be sure to stick to a colour scheme so that you address the risk of things becoming too busy and chaotic.

Step 2: The Correct Way to Set the Table

Since Christmas time is all about family and fun, the typical rules and regulations of table setting can be stretched and bent to your liking, with the only real importance of setting the table correctly residing in the practicality of the whole exercise.

Draw some inspiration from the restaurants you visit to learn how to correctly set a table, taking special care of your place-setting.

Step 3: Adding the Finishing Touches

At the end of the day, setting a table for Christmas which looks fit for the spectacular occasion while taking nothing away from the practicality is all about the number of people who will be enjoying the occasion with you, and how you balance out your tableware and table dressing. It’s perhaps an exercise you’ll have to take through a trial run in more of a visual sense to go along with the picture you have in your head, because what might work mentally may not necessarily translate as well practically.

Don’t be afraid of adding your own special touches to the more classic table setting and dressing traditions!

Kelly Tate

Kelly Tate

Kelly is a full-time supermum, caring for two kids and a hardworking husband. A cook, a cleaner, a carer and all round hard worker, striving for the perfect family life (with a few bumps along the way!) Eternally honest and sometimes brutally forward, no topics are off limits with Kelly.
Kelly Tate