10 tips for creating the perfect Christmas table setting

Make sure your Christmas lunch or dinner is as festive and impressive as possible by following our 10 helpful hints and tips


1 Layer your table setting

Many people favour a traditional table setting at Christmas, with the side plate to the left of the dinner plate, but a popular update is the layered setting, where the side plate and dessert bowl sit nicely on the dinner plate. For a really festive look, consider tying a bow around the setting so that when your guests sit down they feel like they are opening up a present.

2 Mix and match your crockery

If you are looking to create some interest at your Christmas table, remember to mix and match the crockery. Patterned side plates or plates with festive words look great when teamed with plain or coloured crockery.

3 Move the cutlery

Traditionally, cutlery sits on either side of the dinner plate but there are no set rules – it’s a personal thing. For a modern look, try placing your cutlery horizontally at the top of the plate. Another nice touch is to tie your knives and forks with a piece of ribbon and place them on top of your plate. Laying your cutlery on top of a cloth napkin to one side of your plate is another idea. You can also make a special fabric or paper cutlery holder to present your cutlery to your guests.

4 Bring the tree to the table

Tree decorations aren’t just for the tree, they can be a great addition to your Christmas table as well. A collection of baubles looks stunning displayed in a glass vase or bowl and can act as an effective centrepiece. Even a few baubles scattered on your table among your serving dishes will help create a festive look.

5 Add sweet touches

Some people like to present their guests with a table gift, like a special sweet treat or a decoration for them to take home and add to their own tree. A handwritten name tag is also a sweet touch.


6 Let there be light

Your main table setting should have candles, regardless of the time of day. They help create the right mood and with so many on the market – from candlesticks to tealights, lanterns and glass jar candles – there will be something for everyone. Try clustering a group of pillar candles on a plate in the middle of the table for a clean and simple look.

7 Get the glasses

Generally, a Christmas table setting will have three types of glasses: a Champagne flute for the toast, a wine glass and a water glass. While these normally sit in a group to the right above the dinner plate, this once again comes down to personal choice and what else is on your table. And don’t forget the littlies – small milk bottles with straws are a great festive idea

8 Don’t forget the placemats

If your Christmas Day meal tends to be more casual, placemats are a great option for under your crockery. For those opting for the traditional look, nothing is smarter than a crisp, white tablecloth. Some people even choose to use both by placing placemats on top of the tablecloth. Table runners can make a bold statement in the middle of the table and look equally as good running down each side of the table, too.

9 Have fancy or folded napkins

Cloth napkins are not something you generally use every day but they are the perfect item for such a special day. Napkin rings add that little something extra, but it can end up a costly treat if you’re buying for a large number of guests. Paper napkins simply folded into a design (head to Pinterest for some great folding ideas) are a more cost effective option.

10 Relax the rules

Christmas is about spending time with your loved ones and the main meal should be enjoyed and not rushed. Whether you have a main course or multiple courses, the ‘family table’ style gives the guests the option to select the food items they like and the quantity. Use different-shaped platters, bowls and plates to put food on, to create interest on the table.

Create your perfect Christmas table setting and find more inspiration here at Freedom

Words by: Vanessa Nouwens.


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