Christmas always plays a special part in our life. This year, we probably wait for it even more impatiently, looking for an occasion to dress up, celebrate and socialize. We all look forward for this stable and never-changing tradition to come to our homes, even if in the ´´new normal´´ our typical list of guests will get a bit shorter.
The process of preparing for Christmas is still the same though. We start with the list of who will come this year, what presents to buy, what´s the dinner menu and of course what´s the Christmas décor for this year. We tend to decorate our homes way before the 24th December by setting up the outdoor lights, preparing the Belen and dressing up the Christmas tree. Yet there is one piece of decoration that we always prepare exactly on the day of Christmas Eve and it is the one of our dinner table.
Even though the Christmas Table decoration is left as the last one, it doesn´t mean we should do it on the last minute! At the end it is the Christmas dinner for which we all gather to celebrate this day so every host pays a special attention to what they serve and how it is presented. When it comes to decorating our Christmas table we need to remember that food and drink are playing the main role and the décor elements are supportive secondary characters.
Christmas table decor is not only about making a great first impression on guests but most importantly about complementing the served food and drinks. Of course the visual appearance is very important but we can´t forget about the functionality of the table setup. No one wants to set a fire when reaching for wine because there is too many candles around, nor you want your guests to be too shy to get a napkin because they´re not sure if it´s to use or if it´s a part of your decoration.
Start with the basics. Make sure everyone has a plate for each type of the dishes, a cup and glasses of all the drinks and the appropriate cutlery. You can add a plate charger for each of your guests since it always makes the tableware look more festive and doesn´t take up space on the table top.
A fabric table cloth is a must – it gives your table an elegant and inviting look, it absorbs sound and makes a clean background for the tableware. You can also use a runner and/or individual placemats on top of the table cloth to create layers of colours or textures which always add more glam to your setting.
Napkins, either paper ones or in fabric, can be placed folded in a water glass or stuck in a decorative ring and placed on the top of the plate. You can also simply fold them and place underneath the cutlery on the left side of the plate. The napkin placement depends purely on your preference but you can add a personal touch to it by attaching a twig of spruce and a name of your guest to it.
Adding a centrepiece to your setup will complete the décor of your Christmas table. If you´re making a main course that´s a star of the evening, place it in a decorative serving dish and use it as a centre piece of the table. This way everyone has a good access to it and your cooking skills are the highlight of the dinner. Otherwise, if you serve many smaller dishes, you can choose one large decorative element for the centre to catch people´s attention. You can never go wrong with spruce twigs, candles and seasonal flowers.
Trendy Christmas Theme
The trends of Christmas table décor don´t change a lot with each year. There is always the option to keep it all classic with red, green and gold ornaments and accessories. Blue, white and silver is another very common colour scheme that never expires. But for those less traditional, there are plenty of other options. A Christmas look that is getting more fame and approval with each year is the very natural, rustic and minimalistic theme, inspired by Scandinavian design. Full of brunches, pine cones and natural greenery, it´s easy to achieve and adapt to your Christmas dining table. Start with a linen table cloth as your base – stick to natural colours like beige, grey or white. To add more texture, make sure your place mats are in wicker, sea grass or any other natural material. For your cotton or linen napkins use a ring with a wooden decorative element or simply replace it with a piece of neatly tied natural cord and a spruce twig. Add a green garland as the centrepiece with a few white candles and you´re done. There is only one rule when it comes to choosing your Christmas theme: stay consistent and keep the same look on your Christmas table as in the rest of your home.
Choosing your Christmas theme and starting with decoration of the house is always very exciting. We can stick to the same look every year or decide on something totally different than we did last Christmas. However, in the hectic atmosphere of Christmas shopping, coming and going trends and the amount of opinions we´re surrounded by, it´s easy to forget that Christmas is not about the look, but about spending the time with our loved ones. The decoration that we choose should be something matching our personality so we can feel comfortable with it and be our best self at Christmas.
This article appeared in a Spanish national paper ABC Bienestar and you can see it published in Spanish here.