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How to set the Christmas table

At the table one does not grow old”, quotes a proverb, and I would add: setting a beautiful table is a gift of love for ourselves and our guests, and at Christmas this feeling is even stronger and more magical.

And here I am writing about table settings, china plates, style and advice. And at the end of the article I will write my 3 tips on how to set the Christmas table. 

Every year for me this time of year fills my heart with joy. I start planning my Christmas table at the end of October and spend the month of November wandering around markets and fairs looking for vintage napkin rings, grandma’s candlesticks, china plates and little goodies to give to my guests.

This year will be a bit of a special year and unfortunately I didn’t get around, but I think that this Christmas the table should be even more magical and special. 

Let’s get out the most beautiful china we have, dust off grandma’s silverware and set the most beautiful and elegant Christmas table imaginable. I will be by your side with lots of ideas and suggestions on how to set the Christmas table and if you need an extra idea just write to me, I will be happy to help.

How to set the Christmas table: the Christmas tablecloth

Let us start with the TABLECLOTH. Very often you ask me whether it is necessary or whether you can opt for something other than the classic white tablecloth or Christmas tablecloth. My advice?  Always combine a pinch of tradition with your own personality and creativity. 

For many of us, the Christmas table should reflect tradition and always have a touch of red. I agree! But what if instead of the classic Christmas tablecloth this year we used a runner (perhaps hand-stitched) with your initials?

How to set the Christmas table

Let us remember that colours reflect our personality. Today there is a lot of talk about Armocromy and colours . If you love experimenting but do not know how to choose your ‘Christmas colour’ palette, I suggest you read the book by Rossella Migliaccio, founder of the Italian Image Institute, ‘Armocromia. Il metodo dei colori amici che rivoluziona la vita e non solo l’immagine‘ published by Vallardi.

The book: Armocromia

And if, for you, that touch of red should never be missing from the Christmas table, you may well choose classic wax candles. If you don’t have a candelabra at home, you can opt for individual candle holders, or you can place small lights in glass cruets (or jam jars) that will reflect a magical, warm atmosphere on your table. You will feel as if you are immersed in a golden world. 

This will give your Christmas table a Pinterest-worthy, Instagrammable style. 

And don’t forget that candleholders are the trend of the moment!

Wedding shooting
How to set the Christmas table

How to set the Christmas table with personality

Do you love personalisation? This year you can write your names and those of your guests inside the plate and thus create a kind of placeholder. You will find everything you need to do this on the market. It is very easy and has great impact. 

A little advice. Practice just a little with handwriting on a sheet of glossy paper and if you don’t like the way you write, you can have the names printed on transparent adhesive paper. Or we can customise by using slices of oven-dried oranges with your guests’ tags.

How to set the Christmas table
Christmas table decorations

Christmas table decorations: the centrepiece

And now let’s move on to the CENTREPIECE. Again guys if you like to experiment and love handmade, follow your creativity and give your imagination free rein.  

I sometimes use berries picked from my garden and small poinsettias to set up my Christmas centrepiece. Don’t take the classic outdoor poinsettia but small ones, so that you create a neat centrepiece that doesn’t take up too much space on the table.

Christmas centerpiece

And here we come to the sore point: how to set the Christmas table? I will bring you the diagram that accompanied me during my training and give you my very useful advice: all the Ks on the right and the rest on the left. This means that the knife and spoon will always go on the right, and everything else, including the napkin, on the left.

Table setting scheme

Christmas toys for children

How to set the Christmas table with the help of the little ones? In England we have a tradition: before serving lunch we unwrap Christmas crackers. What are they? Watch the video here. I’m sure your little ones will love it and the older ones too.

And to conclude I leave you here with my three tips for setting the table (and not just the Christmas table): 

#1 EMOTION – let yourself be moved by the idea of sharing such a special moment.

Think about the feelings your guests will have and you with them. 

#2 CREATIVITY and a pinch of table etiquette. I swear it is not boring and gives great satisfaction. 

#3 LOVE is giving and you also convey this by setting a beautiful table. 

Guys, I hope you enjoyed my tips and I look forward to photos of your Christmas table. 

Happy holidays to all!

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