How to Set your Holiday Table

Everyone wants to host the perfect holiday party and holiday parties almost always include a meal. But how do you set the table in a cheerful, seasonal way without it looking garish or over the top? It's easier than you think. There is one overall rule to remember, less is more. There must be room on the table for the food, guests must be able to see each other over or under the centrepieces and it must not look crowded. To accomplish this, here are 5 suggestions.
  1. Use your regular, white or plain dishes instead of holiday dinnerware. Add a touch of holiday colour through your tablecloth, runner or place mats. The look will be elegant and uncluttered. The simple dishes will also help to showcase the colour and preparation of your feast.
  2. Have one tall, thin centrepiece, such as a tall fluted vase with holiday appropriate flowers, fruits or candies inside. It will draw the eye up, away from the table. It will leave you plenty of room for food and place settings on the table and your guests will be able to converse and see each other easily around it.
  3. Place simple tea lights in the centre of the table for interest but draw the eye to your guest's place with a holiday place card. At Christmas, you could write each guest's name on a Christmas ball; at Thanksgiving, on a gourd; at Easter, on an egg.
  4. Use your holiday dinnerware. So many homes own a spectacular set of Christmas dishes. Highlight them, show them off! Choose a colour tablecloth or runner that will compliment your plates, rather than add interest on its own. Use simple centrepieces or none at all to ensure all attention is paid first to your dinnerware and then to the delicious food you will place on it.
  5. Mix and match. Use your creativity and mix your holiday dishes with regular. Mix up the shapes and sizes. Use different styles or sizes of centrepieces on each end of the table. Use a different ornament, gourd, coloured egg etc. on each plate. This may take a little more time to make it look just right but it is useful if you don't have quite enough of the same dishes, centrepieces or silverware to go around.
In the end, it is not any more difficult to set a table for a holiday party than it is any other day. You do, however, have a lot more options and likely many more props around the house to help you out. Just remember, keep it simple. You want a hint of holiday cheer rather than a cluttering of everything the holiday stands for.

Check out the for tips and advice on how to choose the right dinnerware for your party.

Article by: Amy Mitchell, Ezine Articles author
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