I’ve always loved setting the table properly any chance that I get and meals at Christmas time are no exception. Actually, Christmas dinner and all the other eating occasions around the holidays are obviously some of the most fun and festive times of the year and so they give us a chance to really do something special with our tables. When I talk about setting a table “properly”, I mean setting a table that is fun and interesting to look at for you, your family, and your guests, and also one that’s functional for what you’re doing. You definitely don’t have to set your table in any pre-decided formation anymore for it to be considered “right”, although I do find it really fun to set the table in the old-fashioned way where each fork and spoon is placed in a certain order and each glass is in a specific spot for a specific purpose. But that’s just me. I have fun with that stuff too. 🙂
You really don’t need much to set a really special table, or buffet, or snack-grabbing spot for Christmastime, but you do need to have fun with it. You can go as big or as simple as you like and you can even have a complete set of serveware that is specifically Christmas themed and only used at that special time of year. I love that idea, but I honestly don’t think it’s all that practical for 99% of people. Who has space to store all of that or money to spend on a whole set of dishes to use just once or twice a year? The good news is that there are just so many options available to make your Christmas table special and if you find a design of plate, or bowl, or platter that you really love, you can just pick up a couple of pieces and use them with your regular dishes and it really transforms your whole table.
I do hope to be one of those few people who has a whole set of dishes just for Christmas one day, but for now I think it’s a good idea to start with just some basic white dishes. You could even use solid colored dishes in red or green that would feel extra festive at Christmas but would work elsewhere throughout the year as well. If I want to feel like I’m setting a really festive table, I’ll use Christmas themed salad plates on top of regular theme-less plates and that gives the feeling of going all-out Christmas, without actually going all-out Christmas. 🙂
Another easy way to go about it is to use all white (or clear, or solid colored) dishes and then just add in one special large-scale piece that says “Hey! It’s Christmas!” in a central part of your table or your buffet. This approach couldn’t be simpler, but it still really creates a feeling of special-ness and thoughtfulness for everyone who sees your clever little set-up.
For a buffet or snack station, you’ll want to have a good solid collection of different-sized basic white serveware pieces like platters, bowls, and trays that you can use to do most of the serving and then just add in your one or two special Christmas pieces.
I picked up this big white reindeer cookie jar this year and I think he’s perfect for the middle of a table or for holding treats on a buffet. He makes a really big impact for just a single piece.
I also really like the idea of a big Christmas platter or even a soup tureen as your one Christmassy piece. I love my soup tureens. 🙂
I really like this method of Christmas table setting because it allows you to have lots of fun and feel like you’re doing something special for Christmas without having to spend a lot or find a lot of extra storage space. Then, you can add to your collection of special Christmassy pieces in future years if you’re the type who wants to (eventually) go all out like I do. 🙂
This year I just stuck my reindeer in the middle of the table, and that was plenty Christmassy all on its own once I added in a little greenery from the yard, but then I saw these plaid charger plates on sale for something like $3 each, so I went for it. I used clear glass plates to get the maximum plaid effect with the chargers showing through. 🙂
I borrowed reindeer ornaments from the tree to decorate each place setting. I just left them as is, but you could easily write names on them in chalk marker and then just wipe the writing off with a wet cloth when you’re ready to hang the ornaments back on the tree.
Oh! And one more little trick I figured out pertaining to table settings! Instead of using lots and lots and lots of fresh greenery from outside to give the middle of the table a really full look, I realized that I could just borrow this wreath from another room and create a little “nest” for the cookie jar to sit on top of! I just filled in here and there on the table with fresh greenery so overall it made the process a lot quicker and a lot tidier too!
Never mind the repairs that we’re in the middle of on the under-the-stairs door. 🙂 We keep board games in there and Jack ripped that door right off the other day! Three year olds, am I right? 🙂
Check out my post on my Christmas decorations in my kitchen for some ideas for classic decorations that will work in a similar way and allow you to re-use them over and over again in a bunch of different ways each year.
What do you do to make your table a little extra special for Christmas?
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