Christmas table toppers

The ultimate festive feast: How to set a table for Christmas

Published 14th October 2021
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While the traditional turkey or fluffy roasties tend to steal the show each year, there’s nothing more inviting than some stunning Christmas table decorations to really encourage your guests to pull up a pew and tuck in! 

To help make the main event even more memorable this year, we’ve created a handy checklist of Christmas table ideas that are sure to impress! From mood-setting candle arrangements to eye-catching centerpieces, make welcoming friends and family to your table an offer they can’t refuse with OnBuy.

Set the theme with a table runner

Red table runner with Christmas decorations

Not sure how to set a table for Christmas? Here’s a secret from hosts with the most - keep it simple to start with and build up as you go! 

The first item you’ll need to pick up is a table runner. Available in a wide variety of lengths, sizes, and styles, these classy additions not only add a touch of elegance to your table, defining the area where the bulk of your decorations will sit, but they also help to protect it - an added bonus when you have a horde of hungry family around! 

To avoid distracting from your centrepiece, we suggest selecting a simple table runner in either one of your favourite festive colours or picking a colourway that complements your Christmas tableware. While festive patterns suit the season, a more understated style directs your guest’s attention to exactly where you want it - the centre of your table.

Use a festive centrepiece as a focal point

Woodland Christmas centrepiece

When it comes to picking the perfect centerpiece, the key is to focus on its shape. To allow your guests to make easy conversation across the table, it’s best to avoid tall and wide items that obscure the view. Instead, either opt for low and long decorative pieces or slim and tall creations, such as festive garlands, that can be easily adjusted and placed down the middle of your Christmas dining table. Often coming with seasonal flowers, leaves, and twigs, they give off those classic Christmas holiday vibes, making you feel as if you’ve been transported to a log cabin in Lapland - the kids will love it! 

For a bit of bling, you could also drape some battery-powered string lights across the table. We recommend either weaving the lights through your garlands or draping them down both lengths of the table runner, to draw the eye to the entire centerpiece. To give it that special touch of Christmas magic, look for lights that have a soft, twinkle effect.

Create an inviting atmosphere

Christmas candles table decorations

For an enchanting candlelit Christmas dinner, it’s best to alternate the height and placement of your candles. Instead of positioning your tea lights in a line or selecting a simple set of candlestick holders, get creative by using both. The popular high-low décor technique is perfect for creating a more impactful arrangement with plenty of illumination.

While tea lights emanate an inviting glow from the centre of your Christmas dinner table, tall taper candlesticks provide plenty of head height illumination for effortless dining, making the combination of the two ideal for both decoration and practicality. Searching for a child-friendly alternative? LED candles are a great option that will allow the whole family to get stuck in safely.

Layer your Christmas dinnerware

Christmas dinnerware layout

When it comes to festive dinnerware, it's a great idea to start with charger plates or placemats that are not only decorative, but also help to prevent spills and heat marks from staining your table. You can then place any Christmas dinner plates and/or bowls on top, followed by napkins (either folded into a decorative shape or tied together in a bow), to create a visually-appealing, tiered table setting.

Opt for either a matching Christmas dining set or mix and match your crockery for a more informal, homely feel. Simply add glassware and lay cutlery to the sides of the plates, to ensure your guests have all the necessary tools to dive right in!

Don’t forget the finishing touches

finishing Christmas touches

Finally, we recommend filling any empty spaces with festive trinkets galore. Yes, maximalism is in, so this Christmas, more really is more

Regardless of whether you’re drawn to glistening baubles, faux berries, or foliage and pinecones to complement your rustic theme, or you simply can’t imagine celebrations without some Christmas crackers, these details make all the difference - adding a certain je ne sais quois to your table.

For a more personal finishing touch, try festive placeholders. They can take the form of Christmas cookies delicately iced with the name of each guest, handwritten pieces of card, or even decorated baubles - the choice is yours! With these thoughtful additions, your Christmas table is sure to stun this season.

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