It’s the biggest meal of the year for most people and it’s your turn to host… Don’t panic, Tabletop Buyer and self-confessed Christmas nut Julie has all the tips that you need to prepare the perfect Christmas Table this year!
Preparation is key when it comes to hosting dinner for a group, whether that’s Christmas Dinner or any other big event. What I like to do is about 2-3 weeks beforehand, lock down how many guests you will have. This is important as you will likely need to order your turkey and ham. Them have a look at your tableware and serveware and make sure that you have enough of everything. For example, do you have enough matching plates? If not, it might be the perfect excuse to treat yourself to some new dinnerware or some lovely new napkins. I always think Christmas is a time to bring out your best, no chipped plates, no mismatched cutlery and in my humble opinion, no paper napkins.
Something that often gets overlooked when planning your Christmas Dinner is how it will be served. So make sure you have a platter that is big enough to fit your turkey. Do you have enough dishes in which to serve the food? It looks very polished when all your serveware matches and the easiest thing to do here is stick with white. We have a huge variety of shapes and sizes in our stores, so you are bound to find the perfect one for your table.
2. Planning the theme
To theme or not to theme that is the question! Personally, I like to go with a theme, for me, Christmas is a time to let your creativity loose. So last year I dressed our table in offcuts from the Christmas Tree, then added pine cones and baubles to stick to a very informal rustic theme. This year, I actually get to plan two! One is an adults-only affair, I am going for a very sophisticated champagne theme, accented with beautiful glassware and trimmings.
The other is the full family feast, complete with three generations. So with that in mind, I have gone for a more traditional red and green theme, with plenty of fun additions to the decor.
3. Building the Table
Christmas Eve is the best time to begin to dress your table. By doing this you ensure that it is perfect and all you have to do on Christmas day is cook dinner. My top tip is to start from the centre and work out. Weave a garland down the centre of the table, then intertwine that with baubles and lights for example. You could keep it simple with a runner and lots of candles. Another idea is to take a long candle holder such as our 5 Piece Taper Candle Tray and dress that with foliage and baubles. Key points to remember, make sure your guests can talk over or through the centrepiece and always light the candles in advance so that they look beautifully worn in when guests arrive. Just don’t leave them unattended of course!
4. Place Settings
After that you need to lay out your place settings, this can be as elaborate or as simple as you like. Naturally, having a huge obsession with both dinnerware and Christmas it will come as no surprise that I like to go a little O.T.T. on the place settings! It is really easy to achieve a stunning look with very little effort though, just think layers.
5. Finishing touches
Lastly, add your finishing touches, here I simply tied a Christmas Tree decoration around the napkin. It really adds that extra touch I think. Also, how adorable are these mini cable knit stockings as the final touch to each place setting. Get the kids involved in setting the table by getting them to fill these for everyone on Christmas Eve. Maybe add in some sweets or chocolates as a little surprise for everyone.
The main thing is to have fun with your tables at Christmas. It is the one time of year when anything goes and people will be so thrilled that you are cooking for them, you are already onto a winner!