Set Up for The Big Event
You might have a full set of elegant matching dishes and serving pieces, or a collection of mix and match items that you’ve gathered along the way. Whichever it is, go ahead and use it all to create a table setting that reflects your style and shows your family how important they are to you.
For that immediate wow factor when you sit down, layer up dinner plates, lunch plates, salad plates, and bowls—whatever you’ve got. The same goes for cutlery and glassware; if there’s a positive side to having fewer people at the table, there will be room for it. Make sure that each place setting has a napkin, a place card if you’re feeling extra, and a special decoration that ties into the main theme of the table. If Christmas crackers are a tradition in your house, add those too. (Find easy instructions to make your own crackers here.)
Be sure to keep the centerpiece low, especially in spots where family members are sitting across from each other, or if passing dishes across the table is a possibility. If you’re stuck on what to use for a centerpiece, look for decorative or meaningful items around the home that can be incorporated into your table décor, and remember to think outside the box—there’s not much that can’t be “holidayfied” with a bow or curl of ribbon.
Don’t forget—before there was Martha Stewart, there was Mother Nature. If you’re not feeling what you’re finding inside the house, head to the great outdoors (aka the backyard) for easy decorating ideas and supplies like pinecones, twigs, and evergreen boughs. If the cedars need trimming, “borrow” a few pieces for your table—the flatter varieties make terrific natural placemats or look great peeking out from under serving platters.