Top 10 Christmas Table Must-Haves
Posted on December 21 2014
This week we take a look at dress up of a different kind, and switch our focus to the big day, the big meal and how to dress up your Christmas table.
There are two big parts to Christmas Day for me; the morning where we all gather round the tree to unwrap all the presents and then around 3pm where we all take to the table, complete with wonky spare chair, and tuck into a 4 course Christmas feast.
If you’re anything like my family, you spend a lot of time sat round the table on Christmas Day, so just like the tree, it should be decorated and feel festive. You don’t have to go all out with a lot of expense trying to recreate a scene from Ideal Home magazine, but put a bit of effort in and it’ll make your Christmas meal feel all the more special.
We’ve put together ten key things we think every table should have this Christmas, and the good thing is, you can decorate the table on Christmas Eve to give you more time to play with the kids and get the roast spuds nice and crispy on the big day.
Think about any event or restaurant you go to and there’s usually a centrepiece, even if it’s just a tealight holder. You can go all out here with a big centrepiece down the length of the table, but thinking practically, we prefer something either smaller, or tall with a narrow base like a candelabra – more room on the table for those potatoes! A favourite of mine is some traditional greenery like a circular holly wreath with red berries and a church candle in the centre.
A Christmas classic. No table can be without crackers at Christmas, after all, they provide you with a lovely hat to wear throughout dinner! Crackers these days can be handmade using bought kits, or you can buy super luxurious crackers containing impressive gifts, and of course a hilarious joke. I love the old fashioned crackers we used to have in the 80s as kids, but they’re a rare find these days. You know the ones, with the plastic fish you put on your hand on it tells you your emotional state from a flick of its tail. Ah, those were the days!
Instead of your usual placemats and plates, use charger plates in your chosen colour scheme for your dining plates to sit on. Roll your napkins into a tube shape and tie some festive string round them and attach a candy cane or cinnamon stick, depending on your theme, to sit in the centre of the plate.
Bell jars with baubles
Making use of tree decorations like baubles is a cheap and easy way to dress up your table. A glass vase or bell jar filled with baubles add a great touch of festivity and easily match your Christmas colour scheme.
This is something we introduced to our Christmas table about 5 years ago. After all the earlier excitement of present opening is done with, there’s always one more gift for everyone on the table. This should be something small, that can sit at each person’s place setting and inexpensive - a bit like a favour at a wedding. You can open your gifts as you sit down, but we tend to wait until after Christmas dinner and before dessert. It’s good to have a break from eating at this point and the table presents provide a good opportunity for that.
These are a great thing to get the kids to make for a more personal touch. If they’re too young to write names yet, have them decorate the edges of the cards and they’ll be beaming with pride when they see them on the table. Alternatively, you can write a place card and attach it with string to a few sticks of cinnamon.
This is really inexpensive to do and really does add something extra to the whole Christmas table scene. Buy some long lengths of ribbon or fabric in a colour that matches your Christmas theme from your local haberdashery and wrap them around the centre of your dining chairs and tie a bow. Easy!
This is readily available in a variety of designs and colours and a scattering of this can add a splash of extra colour, particularly if you’re using a white table cloth. Just be willing to still be finding pieces of it around the house in summer!
I’m obviously not talking about proper trees here, this is another craft activity you can get the kids involved with once they’ve finished school for the festivities. Buy some sheets of card and bend them into a cone shape, sticking the sides together with glue. Sit the kids round the table with some paints in festive colours and have them decorate the trees with their own designs.
Some families choose to have a separate table for the children to sit at, but I’m all for getting the kids fully involved and like to have them sat amongst the adults, after all they can be pretty hilarious conversationalists! I absolutely love the traditional look of chalkboard tablets (basically a small section of chalkboard set in a wooden frame) and they’re good way to give the kids something to do at the table.These chalkboards can be made festive by wrapping the back in Christmas wrapping paper.
We hope we’ve given you some new ideas of how to dress up your Christmas table and wish you all a very merry Christmas!