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christmas decor dinner table

The holiday season is all about family, friends, and delicious food. When we gather around the dinner table at that most wonderful time of the year, it should feel special. There are many ways to bring something new and interesting to your table setting. Let’s take a look at a few innovative additions to your holiday table.

Herbs as art

The most common mistake made by overzealous holiday decorators is insisting on a large centerpiece that isn’t especially useful. Remember: if you’re going to add something to your dinner table, it should add something to the dining experience.

Re-purposing vases as fresh herb displays is a treat for the senses. Holiday herbs like mint, rosemary, and lavender are pretty, they smell great, and you can plan your herb displays around your meals. Just imagine how fun it would be to encourage your guests to pick their own herbs during the meal!

Light and warmth

Winter holidays often use warm lights to soothe the long, cold nights of the season. Whether they’re tall, red Christmas candles, the row of small candles on the Hanukkah menorah, the colorful display of the Kwanzaa kinara, or just an array of little fire lights between the holidays, candles are a holiday season must.

For table setting candles, less is more. A few small candles in light-diffusing glass are better than a crowd of open candles when you’re passing food around the table. Also, skip the scented varieties. You don’t need candle scents competing with the smells of dinner.

Kwanzaa table display

Snowflake napkins

Nothing says “fancy” like expertly folded napkins. The snowflake fold is perfect for the season, plus it’s easy to do. Just start with a smooth, square napkin and fold all four corners into the middle evenly. This should leave you with a diamond shape.

Fold the corners in again to make an envelope shape, then flip the envelope over and fold the corners in one last time. This will allow you to reach under the napkin to pull out the loose corners for a fun, textured snowflake shape. With a little practice, you can bring a gallery of artfully folded napkins to your dinner tables throughout the year.

Get creative with chairs

Table setting doesn’t have to be limited to what’s on the surface. If you’d rather leave the tabletop for the food, there are plenty of ways to decorate the seating. Wrap up slatted seat backs like gifts with colored ribbon, hang jingle bells on open back chairs, put angel wings on closed back chairs, or add a luxurious drape to heavy formed seats for extra elegance.

You can even welcome guests with party favors stuffed into stockings hung on the back of each chair, even customizing each stocking as a holiday-themed alternative to place cards.

Fun, practical, creative

It doesn’t take a lot of money or work to make a beautiful holiday season table setting. Decorations that are fun, practical, and creative bring more flare to the dining experience than any large, elaborate display. Keep it simple and inviting, and don’t be afraid to experiment with new ideas.

 

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Cate Morgan-Harlow

Cate Morgan-Harlow is an all arounder, writing about how-to, DIY, and design with gusto. She is a shadowy figure with a mysterious past.