Christmas, my favorite holiday. Have I said that before? The joyous celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, is the happiest and most joyful time of the year. I love the spirit of kindness that extends beyond family and friends to total strangers. For me, there is no other celebration quite like it and I enjoy giving my best effort in creating the Christmastime memories for my family. That includes a beautiful table.
In past years, we’ve hosted up to forty family and friends for dinner, but this year has been a most challenging year and our gathering is very small. Still, the focus is the reason for the season and my traditional celebration is not being altered or diminished. Because we were only four this Christmas, I knew I wanted a simple and classic tablescape. I thought it would be all white to complement my Snowy Evergreen Christmas Tree, but when I walked into HomeGoods and saw these beautiful red striped plates, everything changed.
I set a classic 90″ round white tablecloth on our dining room table. Why a tablecloth? Because a tablecloth dresses the table unlike runners. White is a classic tablecloth color, much like the infamous black dress, that is a statement piece. Everything on the table looks clean and crisp and all you place on it simply pops. Everyone should have a good classic white tablecloth. This one is from Williams Sonoma, but you can find other brands in-store or online and you can even sew your own.
While runners are very popular and look beautiful, see my Simple Fall Tablescape with a greenery runner and Pumpkins & Persimmons with a print runner and greenery, they have an informal feel about them. If you’re going for an informal look, or want to use what you have, by all means do so and decorate your table. I’ll share a post next Christmas without a tablecloth.
I picked up some holiday greenery and pepper berry sprigs from my local florist and layered them straight down the middle with twinkle string lights on top. I only have two vintage mercury glass candle holders from an antique store, so I placed them in the center – one on each side of the greenery. Added two pepper berry pillar candles I picked up a few years back at Pier 1 Imports just to continue with the pepper berries and not introduce another element.
If setting a sit-down dinner, I believe the table should be simple, beautiful and inviting. Most restaurants and chefs only serve on white plates so their food stands out – I’m trying to achieve a similar concept. If I were setting a buffet, then I would consider theme, style, interest, height, flow and access to ensure the best eating experience for my guests. I’ll write a post on that and share at a later date.
I have about forty gold chargers from the dollar store and they do the trick. I placed the charger on the table and layered with a candy apple red plate and napkin, followed by the striped plates. The chargers have a dotted detail around the trim that play off of the dotted detail on the red plates. The scalloped edge of the red striped plates break up the repeating circle shape and add a playful interest. If you notice, the plates are not a set – and they don’t have to be. I enjoy mixing and matching different set to create a unique table. Sometimes by combining two different sets of 8, you can set a table for up to 16 guests.
I added a vintage water glass (1950’s Cape Cod from Imperial Glass Company) and wine glass (Italian, discontinued) and stunning silver flatware with a gold trim from Macys I purchased in-store two years ago. I finished the setting with a little greenery sprig and a candy cane. Simple. Festive.
The green and white pieces in the china cabinet, complement the greenery and white tablecloth. It was not intentional, but I’m glad how it all turned out. The china cabinet contains a collection of Bordallo Pinheiro cabbage plates and vintage milk glass cake stands and candy dishes.
I hope you find this simple setting inspiring to create your own table with items you have or find. I suggest visiting the florist early. Greenery always seems to be in high demand and if you wait too long or visit just before Christmas, you may not find any – that has happened to me more than once. And it’s okay when it does, just have a back up plan. I hope to post other ideas in the future without greenery.
Merry Christmas to you and yours! May your table be surrounded by those you love and hold dear, may the bounty be plentiful and may the joy and spirit of Christmas be yours year-round.