Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means we receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that we have recommended. Please check out our disclosure policy for more details.
Who doesn’t love eating good food with good people? Maybe that’s why holiday dinners are a tradition in so many households.
Hosting these dinners, on the other hand, can be a little overwhelming, especially when it comes to deciding how you want the table to look. We’ve broken down the holiday table into seven easy steps, so you can spend more time with your loved ones and less time setting the table.
Step 1: The Runner
Start with a clean tabletop and place a runner down the center of the table.
For our example, we used a red, green and blue plaid runner that we found at Target for $18.
The plaid print keeps it casual, but the wintery, holiday colors make it festive.
Step 2: Light it Up
Candlelight always adds an element of sophistication to any table. We used pillar candles in various heights to create some dimension. Place the candles along the length of the table so that guests can get the effect no matter where they’re sitting.
If you want to create a focal point, you can place a few of the taller candles closer to the center. This draws the eye while creating the feel of a centerpiece.
Step 3: Seasonal Trinkets
To add some more personality and holiday cheer to your table, try adding seasonal items like greenery, mini winter trees (we found ours in the dollar section at Target) or leftover ornaments from your Christmas tree.
Place these trinkets sporadically along the runner, clustering them a bit more in the middle around the candles.
Step 4: Plates
If you’re serving your meal family style, you may want additional plates per course or a bowl for soup or salad. In our example, we used matte black dinner plates.
Black might not be a traditional holiday color, but we used it to complement the darker tones of the table runner and add a modern contrast to the tablecloth. If you don’t have black plates, or if you just don’t like them, any neutral, solid-colored plate will do.
Step 5: Flatware
Place flatware on either side of the plate. Our example includes only a fork and knife, but depending on your holiday menu, you may want to add a few additional pieces like a spoon and/or a salad fork.
Step 6: Glassware
We used a sleek, tall cylinder glass for our table setting, but you can use water glasses or wine goblets for your holiday table.
If you want to have some fun with your glassware, you can mix and match glasses with different colors and shapes.
Step 7: Napkins
The final step to your holiday table setting is deciding on the napkins.
Choose napkins that add some contrast to the plate. This helps them stand out a bit and it gives more interest to the table. Fold the napkins into thirds and place them on top of the plate.
If you have assigned seats for your holiday meal, you can place a nametag on the napkins. In our example, we kept it more casual and embellished the napkins with a sprig of greenery (the same kind of greenery we used on the table runner).
For a step-by-step, visual guide to how we set our holiday table, check out the video below:
If so, subscribe now for tips on home, money, and life delivered straight to your inbox.