If you’re hosting a Christmas lunch or dinner, here are a few Christmas table setting ideas to inspire your best Christmas yet. Pick and choose which ideas work for you. There is something for everyone, from a colour theme, decorations to going that extra mile and adding a personal touch.
What theme will you choose for your Christmas table setting?
The first step in planning your Christmas table setting is to choose a theme. Do you prefer a more traditional European theme? Or are you looking to embrace a summer Christmas and opt for a coastal or Australian theme? There are so many options and colour combinations, so to help narrow down the choices, firstly consider:
- What colour theme is your Christmas tree, and would you like the table setting to match?
- Is your table setting for adults only or a mix of adults and children?
- Are you having a formal or casual meal?
- Will you eat indoors, or are you going alfresco?
Make the most of an Australian Christmas table setting
Many of us spend our Christmas day in the backyard, under the pergola or at the beach. So, why not embrace our gorgeous native flora and create a Christmas table setting that gets back to nature.
Create a table centrepiece using Eucalyptus leaves and gumnuts down the middle of the table, draping over the ends. Then scatter through your favourite native flowers such as King Protea, Waratah, Bottle Brush, and even Kangaroo Paw. Of course, if you don’t have access to pick your own, you can always grab a faux garland.
If you need to leave room on the table for serving trays, then several mini Australian native bouquets down the centre of the table will also look amazing – real or faux. Add in several candles, tea light candles and a few Christmas baubles, and you’re all set.
Go coastal with your Christmas table setting
Another summer-inspired Christmas table setting is a coastal design. A coastal design suits our Australian climate and lifestyle so well. It makes an excellent theme for any meal on Christmas day. Use a white colour palette with pastel touches and natural materials such as rattan placemats and linen napkins. Add a few pieces of driftwood as a centrepiece and place a few Christmas baubles in the same colour scheme to complete the look. Alternatively, a few candleholders and a lovely fresh flower bouquet will work well with this theme.
Add a touch or a lot of colour to your table
A colour theme is an easy way to create a stunning Christmas table setting that will have all your guests talking. Whether you choose one colour or a combination of three complementary colours, the choices are endless. A theme can be as simple as coloured glassware or plates with complementary colour napkins or table runners. Or you can go all out and match your Christmas tree colour scheme with your entire table setting. For example, colour match table decorations, placemats, flower arrangements, candles, cutlery, plates, tablecloth, and even your dining chairs!
Here are a few fantastic colour themes to consider:
- All white
- Blue and white
- Black, green and gold
- Gold and white, or white, gold and green
- Green and white
- Red and white
- Silver and grey
- White, silver and gold
- White and silver
Cherish a traditional Christmas theme
Suppose you prefer a more traditional Christmas table setting. In that case, you can’t go past Santa and his reindeer, a Christmas tree, tinsel and fairy lights! Not to mention there is an abundance of places to buy your supplies, and the kids will love it. No need for a separate kids table with this theme.
Lay the foundations for a wonderful Christmas meal
Tablecloth or table runner
Whether you choose to have a tablecloth or just a table runner, there are many DIY options available. If you need to put a few tables together to fit the whole family, then a sheet or a piece of fabric is a great tablecloth option. Not only can you choose the colour, but it may also fit the whole table with one piece of material. Alternatively, a stretchy tablecloth covering the table legs can make any fold up table look stylish.
If you’re holding a formal Christmas dinner, look for linen or cotton tablecloths and table runners. Alternatively, hessian or butcher’s paper also make fantastic options. Butcher’s paper works exceptionally well on a kid’s table and as a table runner if you’re on a tight budget.
Placemats and napkins
As mentioned above, adding Australian themed napkins and placemats can add a lovely touch to your Christmas table setting. Similarly, there are fantastic paper napkins available whether you’re after a Christmas theme, patterns, or plain colours. Regardless of whether you hold a casual or formal Christmas get together, linen napkins always add a touch of class to a table. Not to mention, placements can add an element of fun or style.
Plates, cutlery and glasses
Sharing a meal with family and friends deserves to bring out a good dinner set and glassware. If your table is short on space, layering your plates is a great way to save room. Using different coloured entrée and main plates can also add another design element to the table. Don’t be afraid to use black plates or serving dishes; they can look fantastic in combination with a green and gold colour palette. Finally, don’t forget to add water glasses and wine or beer glasses if you’re so inclined. A formal affair will call for matching glasses, but a mix of glasses can add a nice eclectic touch for a casual meal.
It’s time to add the decorations to your Christmas table setting
At this point it’s a good idea to have a practice run at your Christmas table setting. Add your tablecloth, plates, cutlery and glasses and centrepiece and any serving trays if they will be on the table. Adding all the table setting elements will indicate the space for decorations and highlight the best placement. If short on table space, consider using a few raised serving boards, then place decorations under or around the boards. Plus, guests will reach the food easily without disturbing the decorations and candles.
Now it’s time to get festive and add your decorations to the table. If eating outdoors, consider using outdoor candle lanterns and weights to keep your tablecloth and napkins in place. Here is a table decorations checklist:
- Bon Bons (or Christmas Crackers), whichever name you use, are a must-have for Christmas day.
- Candles, candleholders, lanterns, tea light candles, LED candles or fairy lights.
- Baubles, stars, wreaths, Santa, reindeer, Christmas tree, mini presents using old boxes wrapped in a complementary coloured paper.
- Flowers, garlands.
Go the extra mile and add a personal touch
Adding a personal touch to each place setting will undoubtedly make your guests feel welcome and ensure their day is extra special. And it doesn’t need to cost a fortune to make your guest feel you care.
Here are a few ideas:
- Sticking with the Australian theme, use a silver pen to write guests names on a Eucalyptus leaf as a simple placeholder.
- Using rosemary, create a mini wreath tied together with string and add a handwritten name tag.
- Give a keepsake with personalised Christmas baubles and use them as placeholders.
- Personalised Christmas cookies and cupcakes look amazing whether you bake yourself or place an order. And will undoubtedly go down a treat with guests!
- Use a large Christmas tag to write a note to each guest. For example, add your favourite thing about that guest. Alternatively, add a fun fact on a topic each guest enjoys. Then for a bit of fun, have each guest read out the fact during your meal.
Whether you choose a simple and elegant Christmas table setting or something colourful and fun, there are many ways to decorate to suit all budgets. Ultimately, Christmas is about spending time with the people you care for most, so relax and enjoy your day.