Setting the table
Christmas Table Setting Ideas
Setting a Christmas inspired table requires more than just knowing where the knives and forks are placed, it involves inspiration derived from our surroundings. Here in the Caribbean we have a treasure trove of colourful and stimulating ideas to choose from. Whether you decide on a more traditional Christmas approach, a quirky twist on the Christmas theme or an intimate dinner for two, repeating key elements on the theme will tie the table setting d?cor together.
Your table should be the perfect reflection of who you are and it only takes a handful of personal cheerful details to accomplish just that without costing ‘an arm and a leg”.
The Traditional Christmas Table:
The hallmark colours of red, green and white are usually used as well as gold and silver for traditional Christmas table settings. These rich colours will brighten any table and bring a seasonal flare to your dinner.
A crisp white tablecloth, colour coordinated place mats or chargers will highlight the Christmas theme without being over powering. A well placed runner in the centre of the table in either red or green will make the table pop.
Try to avoid at all costs a hodgepodge of items on the table which can be distracting and instead focus on a single theme. Deciding on a centrepiece is the first element to consider for your “table scape”. Candles with either a pillared three prong holder or single candle stick holders are safe decorating features and create an intimate ambiance.
A potted poinsettia as a centre piece also creates a hint of Christmas cheer and paired with Christmas wreaths, pine cones and ribbons maybe all that’s needed to achieve elegant simplicity.
The simpler the tableware, the better the effect for traditional table settings, though some sparkle at Christmas adds a tinge of excitement. White or cream plates will compliment the centre piece and the runner, but choose napkins that colour contrast the tablecloth, red or green should do the trick, or, alternatively white napkins but brightly coloured or sparkly napkin rings.
Edible knickknacks can also provide an added touch to the centre of the table. Including these elements would mean the table is not only richly decorated but interactive as well. Clear bowls filled with assorted nuts for instance, or candy canes, Kisses chocolates or Ferro Rocher chocolates are pleasing to the eye, their wrappers are also in keeping with the colour scheme and they can also be eaten in between courses.
Christmas with a Caribbean Twist:
If you wish to move beyond traditional Christmas ideas this Christmas, you can focus on other colours of the season. Gold and silver as well as natural and earthy aspects such as burlap, domestic (Calico), and madras can tie in nicely with the Christmas theme.
Burlap runners for instance, trimmed with domestic or madras, with silver or gold tassels at the ends can help complete a Caribbean theme. Napkins made from domestic (Calico) with banana leaf inspired napkin rings are also a favourite.
Pressed breadfruit leaves, spray painted and dipped in glitter embodies ‘Caribbean’.
Try to avoid large centre pieces. Opt instead for graceful lines and let the slight contrasting colours and a cluster of smaller pieces like coloured glass, create the desired effect. Shells, starfish, bamboo natural coloured stones scattered and spaced the length of the runner, also add a festive reminder.
A simple vase of anthuriums in red and white with a tip of cranberry juice to colour the water is a simple elegant touch. Scented flowers like Tube Rose and Frangipani are also ‘winning’ table d?cor.
A Table for Two:
A dinner at home can be more romantic. Christmas dinner for two is no exception. The old adage ‘good food good mood’ applies in this instance, so too does the right setting. The main points to remember when preparing small sittings are firstly;
Make the table smaller by eliminating any extra chairs and positioning the table so it is not standing alone in a large space, but the centre of focus in a corner or nook.
No large centre pieces.
A small vase with a cluster of two/three or a single bud is more impactful.
Lastly when using a runner, because the table is small, for dramatic effect, allow the runner to fall off the table and even touch the floor.
A Few Added Touches:
Finding a few clever touches to add to your Christmas table is always fun. Christmas crackers are an enjoyable colourful addition. Creative ways of displaying placement cards, cheerful Christmas confetti or including a candy tower for the children are sure to be a hit!
Wine glasses can be turned upside down and used as candle holders as part of the centre display.
‘Three inch’ ribbon underneath individual settings can have the effect of making the entire table look like a giant present.
Making stamps of shapes of your choice and placing them on the runner or tablecloth is an added personal touch.
Incorporating a Champaign flute and bottle display or the use of coloured wine glasses, enhances the themed setting and sets the mood for a wonderful event!
So whether you are having dinner for the entire family or Christmas for two incorporating lively, creative and most importantly inexpensive details will make your dinner or lunch a whooping success and maybe even talked about long after Christmas!
Here’s to sensational setting!