As families gather for the holidays, I find meals become more central to our calendars, and last longer as we catch up on the events of the last year with those we love. In anticipation of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, I’ve designed a table setting for each special meal.
In our family, we get a little more dressed up for Christmas Eve, since most of Christmas Day is spent in pajamas, and I wanted the table to reflect that mood – decadent and romantic. This dramatic red plaid tablecloth is the foundation and star of the table setting, making even my everyday white dinner plates look regal. Gold flatware always feels festive and I made mini bouquets of boxwood and peony buds, secured with a thick gold satin ribbon, to place on each napkin. I usually prefer to mix up my glassware, and love pairing these classic wine glasses with these red water goblets. A good rule when designing a table (or many things for that matter) is to use repetition and variation. In this case, the repetition of gold and red throughout are complimented by the variation between gold flatware and ribbon, and red cloth and crystal. I tucked a few burgundy peonies, some heather, and ranunculus into a boxwood garland for the centerpiece.
Christmas Day Brunch is usually an epic event at my parents’ house, and this year I wanted the table to be special but a little more playful than the night before. You may have noticed I like using throw blankets as tablecloths, and I’m trying it again with an ivory cable knit blanket to create a cozy layer for the table. The mix of high (wedding china) and low (tartan napkins) makes this place setting feel fresh. I used the same boxwood garland from the night before, but removed the peonies and placed them in water so they wouldn’t die. I replaced them with little sprigs of nandina berries cut from my mother’s yard. (Be careful if you have pets! Many red berries can be poisonous to animals.) Lastly, I pulled up two red wingback chairs to either end of the table which will encourage the family to sit and stay awhile.
I hope our table inspires you to create a fun setting for your own celebrations. Do you have sentimental pieces that you pull out just for the holidays? A traditional dish or recipe? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!
Photos taken by Stacie Flinner for stacieflinner.com