Your Holiday Table Setting
Story by Brooke Fedigan
Photographed by Dkol Photography
At this time of year, when each minute is more hectic than the last yet still surrounded by festive holiday spirit,
it’s always the uncomplicated things that bring me a sense of calm.
I do love the hustle and bustle, the shopping, the ringing of the bells, but even more, I love to decorate my home and prepare for holiday entertaining. I feel most relaxed in the kitchen cooking up a storm, and I get almost giddy when I start to design a holiday table setting. As I plan it out, I hear joyful conversations among family and friends, and I let these thoughts inspire my table design.
I tend toward the less formal and playful table, bringing some of the outside in. Evergreens and boxwood add a humble tone to fine china. I pair sparkly crystals with burlap. This playfulness makes for a beautiful table.
A table runner is preferred, and burlap will be a spontaneous welcome to this table. I start by picking out a main object for the centerpiece. Always work in odd numbers is my rule of thumb, and three is the magic number in this case. The boxwood topiaries are simply resting on Lenox vases. Candles of different sizes are placed down the middle, all resting on a bed of evergreen leaves. A fun holiday sleigh is chosen and filled with a candle and more evergreen. A few crystals are tossed about, adding sparkle to the light of the candles. To add a little whimsy, white balls are hanging from the chandelier at different heights. The table is already starting to look inviting.
An avid collector of vintage plates (I have yet to meet a thrift store I didn’t like), I have chosen an Imari pattern for this holiday table setting. These plates have all the colors of the holidays but can be used year round. Versatility meets complimentary—yes, please! Dinner plates set over charger plates add more layers to the table and a finished look to each place setting.
Not enough of all the same flatware on hand? No problem. Mix-matched brings added life to each place setting. There is no rule that says each fork must be the same pattern, and I say dare to be different. Why not? It adds personality.
Water glasses and wine glasses finish the place settings and the table. Drinks always go on the right side of the place setting, starting with water, then the wine glass. Even if your guests prefer not to drink wine, seltzer looks mighty pretty bubbling in a wine glass.
As I happily worked and created this table setting, I got lost in the anticipation of a holiday dinner with family and dear friends. Though the conversation and the laughter will be loud and festive, the table setting speaks merry and intimate. Take a trip to your local craft store and see what you can find. You may be surprised at the variety of materials and ways to dress up your table for the holidays. Happy setting!