Christmas is about togetherness, so it’s not surprising that the places we share together on Christmas day become iconic and made with an incredible amount of care. First, the beautifully trimmed Christmas tree, second that perfect Christmas table.
Of course it’s not about the table or the print on the dinner plates, it’s about creating a welcoming space in your home for the people you love to come together to celebrate. It’s about recognising your family’s importance and the significance of being together.
That’s what making a perfect Christmas table is actually about.
Plus, okay, I’ll admit it’s a chance to get creative and have a heap of fun!
I’d love to share my love and passion for Christmas with you, so you can share your own love and beauty with your family.
HERE ARE SEVEN FAIL-PROOF TIPS FOR A PERFECT CHRISTMAS TABLE
1. Pick a colour theme. Three colours work best, it’s enough variety without getting overwhelming. Don’t stray from your colour choice! You need to commit to the colours you pick so be sure to select something you like and have access to.
2. Bring in some nature. Something natural makes for the best centrepiece. Pick a plant or flower selection that is a true reflection of your home and the atmosphere you want to create. A vase of fresh cut flowers or ferns, a wreath of vines or thick bundle of dried herbs tied with ribbon work amazingly for a soft and sweet feel. Australian native flowers like Waratah and Kangaroo Paw really add depth, colour and texture. If you don’t like the idea of cut flowers bring in some small potted plants that can go back into the garden later.
3. Layers work really well so stack each persons place up as high as you dare. Start with a placemat, then a dinner plate and side plate on top. Finally add a placename for each guest with a little decoration.
4. Placing each guests name in their spot is a great way to acknowledge each person individually. It’s a little touch that really feels special. Keep with the natural theme and use part of your centrepiece to add to each name. Pine cones also are very effective as name anchors or you can go with candy canes or Christmas ornaments, or for something delicious, write the names in icing on Christmas cookies! (add a Christmas cracker or small wrapped gift to each place for some extra pop and fun).
5. The placement of utensils is not only beautiful, it’s also polite. Did you know that the blade of the knife is always pointed towards the dinner plate to prevent people from cutting themselves when they lean forward to get their glass or more food from the centre of the table!? (In older times they were hunting knives and very sharp, but still the tradition is continued by any polite host, even for a butterknife). For the most aesthetically pleasing results place your cutlery 2cm from the plate edge and make sure they are even. Desert spoon is set closest to the plate and entre forks or soup spoons furthest from the edge.
6. Drinking glasses rest at the top right of the place setting (just above the knife tip). If you are serving wine and want to have a wine glass and water glass (or red and white/ wine and champagne glass options) it’s good to have the shorter glass in front with the taller (or wider) glass slightly to the left behind it.
7. Don’t have enough matching plates, glasses or cutlery – use it to your advantage. Mix them up and swap them around. It adds colour, diversity and makes your table completely unique. For a superior and classy touch use linen napkins.
Have a wonderful Christmas!
Peta Stewart – Certified Practicing Conveyancer