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Setting the holiday table


Arranging the table may sound daunting but it is quite an easy affair. To reduce the stress on the day, set the table a day or even days before Christmas.

Setting off: The more wow your table looks, the more your guests will be keen to spend time with you. The table decorations don’t have to be elaborate; so you don’t have to spend a fortune. Creativity is what really matters here. You need a tablecloth, if you have a beautiful red one that you have used before.

Pick a theme for your Christmas table and use it as a decorating guide. You could also stick with traditional greens and reds to emphasise your holiday table. Use matching napkins or candles. You could also buy Christmas-themed tablemats and napkins. Instead of the traditional napkin rings, use colourful ribbons on your napkins and tie them in fluffy bows.

The table should be as inviting as possible, with enough space for the host to lay out platters and serving dishes. Since it is a Christmas meal, it comprises of multiple courses. Get matching cutlery and crockery setting for each course.

Glassware: Serve red wine in larger balloon shaped glasses to white wine.  Place the wine glass above and slightly to the right of the knife. Directly above the knife tip, place a soft drink or water glass.

Cutlery: The dining plate is the largest item in the setting. The forks are to its left and knives to the right. Entrée (starter) cutlery is placed on the outside with the soupspoon on the outer right. The main cutlery is closest to the plate, while the dessertspoon and fork are above the plate. Place the bread and butter plate above the forks, and the wine and water glasses above the knives.

Centrepiece: Create something memorable. Go for a single centrepiece that compliments the atmosphere. Fill vases with colourful marbles or sweets, and tie a bright red bow around them; or you could also fill a vase with fresh red roses, and wrap the vase with colourful paper. After dinner, the sweets can be dessert. Place several small wreaths in a row at the centre of the table then place a candle in the centre of each.

 In the space between the candle and the centre of the wreath, place some sweets or groundnuts. Guests could enjoy the nuts as they wait for the dinner to be served. Another cheap and creative centrepiece is wrapping a small box in gold coloured gift wrapper and ribbon. Fill it with personalised favours then distribute the same to your guests after dinner. Your centrepieces should always be below eye height to prevent it from becoming a barrier for conversation.

Lighting: If it is dinner you are serving, create a warm and glowing table by using small hurricane lamps. Place them in a row down the centre of the table. Decorate each of them with Christmas colour ribbons tied around the bottom. To add wow to your table, place the lanterns on a Christmas-themed table runner.



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