And so, this year it's your turn: the dinner will be held at your home and setting the Christmas table will be your task. We know, a little anxiety is inevitable. The comparison with the legendary mise-en-place of aunts, mothers-in-law and grandmothers worries you.
Cheer up, do not worry: we are sure that at the end of this guide you will have a thousand fantastic ideas for setting the most beautiful Christmas table ever. Let's roll up our sleeves!
Christmas table: the basics of bon ton
For an impeccable Christmas table (even in the eyes of the great-aunt obsessed with etiquette) the rules are the same as any other elegant table. Fortunately, they are few and simple to follow!
We all learned the first from watching Titanic: cutlery is always used starting from the most external ones with respect to the plate. The knife goes to the right with the blade inwards; the spoon, if present, to the right of the knife. On the left, one or two forks. The dessert cutlery, whether spoon or fork, are arranged horizontally in front of the plate, but you can also serve them directly with the dessert.
The glasses go to the top right, and don't forget that white wines and red wines "want" different glasses! If your Christmas table is very spacious, then you can give a really chic touch by using the bread saucers instead of a single basket for everyone in the upper left).
You can also place the napkin directly on the plate, preferably with a nice napkin holder. A very nice idea is to insert place cards, or even a small printed menu for each diner. The toppings? Better not bring them to the table, unless you have a nice oil, salt and pepper set to show off!
Finally, the centerpiece: an eye that does not prevent diners from looking into each other's eyes. If you are going to use candles, there are two ways: choose them very low (even candles) or, on the contrary, place them in very high candlesticks, so that they do not obstruct the view.
And remember: we don't say "good appetite" or "cheers"!
How many ideas for the Christmas table! How to choose the right one
What is the first thing to do when you have to decorate the Christmas table? Open Pinterest? Wrong!
The risk is to fall in love with sumptuous, very special, difficult to replicate arrangements, which will make you want to get new crockery and very expensive decorations (which at least you will use this year and then forget them in a drawer).
The truth is, everyone is good at setting great Christmas tables with an unlimited budget! The real challenge is to do it by enhancing what we already have, with small targeted purchases that maybe we can reuse.
To find your way around the thousands of ideas for the Christmas table, first evaluate the style of your dining room. It will be the one to guide you among the newest trends: certainly there will be one that adapts more than the others to the furnishing of your home. Choose that and let's start figuring out how to make it.
The 2021 Christmas table: all the trends
The trends for the 2021 Christmas table can be divided into four main strands: a great return of red and Scottish motifs; the table in green, between rustic and Nordic; peacock blue, sumptuous and eclectic; and finally the shabby table, for an atmosphere of the past.
Take a good look at your dining room, try to imagine which type of Christmas table could best harmonize with its style, and take advantage of our tips.
The return of the classics! The red Christmas table
Ah, the charm of tradition! The red Christmas table has the nostalgic flavor of the houses of the past. If you are afraid of overdoing it, use it in small touches: for example, white tablecloth and red runner; or you can choose this color for the napkin holders and the centerpiece.
A big comeback this year is the tartan motif: set your Christmas table with a Scottish tablecloth and you will give the setting a very chic British look. At this point you could combine red with green for decorations: a classic that never goes out of style.
For the centerpiece, opt for twigs with scarlet berries to put in a vase or, better, several vases of different sizes. Or, for a more playful effect, try setting up a "sweet" themed Christmas table using red and white candy canes as place cards: kids will love them!
The rustic Christmas table in green: for those who love Nordic atmospheres
If you have a home with a minimal or Scandinavian decor, the rustic Christmas table is definitely the one that suits you best.
Don't imagine decorating a house in the city (even if you live in the center!), But a cabin in the woods: the scent of pines, rough wood, snow, silence... This is the inspiration you should start from.
The tablecloth could be white, green or absent: if you have a nice wooden table, it's time to show it off! Instead, use mats and runners, always in shades of green, gold and brown, so as to leave the top with all its beautiful veins in sight.
If you have a rectangular table, leave the classic centerpiece alone: get some evergreen branches, such as pine, fir or larch, and create a festoon that crosses the entire top, from one head of the table to the other. Add cotton flowers, pine cones, fairy lights and candles, and you have created a very suggestive setting at almost zero cost. Alternatively, for a truly rustic Christmas table, use wooden boxes as a base for your centerpiece, perhaps in contrast with elegant golden candles: the effect will be totally unexpected.
The elegant Christmas table in peacock blue
If you have a classic and particularly elegant home, the blue Christmas table can be a great idea. Forget, however, the usual combination of midnight blue and silver: the most regal inspiration is that of peacock blue!
It's all about choosing a "warmer" tone of blue, close to teal, preferably for small accessories such as napkins and napkin holders: the tablecloth can very well be white, if you don't have a blue one. The combination that enhances this color the most is gold: if you have cutlery, glasses or plates with golden details, it's time to bring them out.
The ideal for this style is a centerpiece with balls: you can take advantage of the pine festoon idea in the paragraph above, but decorate it a bit like you would a Christmas tree. Use at least two to three shades of blue for a three-dimensional effect and complete with gold or bronze-colored fabric flowers - you'll have a table worthy of a queen.
Romantic atmosphere: the shabby chic Christmas table
Raise your hand if you love the shabby style even at Christmas! For fans of this timeless style, Christmas has become a wonderful opportunity to make your home even more romantic and evocative. You probably already have a nice shabby chic Christmas tree... Well, in this case the table will have to be matched too.
Choose a tablecloth in neutral tones, in white, ivory, beige or dove gray, perhaps in embroidered linen or with lace trim. The dishes will be white, but with a retro taste, perhaps bordered with small flowers; glasses and cutlery should never be too modern but, on the contrary, show off delicate inlays and facets. Runner and napkin holder could be in jute, to enhance the more rustic and authentic side of this style.
And finally, the shabby chic Christmas centerpiece: choose your most beautiful lanterns, preferably in pairs, and have fun decorating them with pine, lights, balls (in shades of antique pink, gold and beige, or even 'they covered with jute) and candles. Alternatively, use some pretty candlesticks to give your table a more refined and elegant look.
The result, we guarantee it, will be refined, original and able to truly amaze anyone. It certainly doesn't happen every day to sit around a shabby chic Christmas table.
Here we are: have you chosen how to set the Christmas table this year? We are sure that, with our advice and a pinch of inventiveness, you will be able to create a Christmas table that will leave everyone speechless. Happy Holidays from the Rebecca Mobili team!