How to Set a Festive Holiday Table
Some of life’s most precious moments are spent with loved ones around the dining table during the holidays. Whether it’s your first time hosting Christmas dinner for your in-laws, or you’re throwing this year’s annual Friendsgiving, you’ll want to wow your guests with a festive table setting to set the tone for a lovely meal. Read on for Euro Ceramica’s tips and suggestions on how to set a holiday table like a pro.
Holiday Table Basics
The look of your table will depend on the formality of the occasion, the type of food served, and, of course, your own personal taste. The key is to consider everything your guests could need, and make sure they have it close at hand. Then, you can add those special touches that make for an even more memorable event.
Holiday Centerpiece and Serving Dishes
The centerpiece is the focal point of your table and sets the tone for your gathering. While flowers are a classic choice, feel free to get really creative with the center of your table!
One timeless option is to scatter your table with gourds, pine cones, or garlands to represent the natural beauty of the holiday season. Edible centerpieces are another crowd favorite. Glass bowls of chocolate coins or Mason jars filled with candy canes make great centerpieces for the winter holidays, and pull double duty as an after-dinner treat!
No matter what you use for the center of your table, remember that the food is the star of the show, and your guests are the audience. Leave plenty of room to place all of your serving dishes, and keep your vases, candles, and other decor short enough that guests can converse comfortably with one another.
If you want your festive holiday table to really sing of warmth and comfort, bring in softer elements to contrast your glassware and ceramic dishes.
- A tablecloth adds formality while also offering protection from spills and scratches on your dining table. Choose one that is machine-washable for easy cleanup after dinner.
- If you prefer a more casual vibe, or you want to showcase the natural elegance of a wooden tabletop, consider a table runner to span the length of your table. For added surface protection, consider using cloth place mats as well.
- Cloth napkins are much more durable, sophisticated, and eco-friendly than their paper alternatives. Crisp white is a classic route, while dark colors show fewer stains.
Choose Your Dinnerware
This is, of course, our favorite part of setting the dinner table at Euro Ceramica.
For the Thanksgiving dinner host with a flair for minimalist table design, consider an all-white dinnerware set like our White Essentials collection. With its professional grade chip resistance and elegant simplicity, this collection offers the perfect blank canvas to showcase your culinary skills. You can pair the Pasta Bowls and Serve Set with the 16 Piece Dinnerware Set for a multi-course dinnerware set for 4.
If your style is more eclectic, try mixing and matching different types of dinnerware to add variety and excitement to your table. We suggest pairing clean and refined styles, like our Algarve collection, with a bold holiday statement, like the Natal 16 Piece Set. Hand-stamped with holly, poinsettia and pine cone designs, this collection is teeming with festive charm.
Planning on serving multiple courses and asking yourself: Where does the salad plate go? Where do I put the soup bowl or bread plate? We’re here to help. Lay down your place mat or charger. Center your dinner plate on it. There should be about two inches of space between the edge of the plate and the edge of your table. If serving salad, place the salad plate on top of the dinner plate and then clear it away after the salad course. Place your bread plate or soup bowl (or both) on the upper left side of the place setting. If you plan to serve hot beverages after the meal, place each mug on the upper right side.
Add Flatware and Glassware
Laying out silverware for multiple courses may seem overwhelming or over-the-top, but it really only requires a little planning and common sense. Use these place setting tips (and see the example below featuring our Blue Garden collection):
- Silverware should be used in order starting with the first courses on the outside and moving inward.
- Forks belong on the left side of the plate, knives on the right. Spoons are set to the right of the knife.
- Place your knife with the sharp side facing the plate.
- Lay your butter knife horizontally or diagonally across your bread plate.
Last but not least, you’ll want to place your glassware. At the very least, you’ll want water glasses for the table. Place them directly above the dinner knife on the right side. For those who partake, include a wine glass on the right of the water glass. Our Fez Glassware collection features a set of 4 wine goblets that are suitable for reds or whites, even a cocktail!
Add the Finishing Touches
Now that your guests have everything they could need within reach, it’s time to impress them with personalized touches to really make a memorable evening come alive.
Before your guests arrive, turn on some festive instrumental music. Set the mood by lighting some unscented candles.
You may even consider adding something special for your guests to take home. This could be anything from a personalized ornament to a Polaroid picture of the host and guest at the dinner party.
It doesn’t have to be labor-intensive or expensive to create your Friendsgiving, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Passover Seder, or other holiday table setting. With a little creativity and planning, your dinner party will run smoothly and will be a memorable occasion for all. We hope you’ll use these tips for how to set a holiday table at your next special gathering.