Table manners.jpg

Table manners

FOR THE likes of the Hyacinth Bucket’s of this world, the Christmas dinner table is, perhaps, the most important focus of the home’s decor at this time of year.

For others, although we like the table to look inviting, we have probably never really given it that much thought.

Perhaps it’s time we did. Looking at some of the most beautiful and exquisite table layouts in the December editions of the top magazines, it really can make a difference and can give more of a Christmassy feel.

I always thought it takes too much effort but having delved into the world of Christmas tables (!), it can be done surprisingly easily. Here are a few tips.

Fold a plain white or cream fabric napkin and then tie using a length of lace in your favourite colour (to match the table’s theme), adding a decoration usually hung on the tree – a star, for example. Place on each guest’s plate.

Either make a home-made wreath (see Home Sweet Home), or buy one, and place in the centre of the table. Fill the centre with candles, baubles or fruit for an elegant centrepiece.

Take a bauble from the tree and add a Christmas gift tag, containing your guest’s name and place on each person’s plate.

Decorate each chair back with a sprig of eucalyptus, tied with ribbon. You could even add a name tag.

If your table isn’t particularly large, choose a centrepiece that is tall and elegant – a tall sturdy glass vase is the perfect option. Fill with long stemmed twigs that are either left natural or have been sprayed with whatever colour matches your theme. Add some crystals or baubles to its base. Decorate the branches with small chandelier crystals and other glass decorations.

If you can, splash out on some festive china to serve up dinner throughout December. If money is tight, choose a pattern that will be available from year to year and then, every year, buy a few more pieces until you have a full set.

If you prefer simple decorations, or you’re on a budget, fill a clear glass bowl with a single fruit or vegetable, to give a monochromatic festive look. Think lemons, oranges or apples, for instance.

Basically, use your imagination… why not start your own Christmas table tradition?

Whatever it is, it will be yours that you can add to year on year and will become a cherished family tradition that, who knows, may even be around a few hundred years from now!

Take inspiration from