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Ultimate guide to setting the table for Christmas dinner

Bring on the main event and make your table extra special this year. Whether you co-ordinate your style or mix up your metallics, creating a gorgeous setting is the perfect way to bring the family around the table for a fantastic feast. Our guide is here to help…

  • Clare - copywriter
  •  7min read
Ultimate guide to setting the table for Christmas dinner

Step 1 - Choosing a theme

Start by picking out colours from your overall Christmas decorations. If you’ve gone for a silver and blue theme, try and choose similar colours for the table for a co-ordinated look. Think about the essentials like cutlery and charger plates and the accessories you’ll be using to help decorate. If you’re opting for a rustic theme, now’s the time to pick some festive holly...

Step 2 – The tablecloth and runner

Let’s start with the foundation of the dinner table – the tablecloth and runner.

Before you start thinking about all of the accessories you’ll be adding to your table, you need a good base. Tablecloths are the perfect start, and because they’re available in so many different colours and designs you can really build on from this.

Red, gold or silver ones are perfect for traditional schemes, but classic white tablecloths are great for a timeless touch and can be used all year round. If you love your table and don’t want to cover it up, opt for a Christmas table runner instead. These can add just as much style as a tablecloth.

Top tip - Double up for added style and texture!

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Step 3 – Charger plates and Christmas crackers

You may think your Christmas table is complete, but charger plates along with added accessories can provide that added wow factor!

Place mats and charger plates

You might already have a dinner set that you’re using for Christmas Day or you may want to opt for something with a touch of extra sparkle to really bring your table to life. Even if you’re sticking with an existing dinnerware set, you can bring a festive twist by using charger plates. These are designed to be used instead of place mats – choose a colour that’ll co-ordinate with the rest of your décor.

Christmas Crackers

On top of each charger plate, lay out a cracker. Whether you’re looking for luxury crackers or kids’ crackers, choose designs that fit with your overall table décor. They’re a great way to add fun to the Christmas table, and surely telling a joke and wearing a paper hat throughout the meal is mandatory?!

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Step 4 - Cutlery

Setting down the all important cutlery. You’ll want to make sure guests have all the cutlery they need for their meal including the starter, main and dessert. It’ll save the person nearest the kitchen having to get up and down throughout their meal!

Don’t forget plenty of serving spoons and carving knives, and make sure there are enough teaspoons for the all-important condiments!

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Step 5 - Glassware

Have some glasses ready when the guests get there to give them a celebratory Christmas toast and kick-start the festivities. We like champagne flutes for this. On the table, lay out tumblers for water and a wine glass for each adult (if things are looking cluttered then add tumblers to a tray close to the table for when they are needed). If you’re going all-out with the drinks, why not get some fancy cocktail glasses and a shaker to add the fun factor?

Top tip: Set up a self-service station with our drinks dispenser so everyone can help themselves.

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Step 6 – Dazzling centrepieces

A centrepiece doesn’t have to be too elaborate; a few simple accessories you can really lift your Christmas table decorations to a whole new level.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Fill a glass bowl or glass jar with a battery-operated candle or fairy lights, along with baubles that match your table theme. Place the glass jar inside a small wreath.
  • Create a floral display with festive plants and flowers like poinsettias and ivy. Put items in and around the table or place one on each table setting.
  • Use festive ornaments to add height to the table. A glitter stag, tall pillar candles or mini Christmas trees will work perfectly at the middle of the table.
  • Drape a garland along the table, weaving it in and out of other ornaments.
  • Light Christmas candles on the table and around the room for added atmosphere.
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Step 7 – The finishing touches

We’ve got lots of little wins to make your Christmas dinner a winner this year!

Napkin origami – the easy way

Lay out a pack of napkins flat on the table. Take a pint glass and place this on top of the napkin pack and gently twist the glass until the napkins twist too. You’ll be left with a pretty staircase effect on the napkins!

Making table name cards

Get the kids involved with making table name cards for each guest. Take some white card, cut into equal rectangles and fold in half. The kids can decorate one side with festive drawings and you can write the names on the other side. Lay out on the charger plates for guests to find their place at the table.

Our wilko photoframe baubles are perfect to do this with as well. Open up and add personalised text or even your favourite funny picture of your guest. Add onto the charger plate.

Tying gold roll around chairs

Glam up your dining room chairs with a festive twist with our gold decorative roll. Take the 10m roll and divide into how many chairs you want to decorate. Weave in and out, or wrap around your chair however suits. Then tie in a big oversized bow to complete the look. Add our Luxe decorative too for an extra special shiny finish.

DIY Wine glass charms

Update your regular glassware by creating your own glass charms using mini baubles. Take any spare mini baubles and untie the string. Then take the string and wrap around the bottom of the stem of your wine glasses. Top tip – customise each one for each guest so they are all different and no one gets their drinks mixed up after too much fizz!

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Step 8 – Time to tuck in

Now all the hard work’s done, it’s time to tuck in! Just remember not to put too much pressure on yourself - your friends and family and will always appreciate the effort gone into the big day.

And don’t be afraid to ask your guests to bring a few bits with them for the dinner. It’s not a time for stressing it’s a time for celebrating...

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Hopefully we’ve given you plenty of inspiration to make the most of this year’s Christmas Day dinner. Why not spread a little Christmas magic and share your finished masterpieces with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We’d love to see how you’re celebrating Christmas this year!