12 Days of Christmas – Tables the Holiday Way

The smell of Christmas ham.

Leaving out cookies & milk for Santa.

The warmth of a mug of cocoa on a snowy night.

Isn’t it funny how food can take us back to happy Christmas memories and festive celebrations?!?  The very smell of certain dishes can awaken memories of laughter and family and fun that usually are tucked way back in our minds (behind our grocery lists – must buy bacon – and the worry about our house needing to be cleaned, our mouths not being clean enough, and our hair not being clean at all).  And who wouldn’t want to bathe in our past Christmas’ especially if it gives you an opportunity to eat?  So that is what this post is about – preparing our tables for our holiday festivities.

I threw together five different tablescapes that can be modified to fit your personal holiday scheme.  Each one shows simple and easy ways to create a festive mood….but keep in mind that these don’t show food serving dishes which could be added or you could create a buffet to actually keep your tablescape feeling light and clutter free.  I know you’ll miss having your shoulders squished by Aunt Gertrude and your left sleeve constantly in the sweet potato casserole…that is just the price you’ll have to pay to eat at a beautiful Christmas table :)

First up we have a very chic table setting of green & white & silver.  The centerpiece is just a long white bread bowl with some green apples and some silver ornaments set on a white fur rug from Ikea.  And the silver is just played up by the drape of silver ornaments from our chandelier.

To create a silver ornament cluster of your own just cut four ribbons of various length and string ornaments onto it.  Fold your ribbon in half and slip your smallest ornament through one of the ends.  It will end up on the bottom as your ‘support ornament’.  The rest of your baubles can just be threaded through both loose ends of the ribbon, increase the size of the ornaments as you go.  Repeat it four times and tie the end of your ribbons to your current light fixture.

 The green light continues to give the go with this simple place setting.  A mirrored candleholder acts as a glimmering charger with simple white dishes and a white silverware roll.  The setting is topped off with a green glass bowl and a silver ornament with some festive green & white striped ribbon through the top.  Doesn’t the ribbon pattern kinda remind you of a modern candycane?

Maybe modern isn’t your cup of tea.

Well, this traditional table for two for tea should do the trick.  Only giving off a hint of Christmas, it could easily be switched for any grownup dinner for two.

In the center I placed a couple glass hurricanes with candles and split peas as a textural filler.  I think I love looking at the peas more than I have ever liked eating them.  And the oil-rubbed bronze color carries over into the center bowl which is hoisted up by a cheap bronze pedastal surrounded by fake red poinsetta picks.  Isn’t it amazing what you can do with cheap wreath picks?

Each place setting gets started with a faux runner – actually it is a wool scarf, but hey, who needs a scarf in Georgia, right?!  Then a gold charger with a dinner plate, salad plate and tea cup which hails from our collection of wedding china.  I topped it off with a cloche – making the whole thing look a little more fancy-errific.  A crimson napkin and a couple gold bells tied to the cloche handle gives the whole thing a little more color and a touch of rich appeal.

Ok – so you aren’t a tea drinker and you don’t like apples.  Well, maybe you are a typical girl and just like things that sparkle at Christmas time.  Yeah.  I prefer expensive sparkles.  But for some reason they always cost so much :)

Anyhoo, this tablescape is a little more wintery wonderland than Christmas cheer.

The centerpiece is totally easy.  Just a tray with a mercury glass tree and silver ornaments, a few homemade bubble ornaments, and a whole bunch of candles for glittery fun.   I used mini spice jars for the candleholders but really any kinda glass or silver candle holder would do just fine.

And the guests can sit down to feel really special…they are about to eat the gift of food (and their eyes get to feast on spectacular decor).  Tying up the plate and silverware with a little bow is sure to put a smile on the face of your friends and family – especially when they get the pleasure of wrapping their dinnerware.

And speaking of guests – let’s not forget our littlest ones – the kids.  A kid’s table is a must-have at some point in every family history.  And setting a table especially for the kiddos is REALLY fun.  Mostly because they won’t judge you and your choice of cutlery :)

Our table got youth-inized with a runner from red & white polka dotted wrapping paper and the centerpiece is just simply a tree (with the base wrapped in a red scarf) placed on a white platter and adorned with red ornaments.  Even the chandelier got in on the action with red glittery ornaments.  And don’t forget a jar or cup or mug of some favorite kiddo candy – a few candycanes go a long way in convincing the children to eat their greens.

The placesetting is totally geared toward keeping the little one’s busy.  A little wooden reindeer head can be colored or used as a name card.  And the placemat – mine is cut from a piece of craft foam – is just as easily decorated.  I don’t have kids yet hence no plasticware- but simple unbreakable white and red dishes can be purchased from nearly every Walmart or Dollar Store.

Lastly I set the table for a little hot chocolate and cookies buffet.  Setting the table for simple events can make them special and memorable.  The same applies here.  Maybe you just want to invite the neighbors over for a sweet dessert and some coffee or maybe you are a single mom of teenage kids who are just too busy with friends to enjoy an entire meal.  With this arrangement, you can have your loved ones – and eat your cake too!

I set it up so that it made sense to me.  Mugs stuffed with a candycane start the buffet line and your guests can dole out their choco-favs to customize their cup of sweetness.  Don’t forget to add a couple spoons – mine look simply simple in a jar with a ribbon.

And the other side of the buffet should house your cookies and small plates.  Just make sure that the higher stuff (like cookies on a cake plate) are in the back and the lower stuff (like napkins and plates) are in the front.

So there you have it folks – a few tablesetting ideas to get you in the holiday dining mood.  Anything strike your fancy?  I love the ornament cluster hanging from the chandelier – it reminds me of expensive grapes :)  And the wrapping paper tablecloth?  Why did I not do that sooner?!  It’s so easy and doesn’t require any laundry detergent!  And those cookies?  Ok – so technically they are just a prop…but still, I am pregnant and props count as favorites…especially when they are high in sugar and fat.  and love :)

Have you hosted a get-together already this season?  Maybe you set the table for a Christmas party buffet or a intimate dinner for 16?  Anyone out there with other tablescape ideas?  Or maybe a unique way to identify placesettings?  Or maybe you just wanna tell me what your favorite holiday memory is that involves food and drink.  Whatever it is that conjures up that Christmasy feel – let’s reminicse together.  One of my favorites involves a homeless man wanting a banana & my mom’s reaction to a drug dealer on Christmas morning :)

12 Days of Christmas continues.

Here’s how to make your own adornament…



  1. Amy G says

    I love, love, love the first and third table settings – so crisp and sparkly and gorgeous! I wish I had a dining room table to fancy up :(

  2. says

    I tell you between you guys and Sherry and John at Young House love my socks are knocked off everyday! Awesome, beautiful table settings and I hope I can copy everything (including the ornaments) you’ve done this season! Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  3. says

    Whoa….such creativity and time to put all those together. They are all so pretty, cute and festive! I love that we can see you in every silver ‘grape’!

  4. Redlilocks says

    Firstly, I love the fact you changed the cushions on the chairs in the background to match each scheme – talk about attention to detail! Fab! Secondly, I am doing a lime green & silver scheme (with hot pink as an accent colour) this Xmas and I was looking for things for my dining table – now why didn’t I think of green apples?! Going to buy some tomorrow!!! Also, love the baubles on the chandelier, gorgeous! You are just chock full of good ideas!!

  5. says

    I LOVE the winter table idea!! It’s so pretty…I need to borrow this idea for our teeny New Years Party!! Love It

    Stop by my Blog I have a giveaway going on….last day!

  6. says

    Ok, I am in love with the first table setting. I love the bright green and those pillows in the background. However, I love the split pea filler idea in the second setting. Why didn’t I think of that??

  7. sonia says

    i loved everything!!!!!!! i am so amazed by all of your designs. i especially love the silver with baubles table setting. wishing you and yours a safe and happy holiday! p.s. you have inspired me to do some thrift shopping for treasures after your last posting. thanks again……..

  8. says

    Love that silver version–and it’s fun to play with stuff you already have, isn’t it? After seeing it on another blog, I got out my grandma’s collection of costume jewelry that I never wear and used it to adorn the runner on the dining room table. Now I’m going to gather some more candles for extra sparkle ;-).

  9. Melissa says

    Now I have to arrange a few more dinners to utilize all these fabulous ideas :) I made a “shiny grape” cluster for my front door this year using the same idea (I added some silver bells). I’m really enjoying the 12 days entries.

    (PS – This is the second time I’ve noticed those white with green pillows in your pictures. Do you mind sharing where they are from? I really love them. Thanks!)

    • says

      Hi Melissa,

      ooohh, silver bells…yummy! I am sure they look amazing.
      And the green pillows (white with green flowery sprigs) are from Target. I don’t know if they still sell them online but I know that my local store does not carry them. Happy shopping!

      XO – Katie

  10. Laura D says

    I think this is the best post so far. I dream of what my tablesetting will be next Christmas (as i dont have a diningroom table yet) I cant believe all the different things you have laying around your house to throw all these together. The kids table was fun with the crayons. I think this one probably took a lot of your time – you did a nice job.

  11. says

    Wow, such beautiful and creative ideas. We’ve already hosted a big family brunch (decorations only consisted of a bright red runner down our dining room table filled with plates (and plates) of food) so next year I’m coming right back to use these ideas. I especially love that in one season, someone could use more than one of these ideas because they are so easy to change up! THANKS! and Merry Christmas!

  12. says

    Love love LOVE the ornaments on the chandelier – I just wish I didn’t still have the builder basic bronze chandelier at my house; I don’t want to really draw any attention to it!. I’ve used the wrapping-paper-as-a-table-cloth idea before and the only thing I caution is that if it gets wet (kids table = guarantee!) the paper just might stick to the nice finish on your lovely table. I might suggest getting a really cheapo vinyl table cloth and putting it underneath. Don’t worry, you can fold it to the shape of the wrapping paper so that it doesn’t show, but still protects the finish on your table!

  13. melarse says

    I can’t believe I’m just finding this now. Love, love, love it! Can’t wait to see this year’s version(s).

  14. Wanice Smith says

    Can you explain to me how you did the balls on the light fixture? I am a little confused on how to make it. Thank you

  15. LB says

    Sorry I too am confused about how to make the ornament cluster. I love it and want to reproduce it for myself this year. I must be kind of dense, cause I just don’t understand how you have made this from your instructions above. Any additional instructions would be appreciated. :-(

    Thank You! :-)

    • says

      Take a piece of ribbon. Tie each end to an ornament. Gather multiple strands of ribbons with ornamented ends and drape casually over the swoopie parts of a chandelier. add more till it looks full. Adjust until it looks gathered and casually elegant :)
      xo – kb

  16. Amy says

    I have several questions about the silver ornaments that hang from chandelier! Approximately how many Christmas ornaments do you use total? It says to use 4 pieces of ribbon of different length. What lengths would you suggest? Finally, where do you find silver balls in different sizes. I tried Michaels and can only find one size. I love, love, love this arrangement and would really like to recreate it. Thank you!

  17. Amy says

    I have several questions about the silver ornaments that hang from chandelier! Approximately how many Christmas ornaments do you use total? It says to use 4 pieces of ribbon of different length. What lengths would you suggest? Finally, where do you find silver balls in different sizes. I tried Michaels and can only find one size. I love, love, love this arrangement and would really like to recreate it. Thank you!

    • says

      Honestly I have no idea how long – just make them long enough to tie ornaments to the ends and drape casually. It’s better to go too long than too short because you can always tie it up a little tighter. And the bulbs are from Hobby Lobby – and Walmart :)
      Good luck!
      xo – kb

  18. Michael Mathie says

    Any chance you can tell me how you did the silver balls from the chandelier and how they retained the upside down cone shape?

    • says

      The plain white plates are just the regular ones from Bed Bath & Beyond…the ones with the line around the edge are china from the Lenox Federal Platinum line :)
      xo – kb

  19. daniela fedur says

    Hi there..this is so so amazing..my dining room looks so similar and i just bought a house. Can you Please PLEASE show me or tell me what is on the opposite two walls that are not pictured? I need help and ideas :( thanks!!!!!

  20. HEATHER says


    I am stumped! I am trying to make the hanging bulb arrangement for my light over my dining room table but I can’t seem to do it. Could you help me?! I am trying to follow your directions that you have above but it isn’t making sense to me.

    Would appreciate any guidance you could offer.

    Thank you,

  21. Rita Ribs says

    So pretty! Expecially love the mercury christmas ornaments on the chandelier! Great ideas for that WOW factor X10!

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