When I’ve spent hours working on the perfect Christmas meal, a great holiday table setting is important to me. Serving it on plastic Santa Claus plates with paper napkins is not really my thing, since I want to show my friends and family how much love went into the meal. Still, I want it to be simple enough that kids feel welcome, and I’m not ignoring my family all day to make the table look like something out of a too-perfect magazine spread.
I’ve been inspired by these beautiful holiday table settings and the creative details, and I hope you will too.
Above, the glam mid-century modern place setting seen at HWTM would make for a fun sit-down dinner with friends. In my dreams, I’d save this for a dinner with lots of friends, complete with a caterer and servers so I could just sit and enjoy my night. That sounds really nice. I might need to get on that, like, now.
How simple and smart: create a little rosemary wreath and place over a linen napkin as a DIY Christmas place card. It’s so lovely, especially when you’ve already got so much going on with the tree and other Christmas decorations.There’s a easy tutorial at Spoon Fork Bacon.
Buffet style settings are great for a more casual affair, or if you have more guests than seats at a table. I love this candy-cane colored minimalist table setting I found in West Wing magazine, which is a far cry from a sad little stack of plates over to one side. But being a modern Southern girl myself, I’d probably ditch the Waterford and use mason jars with striped paper straws instead.
Conor Lesniak created these yummy place settings using macarons for Design Sponge I love how much decadence can be in a simple design, using just a leaf, a cinnamon stick, and the bright pop of color from a macaron. Who says you can’t eat dessert first? It’s Christmas, after all!
Sometimes the key to a cool Christmas table is to find dishes that give off the Christmas vibe without being too traditional. I love these red plates and kitschy gnome plates at Anthropologie — they’re perfect for a more whimsical table.
Bright red placemats? Check. Fun patterned napkins? Check. Upside down wine glasses? Check. This holiday place setting on Real Simple is such minimalist fun. The red ribbon is a nice touch and a great reminder that everything doesn’t have to be about sparkles and holly and Christmas tree motifs. I especially like that this works so nicely for a family dinner with the kids–though maybe they get plastic wine glasses for sparkling cider.
I love everything about this table design, from the impressive but super-easy centerpiece–I’ve seen similar ornaments at Target or Michael’s, and you can make the DIY glittery Christmas trees in a flash with this tutorial– to the personal detail of photographs from your Instagram pics as place cards.
If you’ve got the classic “kids’ table” off to the side, don’t forget to a fun and festive Christmas table setting for the kids too. Sure, it’s going to take a lot to drag them away from all their new toys, but these adorable snowman milk bottles and candy trees I found on the Celebrations at Home blog could just do the trick. In fact, the adults might want to sit there too.