Singer Andy Williams expressed it best: “It’s the most wonderful time of the year!” For many, the Christmas season is a wonderful, magical time of year. While it’s hard to believe that anything could make it more wonderful, there is possibly something that could. Christmas tablescapes infuse your holiday meal with aesthetic flavor that makes it all the more tantalizing.

Tablescaping is the art of decking not just your halls but your dining table. When you tablescape, you create an ambience and mood that delights guests and completes the meal. Christmas tablescapes bridge food and feeling to make your meal the most wonderful part of your party.

Building Christmas Tablescapes

Martha Stewart promises that your table makes a first impression. It’s the table, not the food, that guests first experience. Tablescapes can enrich the Christmas spirit, making the entire dining experience merry and bright.

When planning your tablescape, first think big picture. Consider the table itself and what it will hold. Since tablescaping includes decorating, consider all elements that will be part of your dinner.

  • The table itself
  • Place settings
  • Napkins
  • Placemats
  • Centerpiece
  • Chairs

Think of your entire table as a canvas for a magical Christmas setting. A large canvas on which to embody your idea of the most wonderful time of the year.

Choosing a Theme for Your Christmas Tablescape

This is the time for you to bring joy to your world. The possibilities for Christmas tablescapes are almost endless. Consider what mood you want to create. Is it cozy, joyful, subdued and peaceful, reverent, merry, jingly? It’s your gala, and the table you design will set the tone.

What, exactly, sets the tone? Christmas tablescapes can have different types of themes.


Be creative in crafting your scene. Just a few examples of scenes you can create are…

  • Christmastime in the City
  • Silver Bells or Jingle Bells
  • Winter Wonderland or White Christmas
  • The North Pole
  • The Nutcracker Ballet
  • Winter Forest (Use this centerpiece to inspire the rest of the tablescape)
  • Traditional/Old Fashioned Christmas
  • Victorian Christmas
  • Nativity


Your tablescape doesn’t have to be a complete setting. Color can be your theme, and there aren’t many restrictions other than your own taste. These colors work particularly well for Christmas tablescapes:

  • Traditional Christmas red, green, and gold
  • Pink and white, pink and green, or pink and metallic gold/silver
  • White with accents in any color
  • Jewel tones
  • Blue with white, gold, and/or silver

christmas tablescape

Delight is in the Details

Once you have decided on a theme and/or color scheme, the fun of creating begins. The theme creates the ambience for your dinner, but it’s the details that makes it incredible. Think in terms of textures, layers, and small details. Just a sampling of ideas:

  • Ribbons of different materials and widths tied around candles, napkins, or silverware add depth.
  • Instead of a traditional table cover, use a favorite Christmas blanket or throw.
  • Use a traditional Christmas table cloth and attach old photographs in strategic places.
  • Use ornaments of different shapes, colors, and textures placed on the place settings and/or scattered around the table.
  • Fill clear ornaments with glitter or confetti.
  • Pieces from Christmas villages work great in tablescapes.
  • Use items from nature, such as pine cones, twigs, pebbles, and more.
  • For a festive table runner, paint song lyrics on kraft paper.
  • Small bowls of chestnuts and nutcrackers sporting ribbon and a small charm provide festive nourishment.
  • Arrange things so that they vary in height. Use candlesticks as pedestals, or use small boxes of varying height and width to hold items. Wrap the boxes in holiday wrapping paper to match your colors, or use old sheet music.
  • Consider including the chairs. Chairs are often neglected, but they can extend the tablescape. Keep it simple and functional, and add a touch of Christmas to every chair. A large bow tied around the chairs, if it fits with your theme, looks festive without being overdone.


Dinnerware is an integral part of your holiday tablescape. After all, that is what will hold the feast itself. This doesn’t mean that you have to buy a new set of holiday dishes for your tablescape. You can use white dishes and bring them to life by placing sprigs of herbs, strands of cranberries or other faux berries across the plates.

Blue dishes are excellent additions to the Christmas table. Accent your table with blue Christmas decorations and glitzy gold. Add greenery, pinecones sprayed gold, and then keep going for a classy, holiday table.

Christmas Centerpieces

In addition to all the other wonderful things that are part of your tablescape, the centerpiece is a focal point. Centerpieces, and the other items, should enhance rather than compete with each other. Use the same texture, colors, and details in your centerpiece as you do throughout your scene.

Your centerpiece can be a part of the scene. It can also be a simple floral arrangement or a grouping of decorative Christmas trees in varying heights.

A multilevel centerpiece offers visual appeal. For example, use an outdoor planter as a stand to hold plates of Christmas goodies.

Candles are an excellent part of a Christmas tablescape. Use them in a grouping at the center of the table, and place them strategically across the table. Mix it up by using candles of different heights and circumferences, by placing some on candle holders and some in glass jars. Add greenery, berries, and pinecones to enhance the peaceful holiday look.

Make Your Holiday and Your Tablescape Merry

Christmas tablescapes enrich your home and can delight your holiday guests. Your tablescape is an extension of your personality, and it represents your unique ideas for your holiday time. Use the information here as a guide, and then landscape your table just the way you want it to be.

Your Christmas tablescape will be one part of this most wonderful time of the year. Let it help make your holiday merry.

Image Source: Adobe Stock



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