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How to Decorate a Dining Table in Time for Christmas

Whether you’re opting for turkey, beef or something a bit less traditional this year, the sit-down meal is one of the main highlights of Christmas Day. Not only do you get to eat, drink and be merry, but sitting around the table is also the perfect opportunity to share some quality time with your nearest and dearest.

So grab a cinnamon hot choc (or a bucks fizz!) and read our top tips on decorating your table for Christmas dinner.

Start with the basics 

It’s tempting to rush straight into the glitter, tinsel and trimmings, but your dining table decorating will go a lot smoother if you take a little time to concentrate on the basics first.

The table – Give your dining table a once over to make sure it’s looking its best. If you have a wooden dining table, check for pests and consider giving it a sanding or polishing. For glass tables, wipe down with glass cleaner and dry with a soft, lint-free cloth. Alternatively, pick a table-cloth or table-runner in a statement colour as a base for your dining table decorations.

Chairs – Avoid a last-minute panic by making sure you have enough seating for all your guests in advance. Benches are a great seating solution if you’re short on space and if you don’t have enough matching dining chairs for large numbers of guests, attaching ribbons or tinsel to their backs will make chairs look more unified.

Tableware – You’ll also want to check you’ve got plenty of crockery, cutlery and glassware before taking the roast out of the oven. You can make plain tableware look more festive with decorative napkins and personalised place-settings. 

Add some sparkle

Once you’ve got the basics sorted, you can start decorating! Whether you’re a fan of silver bells, glittering snow or bright, patterned wrapping paper, there are lots of classic Christmas themes for you to draw inspiration from.

Lights – Christmas is a festival of light, so a dining table covered in twinkling lights will always look festive. Fairy lights can be spread along the table, gathered in jars or wound around other decorations. Ice white bulbs will provide a bright, modern look, while warmer lights are perfect for complimenting traditional deep reds and greens. If you want an even more traditional look, use candles to provide a magical flickering lighting for your dining table instead.

Foliage – Another classical Christmas decoration is deep green, wintery foliage. If you’re decorating on a budget, there are always branches of evergreens, holly and ivy available in hedgerows. You can always bulk out hedgerow finds with a couple of sprigs of eucalyptus or myrtle from a florist for a more modern look.

Crackers – A uniquely British Christmas tradition, pulling crackers at the dinner table is a delightful, and essential, part of any Christmas dinner. With so many crackers to choose from, it’s easy to find some that can be part of the décor as well as the Christmas fun. 

Get everyone involved

Christmas is all about spending time with the people you love, so involve everybody in the decoration of the dining table. Kids can help create centrepieces, homemade crackers and place settings. They might not look perfect, but your guests will love the personal, homemade touch and your children will love seeing their handiwork included in the Christmas decorations. Check out our Harvey’s Yule Rules for some extra Christmas family activities and crafting ideas.

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