Fit for Kings: Christmas Dinner Table Settings

Christmas is one of the best times of the year to set a magnificent dinner table. Whether you are having a big family bash or an intimate gathering with close friends, try one of these setting suggestions to make the occasion really special.

One of the easiest themes to try is to set your dinner table around a color theme. You can be traditional - red and green with a splash of gold; modern - elegant pastels such as pink and purple, or stark contrasts, such as black and white; elegant - blue and silver or white and gold; or fresh - seasonal greenery and bright colored napery.

You table setting should match or complement your approach to decorating. If you have a big old fashioned Christmas tree and lots of decorations, a traditional table would be best. Start with a table cloth in a bold traditional color, such as red or green, or a plaid. If you use a table runner, it should contrast the main cloth - for example, red cloth, green runner. A patterned or plaid cloth should be matched with a plain table runner and vice versa.

Decorate your traditional table with bowls of poinsettia, Christmas greenery and sparkling Christmas tree balls. Pace plain white candles on their own small dishes and keep separate from the greenery. The placemats and serving dishes should have Christmas motifs and look very festive. Add Christmas Bon bons at the side of every setting.

For a modern, elegant setting, you can use your own favorite color scheme, such as pink and lilac. Spread the table with a pink cloth and a lilac table runner, and use your best china. If in doubt, simple basic white table ware will look perfect with a non-traditional color scheme. Decorate the table with bowls of Christmas baubles in your chosen shades, and choose Christmas bon bons to match.

A lovely way to add candles is to group three or four tall candles together in colors that match your setting, and tie them together with silver ribbon. Stand them on small mirrors along the centre of the table.

White and gold makes a superb setting for an elegant dinner. Use a stand out table cloth, such as a white satin sheet for a big table, or white lace over white velvet for a smaller table. Simple white table ware will look fine, but trail strings of gold Christmas tree bead chains between the settings.

You centerpiece can be a simple bowl of white flowers, decorated with silver Christmas baubles, or a tall stemmed goblet spilling white and gold Christmas bead chains over an elegant silver tray. Add a few tall white pillar candles around the arrangement.

Place golden bon bons at each setting, and roll snowy white napkins and tie them with gold Christmas ribbon.

This arrangement can be easily adapted to other schemes, such as silver and blue, and black and white.

For a fresh look, and one more suitable to warmer Christmas climes, try a bright striped or checkered table cloth, and match the napkins, place mats and bon bons to the colors in the cloth.

Fresh flowers and trailing greens will make the perfect centerpiece for this table setting, and you can add floating flower shaped candles in bowls of tinted water. Bowls of fresh fruit, trailing bunches of red and green grapes, also make excellent centerpieces with this setting.

With a little imagination, you can make a table setting fit for the three kings themselves!

author: Gail Kavanagh

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