Quick, easy and non-budget-breaking tips for a festive, family home
There are so many reasons why this is everyone’s favourite time of year. With turkey, mulled wine, dessert wine, more wine and christmas pudding, all waiting for us on Christmas Day, there is no better time for us to eat, drink and be merry, mamas!
This season is the ideal reason to treat your loved ones, and yourselves, to a fully decorated dream-house. From the tree (the ornaments on it, and the presents under it), to the food (from the oven, to the table, to our bellies!), there’s lots for us to be planning! Now everyone knows food is one of the most important things about Christmas, and we want to make sure your day looks as good as it tastes! Here are our top ideas to make sure your table settings are merry and mama-friendly!
Keep it Classic: If you tend to do Christmas decorations in a traditional way, then it’s handy to stick to that go-to-theme! Why not use natural ferns, with a simple candle as your centre piece? You can preorder stunning arrangements or even have a go at presenting it in a way that suits your needs best. Plus, fresh pines are a perfect way to get that festive fragrance, even if you’ve opted against a real tree! Whether you’ve ordered an arrangement, or prepared it yourself, you can always add your own touch with pinecones, candles, and little red ribbons to really make the piece pop!
Traditional Twist: Looking for some low-key centrepiece ideas that will still make sure that your decorations are a talking point at the table? For the adult table, try utilising what you already have and turn any extra wine glasses upside-down in a a careful arrangement across the middle of the table (look for plastic wine glasses if possible!). You can then secure a tea-light safely in the middle of each upturned wineglass base, and fill the inside of the glasses with a sprig of holly, or vines. You can even fill some glasses with an array of small baubles for an intriguing touch! This is one to keep out of reach during play-time, but for a more family-friendly alternative you can use transparent plastic bowls, and let the candles float delicately inside.
Cutlery and Crockery
Keep it Classic: Save on new cutlery and crockery, and buy extra food instead! Keep to that traditional theme and crack out your finest china. Work with whites, creams, or complimentary colours to layer up plates for different courses (realistically, everyone will want seconds!). If you’re finding using whites a bit too ordinary, you can invest in some red cloth/paper napkins and doilies, to pair with each plate layer. Time to get creative with the kids, mamas (arts and crafts activity, anyone?).
Traditional Twist: More inclined towards an understated, rustic setting? Use wooden chopping boards for serving starters, cheeses and garlic bread. Pair mismatched crockery together in a way that doesn’t look like you are on a dishwashing strike. This stylised design may not be particularly Christmas-y, but it can easily be complimented with a touch of red and green! Feel free to experiment with your own ideas or stick to using a simple holly sprig on each plate. Looking for a next step? Drape colourful ribbons to outline placemats, and tie colour-coded bows around the wineglass bases!
Keep it Classic: For a simple, yet effective presentation, go with what you know works. It’s really hard to go wrong with red and white. Add in touches of green, accents of silver or gold and you should be good to go, mama! A fun, and non-budget-breaking way to add a pop of colour is to buy a roll of thick present ribbon. You can then wrap this around the backrest of each chair and tie a big bow behind. This way, when your lucky family and guests go to sit down, they already know they’re in for a treat!
Traditional Twist: Sticking to the rustic setting, plaid tablecloths can really highlight those cozy vibes. Plus, if your tablecloth is printed with shades of red and green, then it’s a friendly backdrop for neutral cutlery and crockery. For the buffet table, you could even ditch the table cloth altogether and weave strings of baubles, or colourful tinsel around the plates. For a kid’s Christmas Party or an outdoor dinner, drape any remaining Christmas lights along the rim of the table!
A Personal Touch!
Keep it Classic: Christmas crackers are your friends. Always buy extra. It’s not just the little ones who want their own little toy on Christmas day! If you have any extra time, you could even personalise the crackers. If that seems a bit too overwhelming with all the other things looming on your to-do-list, why not create a seating arrangement whilst creating personalised name-cards instead? Handwritten name-cards are always a beautiful touch, and it’s extra thoughtful if you manage to find time to add a personal note within it!
Traditional Twist: If you’re not entertaining a big group of people and don’t need name-cards, a little note is still a thoughtful, yet simple, addition to the table. Even a handwritten “Merry Christmas” goes a long way! Instead of a holy sprig, pair a rosemary sprig with a cinnamon stick to really compliment the rustic theme. Run out of time? Wrap ribbon ’round a candy-cane, and no one will complain! All these personal little items can easily be tied to a cloth napkin or a christmas cracker, with colourful ribbon, delicate lace or some homely brown string. Remember, it’s the little things that matter most, mamas!
Whether you are looking to keep it simple and rustic, or looking to give each place at the table a personalised present, just keep the table (and yourself) merry and bright!