The Christmas table

By Lisa Moore

 When it comes to the holiday season we all think of Christmas, and when we think of Christmas, we think of food! Actually, we think of gifts first, then Christmas lunch or dinner. Turkey, ham, roast pork, pigeon peas, pastelles and callaloo, just to name a few. While all that food makes for a beautiful table spread, even the best table in the world isn’t complete without festive table decor.  For many, Christmas lunch or dinner is at the centre of the celebrations. A fun feast with lots of family and friends that can fit in one house at the same time, and the table is usually laden with tons of amazing foods. 

Your table decor should be an extension of your home’s colour scheme, which we spoke a lot about earlier in November’s article. Whatever colour you decide on can also be incorporated into your plates, tablecloths, napkins, runners, candles, centrepieces, garlands, flowers and more, to transform your table for this special day. 

Many families have special sets that they bring out for Christmas every year. My mother had her special 45-piece dinner set she used year after year, one which my sisters and I dreaded to wash and dry after our usual massive Christmas lunch. For some, that set would normally have a distinctive pattern or colour and would set the tone for the rest of the table decorations. 

Even if you don’t have a special set of china for your Christmas meal, it does not have to be less festive. Think about what you have and try and match it with the decorations elsewhere in your home. Please note, the plainer your china, the more versatile it can be. Simple white plates tend to work better than patterned, because they will work well with any style, from traditional to minimalistic.

The table decor and centrepieces are usually the focal point of the table, but for me, the yummy food is always the main attraction, which I know many of you will agree with.  No table is complete without a centrepiece. Before you decide on one, you must consider the tone of your table. Yes, your centrepiece can be as simple as a single poinsettia plant in an elegant pot, votives or a simple floral arrangement.  

An important note to remember when choosing your centrepiece is that it should be low enough so you and your guests can speak across the table freely. In addition, you may use beautiful tablecloths, made from embroidered organza, damask or faux silk, and layer them, which is also quite fashionable.  But this year, let’s think beyond the usual set of votives or the basic floral arrangement. For something totally different, for those of you with a large enough table and an adventurous spirit, let’s try a small manger scene or metallic reindeer adorned with other decorations down the centre of a metallic runner for an ornate look.

Runners are a great way to add detail to a simpler tablecloth. If you choose a tablecloth in a light colour like beige or champagne, try offsetting it with a darker runner. Likewise, if you are using a dark tablecloth, brighten it up with a touch of gold or some other colour metallic runner. Remember, one of the advantages of using centrepieces that are live plants is that they can be replanted later, so you will be reminded of that great Christmas past.  

People, Christmas is here!  Shopping is almost done. Christmas trees are all dressed up. Time for reconnecting with family and friends from home and abroad. Gathering, chatting and sitting around the table, eating tasty food and sharing happy moments with each other. Remember, as long as you spend the holiday season with people you love, your season is a success; don’t let the stress of hosting ruin your fun... Enjoy, and Merry Christmas!

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