Setting the christmas table and table gifts for guests

What are your plans for decorating your christmas table and any ideas for mine?

We have more people than usual this year (10!) and our table seats 6. We have just bought a table the exact size and shape as our own second hand for £20 and we are borrowing 4 extra chairs that our like ours from my mum, so we are sorted for seating 10 people properly now, which is brilliant. One problem solved!

We have our best plates and dishes that we have had quite a few years now (Royal Worcester Classic Platinum) so white with a very fine platinum band on the edge of the plate for 8, and my everyday plates are plain white so am going to make up the extra two with those. I have bought 6 extra wine glasses from Asda so have 10 wine glasses.

My decorations this year are going to be red and gold, we have a woodland kind of themed living room and dining room so lots of warm colours and burnt orange, beige etc. I have got 10 stag crackers from Home Bargains for £4.99 so was thinking of red / white / gold colours for the table too.

I'm a bit stumped about a table cloth, I have looked at a custom one to cover the whole table, which would be about £40 but don't know if I'd be just as well buying two normal ones from Asda, which would be £16.

Any ideas on how to make the table look special in those colours, ideas for a centrepiece?

I'd like to do a little table gift for each person as a place holder with their name on a tag. Has anybody done anything like that or any ideas. Would be ok spending about £3.00 per person.

Anybody want to share how you are decorating your table this year?



  • 7roland8
    7roland8 Posts: 3,601 Forumite
    Debt-free and Proud!
    Well I love holly or poinsettia clothes but they are expensive - so I bought a few metres of fabric off ebay and just used that - could even buy extra to make napkins if you wished.

    Crackers decorate the table nicely and I like using candles too but maybe flameless are best with ltos of people.
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  • Katiehound
    Katiehound Posts: 7,605 Forumite
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    In the past my friend used to use a sheet as a tablecloth as the table was so large. I think she bought one specially as she wanted particular colour. This may or may not work out cheaper than buying a table cloth.
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  • bossymoo
    bossymoo Posts: 6,924 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post
    We are going daft this year and I've bought a variety of xmas hats (£shop and home bargains, so very cheap), one for each place setting. We have a hat with elf ears, Santa hat with tiara, xmas tree hat etc.

    I've done this because the kiddies like us to wear party hats but the paper ones all get torn.

    None of my chairs match, and there's no room for anything fancy on the table, as we cram everyone into the dining room. But it's always good fun.

    Away with the fairies :beer:
  • balletshoes
    balletshoes Posts: 16,610 Forumite
    i'd go with a plain white tablecloth (or sheet, as suggested before) and dress it up with a table runner, i have a beautiful red one with satin edging and tiny sequins sewn into it, it cost £3 from the Range :).
  • savingpennies
    I'd go with the sheet idea if you don't normally use a tablecloth. I use a plain white tablecloth bought from Dunelm Mill and have a Christmas runner I bought a few years ago in the January sales.

    A simple decoration I'm doing this year is putting tea lights in some small jars (jam/sauce, etc). I'm decorating them with frosting and I'm going to add some garden twine and a few leaves of holly and yew, I can pick from my neighbourhood. I'm going to put these on a silver tray I have as the centre piece of the table.
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  • 04624181
    04624181 Posts: 565 Forumite
    I too would look at using large sheets, probably keep the colour white so you can dress the table up with your accessories. There are lots of centrepiece ideas on pinterest, which im currently scouring for ideas myself.
    For table gifts we each have a small gift bag with bits in. Home bargains have in some small matchbox style retro toys for 39p. They look fab and Im using them for table gifts.They also had larger wind up retro toys for 99p , have got the kids one each of these for race games after the main course whilst we clear the table. We all have a scratch card each and will also be having a coca cola bottle with our names on as our place setting. My kids do not like coca cola but I will refill with appropriate drinks on the day.
    Have got some selfie christmas props for the table too. You can make it as cheap or as expensive as you want. We going for fun fun fun x
  • themull1
    themull1 Posts: 4,299 Forumite
    I've got a huge white cloth with holly leaves and berries embroidered on it, and a dark velvet edge, red charger plates, frosted bauble place names, small red and white cardboard house per person, with truffles and miniature perfume/aftershave/scratchcard. Matching crackers. in the middle i have a rustic wreath with snow/berries/cones with a candle in the middle and scattered on the table i have snowflake confetti. I have white napkins and porcelain napkin rings with poinsettia and mistletoe on.

    On the light above the dining table i have holly and snowflakes hanging down.
  • suki1964
    suki1964 Posts: 14,313 Forumite
    Name Dropper Photogenic First Anniversary First Post
    White table cloth then buy disposable runners which whilst paper, have a cloth feel to them

    You can also get napkins to match, think I got mine in js. The runner is a roll so just cut to length

    Hope your dinner service is dishwater friendly, I leave my platinunum ringd one in the cupboard and use the plain white :)

    I really think a white table with sparkling stainless steel cutlery, crystal glasses, and good quality crackers and a candle centre piece can't be beaten

    For table gifts, small items like napkin holders or glass thingies ( to identify your glass) or small individual boxes of after dinner mints

    End of the day, it's the dinner you are show casing and too much clutter on the table makes more chances for spillages and breakages
  • hostertlady
    don't forget to use a cheap waterproof tablecloth or table protector for underneath the sheet/tablecloth!
    just incase of spillages..
  • scottishminnie
    The Royal Worcester should be ok in the dishwasher if you use the liquid type cleaner rather than the tablets.
    I have Wedgwood Amherst and the grittiness of the tablets can wear off the pattern however the liquid is just fine ( Wedgwood actually advised this when I asked them).

    Ive trawled antique shops and charity shops over the last few years and now have some very nice platters which match well along with some linen napkins which I have dyed to suit whatever my theme is.

    One of my best buys was some acrylic handled cutlery from IKEA years ago. When I'm not using the inherited silvery cutlery this works really well and looks very stylish with the silver banded dinnerware. It also doesn't need polished like the fancy stuff! My challenge was finding 8 or 10 matching place mats and coasters. I eventually gave up and bought 3 sets of 4 which I place on alternate place setting so it looks planned if you know what I mean.

    If you have time some tea lights in jam jars look quite effective if the jars are spayed with etching spray. I've also sprayed holly from the garden silver and popped it in a vase with some assorted greenery. amazing how good it looks although I think my star centrepiece was a very plain cylindrical glass vase with white lillies and green energy shoved into some oasis and cranberries poured into the vase which covered the oasis. It got lots of attention and was dirt cheap.
    My biggest waste of money was some acrylic "table jewels" from the White Company. I scattered them across the table
    and watched my family shove them to the side after examining them. That reminds me I should really take them the charity shop::)

    For table gifts there is always a £ scratch card or a lottery ticket and something else. Once I made Candy sleighs for everyone with chocolate reindeers to pull them. Another time it was a packet of seeds, either flowers or veg and I once printed wrappers for a bar of dairy milk. I think I printed £100 note wrappers which raised a laugh.

    I don't think you can go wrong at Christmas - anything goes. :)
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