Setting the Table

The Big Day / Friday, October 18th, 2019

When you’re inviting guests over for a Christmas lunch, or a festive dinner, your table dressing must be beautiful. With lots of guests, you may want to opt for a simple design of table décor, with a long table runner and a centrepiece of candles, some foliage and a few snow-covered pinecones. Although it sounds lovely, it’s not always that simple. We’re going to think a little outside the box for this one, time to get creative!


Well, here in the land down under, we have a pretty different kind of climate, a little warmer than your typical white Christmas. My favourite table dressing isn’t technically a table cloth or anything even remotely close to it. Call me strange, but I absolutely love using a big roll of synthetic grass to cover the table, and adding accessories to make the table pop! I would use a long, plain coloured table runner down the centre of the table, use red or white plates, and decorate with red baubles and white tinsel. It’s too warm here to even think about using anything that looks snowy, trust me.

Another great table cloth we ever used was a thick Christmas embellished cloth. With everyone’s place cards, we gave out a different coloured pen and let everyone go nuts! I would suggest though, put another layer of cardboard or paper underneath, that’s not a fun mess to clean up. Write the year in the centre, have the kids draw their hands and write funny phrases all over the cloth. We still have ours, and it’s great to bring it out every now and then, especially when some of the people who contributed to it have since passed. It’s a great reminder of what Christmas is all about – getting everyone you love together to celebrate!


If your family is anywhere near as large as mine, you may have a buffet style lunch/dinner set up. We’ve learnt over the years to not set out plates on the table as they’ll need to be with the food anyway, so you have a bit more room to be creative and decorate the table!

Place cards are a very easy method to controlling some of the wild family members you may have. With the warm weather here, we can easily go outside and get some eucalyptus leaves, write people’s names on them and place them on the table in the correct spot. Not everyone lives in such a climate, so why not put a name tag on the Christmas cracker (bon-bon) at each person’s seat?

Alternatively, if you are drawing on your table cloth, just write their name directly onto the cloth! For the kids table, why not get personalised cups for them to use and keep after the day, a nice gift and place card at the same time. You could get little gifts for the adults too – personalised can coolers (koozies) or wine glasses. There are heaps of different ideas you could use to show everyone their place at the table, show us via our Facebook which ones you’ll be using this Christmas!