There’s no doubt that the festive season will look different this year with Christmas dinner plans a little more uncertain. But fear not, Christmas is definitely not cancelled, and no matter how many people are round your table this year, we’re here to help you add a little magic to the Christmas table setting.

Take a look at our handy checklist of little must-haves for your table, along with some great decoration ideas that’ll help make it extra-special.

1. Tablecloths and runners

Before you start thinking about all of the accessories and details you’re going to add to your table, you need a good base. Tablecloths are the perfect start, and because they’re available in so many different colours and designs you can really build on from this.

Red, gold or silver ones are perfect for traditional schemes, but classic white tablecloths (perhaps with a touch of silver or gold) are great for a timeless touch and can be used all year round. Equally, if you love your table and don’t want to cover it up, opt for a Christmas table runner instead. These can add just as much style as a tablecloth, if not even more.

2. Tableware essentials

It goes without saying that no Christmas dinner is complete without all the essentials you need to eat the food, but even these basic essentials can stand out to bring extra wow factor to your table. Here’s how:

Place mats

Ideal for injecting colour or for enhancing the theme of your dinner table, place mats not only save your table from hot plates/drinks and spillages but can really add to the overall style, too. Go for a festive-inspired place mat or choose something more neutral that’s in keeping with the other accessories you’re adding to the table. For example, a slate place mat or neutral fabric place mat is perfect and can be used for future dinner parties.


You might already have a dinner set that you’re using for Christmas Day or you may want to opt for something with a touch of extra sparkle to really bring your table to life. However, even if you’re sticking with an existing dinnerware set, you can bring a festive twist by using charger plates. These are designed to be used instead of place mats and tend to be in different colours to add a touch of style to your table. Gold, red or silver charger plates are ideal, but for an on-trend, contemporary look, go for bronze.


This will include:

  • Knives – including a bread knife and dinner knife, plus a fish knife (if necessary)
  • Forks
  • Spoons – including a soup spoon, dessert spoon and plenty of serving spoons

Final things to remember include glasses – red and/or white wine glasses, champagne flutes (for the compulsory Christmas toast) and tumblers for water – and napkins (in a colour that matches your overall festive scheme) finished with napkin rings.

3. Crackers

Because no Christmas table is complete without crackers! Whether you’re looking for luxury crackers or kids’ crackers, choose designs that fit with your overall table décor. Put them in the middle of each place setting – making sure everyone knows that it’s the rule that they should pull their cracker straight away and wear their party hat through the whole meal!

4. Centrepieces

This is where things can start to feel a bit scary, especially if you browse through magazines with picture-perfect festive table displays which look ridiculously elaborate. However, things don’t have to be that complicated because with a few simple accessories you can really lift your Christmas table decorations to a whole new level. Some ideas include:

  • Filling a bowl or glass jar with a candle, baubles or battery-operated fairy lights before placing it in a small wreath
  • Creating a floral display with festive plants/flowers like poinsettias, red roses and ivy
  • Using festive ornaments to add height to the table (e.g. glittering stags, Christmas trees and cherubs)
  • Draping garlands along the table, weaving them in and out of other ornaments
  • Lighting Christmas candles on the table and around the room

Mix and match a variety of things, experimenting with where you put them on the table until it looks just right. All of these touches, along with the other essentials in this checklist, are sure to add drama to your table.

Don’t forget the food (of course!)

Finally, it’s all about the food (glorious food). Probably the most stressful part of Christmas Day for whoever’s slaving away in the kitchen but we just like to think of it as a huge Sunday dinner with a few added extras!

Hopefully we’ve given you plenty of inspiration to make the most of this year’s Christmas Day dinner, regardless of how big or small it may end up being. Why not spread a little Christmas magic and share your finished masterpieces with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram? We’d love to see how you’re celebrating Christmas this year!

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