Ready, Set, Eat!

The Ballito MagazineDecember 4, 2020

Your step-by-step guide to the ultimate Christmas table setting.


Step One: Pick Your Colours

Having a colour scheme for your table will make your setting more cohesive and aesthetically appealing. Some great colour combinations for the holiday times are the classic red, white (or gold) and green, blue, white and silver, naval, dark green and white, or the more neutral white, grey and beige tones. If you really want your décor to be unified, match your colour scheme with the colours of your Christmas tree ornaments!


Step Two: Dress It Up

Now that you have your colours, it’s time to ‘dress up’ your table! If you want minimal table décor, add a colourful or patterned tablecloth, or if you want a solid-coloured tablecloth or keep your table bare, why not add a pop of colour with a gorgeous table runner? Better yet, you can DIY a table runner by using Christmas wrapping paper! It saves the hassle of washing it and you can use recognisable patterns to mimic fabric in your colours or a Christmas theme.


Another element to dressing up your table is cloth napkins. Cloth napkins add an elegant touch to your table, and you don’t even need fancy napkin rings to make them looking pretty! YouTube some quirky ways to fold napkins, or tie some colourful ribbon around them. Another tip is to swop the napkins with tea towels, as you can find these in so many colours and with cute patterns or illustrations.


Step Three: Choose Your China

Although this is a special occasion, using your everyday, white china will create a timeless look, and white dishes always showcase food the best. However, if you really want to bring out all the stops, why not dust off your vintage china? This is great way to mix the old with the new and even use your mismatched pieces (but try keep to your colour scheme!).

Step Four: The Finishing Touches

If you’re a minimalistic lover, you may want to leave your table there – but adding those finishing touches is what will woo your family and guests! Make them feel extra special by adding a place card (that you can make at home with some paper, cardboard and coloured pens) and tie them with a ribbon around the napkins, a piece of greenery or even a candy cane!


Another easy décor piece that will create a warm and cosy atmosphere is candles! Unscented candles are suggested as it won’t tamper with the delicious smells of the food. Different length candles can make a stunning centrepiece. Have any empty wine bottles? DIY it by putting candlesticks in the opening of the bottles and decorate them with ribbon or plants.


Speaking of, add some life and vibrancy to your table by gathering flowers, plants and dried leaves to embellish your napkins and plate setting or to create a breathtaking and colourful centrepiece by using vases. Take it one step further by attaching mini wreaths behind each chair!

Christmas tip: ornaments aren’t just for the tree! ‘Tis the season to make your table ultra festive by scattering colourful ornaments around the table, or go the extra mile by getting personalised ornaments with each guest’s name that they can take home (these also double as a place card and a gift)!


Sweets and baked goods are a scrumptious way to inexpensively decorate your table. Find wrapped chocolates or sweets (candy canes are a holiday-must!) in your colour scheme. Or, get busy in the kitchen and make your own cookies or cupcakes to add to each plate.


Step Five: ‘Tis the Season of Crackers

To end off your jaw-dropping Christmas table setting, welcome your guests with a small gift (because aren’t presents what it’s all about?). You can always go for a classic cracker that complements your colour scheme, but stepping out the box will make your day more memorable. If you’re willing to splurge, swop the conventional cracker for ones that house a surprise of alcohol, beauty products or sweet treats. Alternatively, there are many DIY methods online to make your own with your own choice of gifts!