Set A Festive Scene With Our Favorite Christmas Table Settings

Christmas Table Decor with Blacks and Reds
Photo: Photo: Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller

Gearing up for big holiday hosting plans? A successful soiree starts with a stunning Christmas table setting (and a festive Christmas tree). Here are our favorite holiday dinner table ideas. Get your dining room dinner-party ready this holiday season with these stunning table arrangements, from place settings to centerpieces. These Christmas dinner table decorations are simple, stunning, and seasonal. Once you've set the Christmas dinner table, serve your equally-impressive holiday meal for a gathering that's sure to be a hit.

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Winter Gems

Pomander on a table setting

Photo: Hector Manuel Sanchez Styling: Christina Brockman

Brighten up each place setting with an individual pomander. Use a toothpick to poke holes into each orange in the shape of your design (you can either draw it on or freehand it); then push in the whole cloves. Add a whole star anise for a geometric flourish. Once they’re complete, set them aside to dry. Place one at every setting for a festive embellishment.

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Cozy Classic

Christmas Table Decor with Blacks and Reds
Photo: Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller

"I love to blend the high and low, the formal and informal," says Buffy Hargett Miller. This seasonal tablescape starts with gray-and-white plates (Juliska's Country Estate in Flint), which she brightens up with cheery bursts of red, simple patterned table linens, shiny silver pieces, and a cascading centerpiece garland. Buffy's tricks could apply to most earthenware, pottery, or transferware dishes. "This styling is just right for informal holiday gatherings like Christmas breakfast or even a family supper during December," she adds.

1. The Centerpiece
Garland draped down the table acts as a runner. Insert pops of color with red berries, green pears, small apples, and fresh amaryllis. Simply place small vases throughout the garland and trim an amaryllis stem to fit snuggly over the rim of the vase.

2. The Place Setting
Skipping the fancy chargers that are typically pulled out for Christmas dinner, Buffy selected matching Country Estate salad and dinner plates. At each setting, she layered plates with gray-and-white-striped napkins and black flatware from CB2, which she tied together with ruby-colored ribbons. In lieu of place mats, Buffy improvised with red plaid dish towels folded in half. "It was just the right look. I wanted a fabric with a large print, but a table-cloth would have been too dressy. These were a less expensive option," she says.

3. The Holiday Touch
"Silver goblets and peppermints are the quickest way to bring Yuletide cheer and glitz to any table," says Buffy, who admits she still borrows her mother's silver pieces during the holidays. "I mix them with pewter candleholders to take the shine down a notch." The place card holders are easy to make. Hot-glue three candy canes together with the curved ends fanned out at the bottom so they will stand up. Tie on a place card at the top, or prop one at the bottom like you would set art on an easel. Fill silver bowls with additional red-and-white peppermints, or scatter them down the table.

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Detailed Red And White

Christmas Posy Table Decor
Robbie Caponetto; Design: Kathleen Varner

Take a red and white Christmas setting to a new direction with fringed napkins, eclectic glassware, textured flatware and a charming magnolia-leaf sprig.

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We're Seeing Red

Christmas Table Setting Ruby Red Christmas Table

This bright and merry table setting channels Santa Claus with vibrant shades of ruby. We love the crafty touches of woven ribbons and baker's twine wrapped around the glasses.

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Lit Up And Lovely

Christmas Table Setting Lit Up and Lovely

We love this cheerful table setting, and while it makes a wonderful kids' table, adding a dose of whimsy to the adult table with lights and toys is fun too.

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The Easiest-Ever Place Card Holder

The Easiest-Ever Place Card Holder Pomegranate

Robbie Caponetto Calligraphy: Flatware, place mat, dinner and salad plates, and napkin: Dessert plate:

Invite guests to the table with personalized pomegranates. Cut a small slit in the crown of the fruit, and then tuck in a calligraphed name card. Keep the pomegranate from rolling around on the plate by placing a sprig of greenery behind it.

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A Colorful Holiday Celebration

Southern Living
Hector Manuel Sanchez

Scattered pomegranates and ginger jars overflowing with a rainbow of flowers make a striking tableau on this Christmas table.

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A Twist on Tradition

Christmas Table Setting twist on tradition

Traditional Christmas reds and greens get a bold twist with this statement-making Ikat-print tablecloth.

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Naturally Neutral

Christmas Table Setting Natural Neutral Table Setting

This airy table setting works great in dining rooms with large windows. Quietly sophisticated china patterns like White Christmas or Eternal by Lenox work perfectly here. Don't skip on the mirror underneath the centerpiece—it will give the whole table a special glow.

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Trendy Table

Christmas Table Setting Trendy Table

The aptly placed antlers, rustic salt and pepper grinders, randomly placed feathers, and fresh-picked cotton centerpiece make this setting one of our trendiest yet.

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Starry Celebration

Christmas Table Setting Starry Celebration
Southern Living

Let this gold accented, star confetti-inspired table setting take you all the way through to the new year. A switch from the standard silver flatware gives this setting extra holiday luster (here is a similar set).

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Woodsy Wonderland

Christmas Table Setting Woodsy Wonderland

This forest-inspired setting exudes cottage charm. For a similar look, Waterford Wood Grain and Martha Stewart Faux Bois give a similar holiday-cozy tone. Our favorite touch? The delicate, moss-filled place-card holders.

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Rustic And Refined

Christmas Table Setting Rustic and Refined
Southern Living

Have a richly-colored wood dining table, or even a weathered surface? Accentuate the texture with warm brown-toned china like Woodland by Spode, and accessorize with pearly napkins and floral accents.

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Brilliant And Bold

Christmas Table Setting busy and bold

Classic Christmas tree china feels unexpectedly modern when layered with a leopard table cloth, tortoise flatware, and a rustic wood "placemat."

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Whimsical Wonderland

Blue and Pink Christmas Table Setting
Photo: Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller

"It's traditional with a twist," says Buffy Hargett Miller, who played up the mint and gold tones of Royal Crown Derby's Darley Abbey pattern. At first glance, the colors are a surprising choice, but she selected mainstay Christmas blooms, like poinsettias and amaryllis, along with a smattering of vintage bottle brush trees and ornaments to create this fresh take on formal style. "Most people do red and green, but I lightened the shades to coral and mint," says Buffy, who set the palette off against a powder blue velvet tablecloth.

1. The Centerpiece
Go for the unexpected when picking traditional flowers for this whimsical table setting. Buffy chose white ranunculus, star of Bethlehem, and silver dollar eucalyptus to compliment colorful amaryllis and poinsettias. Fill a small glass vase with about 15 seasonal blooms and fill the gaps with eucalyptus.

2. The Place Setting
"Picking a tablecloth in a rich hue is an easy way to make any pattern feel more festive," advises Buffy, who set the scene in blue. She layered the fancy Darley Abbey plates on top of inexpensive gold chargers, which she picked up from a crafts store. "Gold is gold," she says. That extra hint of shimmer also helps the pastel plates pop off the darker tablecloth. To prevent this setting from feeling too fussy, she used pieces of mismatched everyday silver-plated flatware she's collected over the years. Buffy secured each folded napkin with ribbon and threaded the tails through a big gold button.

3. The Holiday Touch
The tabletop was peppered with a mix of vintage bottle brush Christmas trees in blush pink (you can find similar ones on Etsy) and mercury glass ball ornaments with coral ribbon detailing. Their retro shapes are unique, and their textures complement the loose flower arrangement. "While the ornaments and trees are so nostalgic of my childhood, the colors that we used are unexpected," she says. Gold spray-painted pinecones bearing names written on eucalyptus leaves serve as place cards. Finish the table off with mercury glass votives for a warm glow.

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Gilded In Gold

Christmas Table Setting gilded gold

Layers of antique plates found at thrift stores give this table intricate, one-of-a-kind detail. Warm-toned goblets and unexpected touches like individual silver nut dishes give this Christmas table an old-world elegance without feeling stuffy.

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Red Velvet

Christmas Table Setting Red Velvet

There's nothing wrong with letting your favorite holiday dessert inspire you in every way possible. Hence this simple, red velvet cake box-inspired display. Classic roses, scarlet ribbon, and scalloped china bring the pretty, and the simple wood table keeps the look grounded.

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Airy Evergreen

Christmas Table Setting Airy Evergreen

A fresh take on the usual greens of Christmas. A blend of chartreuse, forest green, and mint feels updated, and the gleaming silver gives a holiday feel.

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Jolly Jewels

Christmas Table Setting Jolly Jewels

This sophisticated table is relatively simple, but the bold tablecloth and jewelry-like garland make a stunning impression. A full-on Christmas china selection completes the blend of old-fashioned seasonal and contemporary flair.

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Winter Blues

Christmas Table Setting winter blues

This casual table setting screams Southern style, while winter shades of blue and crisp white make this cheerful table last beyond Christmas and into the New Year. What's your favorite blue and white china pattern?

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Stunningly Simple

Christmas Table Setting Stunningly Simple

For tables with great natural wooden finishes, skip the tablecloth and opt for draped napkins. An all-greenery arrangement pairs well with the retrained glitz of these silver ornaments.

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Colorful Christmas

Christmas Table Setting Colorful Christmas

Color-lovers, rejoice! This crafty table works summertime colors into a seasonal setting. Layer plates to make each setting vibrant. The whole look is rich, fun, and celebratory.

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Citrus Setting

Christmas Table Setting Citrus Settings
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller

Classic Southern traditions, like that of giving citrus fruits during Christmastime, serve as the foundations for this table that's elegant while still feeling relaxed.

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Elegant Evening

Christmas Table Setting Elegant Evening

This gala-worthy setting has a secret: gold chargers are available on for a steal. Go for holly berry-red goblets to elevate your glassware to holiday mode.

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Layered With Linen

Christmas Table Setting Layered with Linen

For a casual setting that works for a variety of occasions, stick to complimentary colors that feature various patterns.

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Small-Scale Perfection

Magnolia Leaves Christmas centerpiece
Laurey W. Glenn

Make a more intimate gathering special by punctuating a classic all-white table setting with a contrasting magnolia and silver-bauble centerpiece.

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Exuberant Greenery

Greenery Branches Christmas Centerpiece
Photo: Alison Gootee; Styling: Suzonne Stirling

The beauty, scent, and texture of evergreens take the starring role on this table. Echo the feel with fauna-themed china and add glow with gold-rimmed glassware and votive candles.

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