7 Tips on How to Set a Table for the Holidays + Decor Ideas

Learn How to Set a Table for Thanksgiving, Christmas & Any Holiday Event

Do you enjoy planning and hosting events in your home? What is your favorite part of planning for people to come over during the holiday season? For me, I love figuring out how I want to decorate my space for the season. Table decorations for Friendsgiving and Thanksgiving include deep and rich tones that are beautiful in the fall. BUT, not everyone loves to decorate or the planning that is involved in hosting a get-together. In fact, for a lot of people, planning a dinner party can be stressful. I am here to help! Below are 7 tips to help create a perfect Thanksgiving, or holiday table for your next gathering.

1. Add a Table Runner instead of a Tablecloth

Thanksgiving Table Decorations

One of my favorite additions to a holiday table is a table runner. I love the unique colors of our dining room table, and I would hate to cover it up with a tablecloth. Table runners add a nice splash of color to your decorations, are easier to clean are more affordable than a tablecloth. Win, win! For your table runner, you can purchase one or create your own with this easy DIY.

If you’re using a folding table or want to cover an older table, I’d recommend purchasing a tablecloth. One option would be to use a coloring tablecloth. This tablecloth can be a great conversation starter or a way to keep children occupied at the dinner table. 

2. Add a Placemat or Charger to Your Place Setting

DIY Table Setting - How to Set a Table

If you’re not using a tablecloth, adding a placemat or charger is another way to protect your table. If you’re hosting a formal dinner, I recommend using a charger under your plate. For an informal or casual dinner party, placemats are a great option.

3. Plan Your Place Settings

  • China or Special Holiday Dishes: If you have a set of China, the holiday season is a great time to bring it out and use it. (And adds an extra formal element to your event!)
  • Disposable Dishes: There are so many cute holiday and color options when it comes to disposable place settings. One benefit to using disposable dishes is less mess to clean up after the meal. Yes, you will still have dishes to clean, but you get to eliminate 20+ plates and bowls (which is a win in my book). In the end, this options gives you more time to spend with your company, instead of heading to the kitchen to clean.
  • Simple White Dishes: Simple white dishes are great to use for holiday meals. The white backdrop of the plate allows for your food to be showcased!

4. Plan Out Your Silverware / Cutlery

It’s important to know how you will set your table. Are you serving your food in a buffet style? If so, you can put your silverware in a container by your plates for your guests to pick them up as they are gathering their food. To achieve a more formal look, place your silverware out on your place settings. While setting the table, remember to place silverware in the order you use it so you can work from the outside in towards your place.

5. Use Cloth Napkins

Whether you purchase cloth napkins or sew your own, adding them to your holiday table provides your guest with a more upscale feel to your dinner. I love how napkins can add color to your table, which helps you to pull your decorations together. Plus, they’re reusable, so you eliminate needing to purchase and throw out paper napkins year after year.

6. Add Simple Decorations

Thanksgiving Table Decorations + Tips for Hosting

Centerpieces are an essential part of your holiday table decorations! When possible, avoid adding tall centerpieces. Smaller centerpieces allow your guests to easily see and interact with each other from across the table.

  • Small Pumpkins
  • Pinecones
  • Pomegranates
  • Fall or Winter Flowers (fake or real)

If you use food as decor, you produce no waste since you can eat the food after or during the meal (if you desire). And it’s an affordable way to make your table decorations pop!d

7. Rent Your Table Decorations

If you don’t have time to create the look you want, or don’t have room to store decorations after your holiday dinner, you can rent table decorations. Why rent your decor?

  • You don’t have to invest in buying holiday flatware
  • You don’t have to store additional holiday decorations
  • You can change out your look every year

Sites like tableandteaspoon.com and otisandpearl.com provide a variety of decorating options that are sure to suit your individual style.

I hope you find these tips helpful. If you have any additional tips for decoration for the upcoming holidays, please let us know in the comments below!

The fabric used in this post was generously provided to me by Spoonflower, but as always all opinions expressed are my own!

Fabric I Used for the DIY Napkins:

Fabric I Used for the Table Runner and Placemats:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *