One of the biggest reasons why Christmas is our favorite time of year is that there are so many decorations! There's halls to deck, stockings to stuff, trees to trim, lights to string, and wreaths to hang. The list goes on and on until finally it seems like the whole world is transformed into the best, most magical version of itself. And of course, one of the biggest stages of the season, set for one of the holiday's single biggest events, is the dining table on which Christmas dinner will be shared. In countless households around the world, groups of all sizes, family and friends, will come together to share one of the most important meals of the year. So it probably goes without saying that how we decorate our tables for this highly anticipated feast is almost as important as the food we will eat and the loved ones in whose company we will enjoy the day.
When it comes to decorating the table for Christmas dinner, there are just about as many traditions to contend with as there are for every other aspect of the holiday. Despite their number, within these traditions there is a nearly endless array of possibilities for creating beautiful tablescapes that will keep the ones you love eagerly coming back year after year. But for some of us, the beauties of tradition aren't quite so alluring as the urge to break out from the norm and create something with a bit more of a contemporary aesthetic - something new, and modern and equally beautiful.
Whichever road you choose this holiday season, the end result is bound to be something special. And to help you on your way to holiday greatness, we've gathered 12 fantastic tablescapes across a variety of styles. These wonderful tables include both traditional and modern approaches to decorating for Christmas dinner. They have everything you need to be inspired to liven up your own traditions or break out into something fun and new.
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Christmas Gift Bag Table
Who says that a traditional holiday table has to be overflowing with garlands, ribbons and wreaths? This year, take a cue from one of the holiday's most dearly held customs - the presents - and give your guests all of the usual trappings of the holiday feast wrapped up in festive gift bags that line your table.
This lively holiday tablescape definitely hits all of the traditional notes, from the gold and white color palette to the inclusion of strong natural elements like the branches and berries. Perhaps the most ingenious aspect of this design is that it's portable, making it a quick and easy job to clear away any obtrusive decorations to make space for incoming dishes.Continue to 2 of 12 below.
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Black And White Modern Christmas Table
When you're looking to break out of the everyday (or every year) with your holiday table, one of the best places to start is with the color. The traditional holiday color palette of red-green-white-silver-and-gold is so well known and established that any step outside of that norm is going to get some notice. And if the only real requirement of the holiday table is that it be beautiful and elegant, what color combination brings those attributes together better than black and white?
This holiday table is an elegant step away from the sometimes overwhelming colors of the season. The crisp, white tablecloth creates a neat and clean aesthetic while special accessories like the black silverware and mix-and-matched plate designs emphasize the modern feel of the overall design. At the same time, if you look closely you'll see that this table hasn't strayed too far from the fold after all. One of the biggest benefits of a black and white palette is that it can accommodate several different pops of color. So the red cranberries, green plants and gold plate trim can still give you all (or most) of the colors of the season while keeping it all in easily controllable little bursts.Continue to 3 of 12 below.
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Traditional Rustic Holiday Table
Whether you've ever actually experienced it or not, Christmas time often conjures images of frost-covered treetops, roaring fireplaces, snowy banks, and log cabins. The sparse minimalism of a life spent close to the outdoors may seem at odds with some of the flashier aspects of the holiday, but there's always room to quiet things down an bit, and what better place than at the dinner table? Besides, with so much outdoorsy imagery spinning around, a rustic approach to Christmas dinner seems like a natural direction to take.
The best part of this decorating approach is how easy it is to put together. With the right farmhouse table, the rest of the decor practically places itself. This table strongly emphasizes the the connection this holiday shares with nature motifs, leaving off all of the silver and gold in favor of miniature evergreen trees. This is a perfect table for piling high with food because there are so few decorations to get in the way.Continue to 4 of 12 below.
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Rustic Christmas Table In Black And White
Of course even the most traditional of tables can still take on a modern look. And even when you're going rustic, black and white is the best way to go to help give Christmas dinner a modern facelift. This table is hitting all of the right notes with a dark stained farmhouse table accompanied by tinted wine glasses and a black and white place setting. The twigs carry the outdoor element of the table even further as does the cute little reindeer statue. This can be one of the easiest looks to recreate in your own home as it plays heavily on the minimalism of the rustic aesthetic. So you can keep your decorating budget to an all time low while bringing your holiday supper to new levels of design sophistication.Continue to 5 of 12 below.
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Rose Gold Christmas Table
The lighter side of modernity for holiday dinners calls for making subtle adjustments to longstanding customs and habits. One of the best ways to do that is to substitute the normal colors of the season for other, closely related shades that nevertheless alter the look of the table just enough to be interesting while still remaining comfortable and familiar.
On this table, just the subtle substitution of pink for red gives the entire design a lighter and more elegant feel. Still present are the gold and natural elements that tie the design clearly to older Christmas traditions. So giving your table a modern look this year might be as simple as adding a little rosy pink to your gold pieces.Continue to 6 of 12 below.
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Christmas Cornucopia Table
Whoever said that the harvest had to end with Thanksgiving? Between Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's we feast from Fall to the end of the year. So why not have a Christmas dinner table that reflects your bounty? This table keeps the harvest time feeling alive with a color palette of rich purples and warm oranges. The spread of magnolia leaves keeps the connection with the outdoors while warming the table way up.Continue to 7 of 12 below.
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Silver And Gold Christmas Table
This is a table we'd all love to sit down to for Christmas dinner. Christmas is one of those rare times when there's really no such thing as too much bling. Metallics are the heart of this holiday and this table is piled high with silver and gold accessories. The metallic candle, ornament spire and centerpiece add height and drama to the table design while classic, crystal wine glasses help to round out the look. And as a finale, a special gift for each guest, wrapped in the signature colors of the season. For your Christmas table, look for pieces that can add that dramatic height, as well as the lower, table level accessories that can make your table really shine.Continue to 8 of 12 below.
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California Christmas Table
Just because it's Christmas, doesn't always mean that it's cold. Though winter chill and snowy nights are the usual thought for the holiday, Christmas comes to warm climates like Southern California at the same time that it arrives everywhere else. So if your version of sledding and building snowmen is hitting the beach and surfing, there's no reason not to embrace that when decorating your holiday table.
This is the perfect table for sitting out and enjoying the air on a warm, sunny Christmas. The decorations are small and relaxed with flowers and colors that reflect the warm atmosphere. Instead of dining chairs, try embracing the laid-back west coast lifestyle to its fullest by bringing the whole event down to ground level with poufs and blankets for seating.Continue to 9 of 12 below.
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Christmas Chinoiserie Table
In many families, the Christmas china is a special event all on it's own, coming out only once a year for the most auspicious of annual occasions. With so much importance placed on the china, there's no better way to adorn a traditional table than with an emphasis on the original china pattern: chinoiserie. Developed first in France before becoming a major trend across Europe, chinoiserie has long been the pattern most thought of in connection to fine china and traditional, upscale events.
In red and white the chinoiserie pattern on these dishes is tailor-made for bringing a special note to any traditional Christmas table. Accompanied by simple yet beautiful arrangements of Christmas foliage and an array of candles of various sizes, this no-fuss tablescape truly captures the spirit of the season - perfect for gathering with the ones you love most.Continue to 10 of 12 below.
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Cozy Christmas Table
In the age of Friends-givings and other alternative, low-stress holiday celebrations, it's entirely possible that your holiday gathering will be less a massive conglomerate of far-flung relatives and more an intimate collection of those whose company you most enjoy. But whatever the size of your holiday table, the spirit of the day and the love of those who are nearest to you can make any meal and any table into something special.
On this table we see again the importance of color and accessories in creating a compelling holiday table. The black and gold color palette strikes a pleasing balance between modern and traditional influences while the plants, though not traditional to the holiday, nevertheless maintain the connection with nature that pervades so much of holiday decor.Continue to 11 of 12 below.
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Golden Christmas Table
The simplest and most traditional of arrangements, this table relies solely on gold metallics, paired with white, to create an inviting table that feels less like an event and more like home. In place of actual florals, the typical holiday plants are reflected in the embroidery of the table linens. This same approach can be used with placemats, tablecloths or runners. Focusing completely on gold ensures a warm table environment while the lack of other, potentially obtrusive decorating flourishes means that conversations will go on uninterrupted as food passes continually from hand to hand.Continue to 12 of 12 below.
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White Christmas Table
We all dream of them, so it's only natural to find a white Christmas on our holiday tables. Silver metallics against the backdrop of a white tablecloth are all it takes to bring this winter wonderland to life. Cute, glittery reindeer statues say everything this table needs to say about the day and the feeling that it is meant to inspire. The small presents, various statues and dramatic, sweeping candelabras create layers of height that help to maintain visual interest keeping the nearly monotone color palette from becoming stale and boring. When bringing this style to your holiday table, keep the dining and flatware formal as a counterpoint to the whimsy of the reindeer. The combination will give all of your guests the feeling of a special event that's still meant to be intimate and fun.