12 Festive Pieces to Create the Perfect Christmas Table

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Festive Christmas tablescape.

Photo: Pottery Barn / Image Treatment: The Spruce

Whether you’re hosting a big Christmas lunch or an intimate holiday dinner for two, creating a festive tablescape is one of the best ways to add some sparkle to your home. That's because, even if you’re working with a small space, tabletops are like a blank canvas.

But knowing what to buy for the perfect seasonal tablescape can be overwhelming. So, with that in mind, we rounded up a list of must-have pieces for this year’s tablescape—including input from beloved TV personality, Carson Kressley, and floral expert Justin Lievano. These pieces are perfect for displays big, small, and in-between.

Meet the Expert
  • Carson Kressley is a designer, actor, and TV personality, appearing on shows such as "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" and "Carson Nation." He is also an Emmy-winning TV star and NYT best-selling author.
  • Justin Lievano is the lead florist at UrbanStems.

Pottery Barn Nostalgic Santa 16-Piece Dinnerware Set

NOSTALGIC SANTA 16 PIECE DINNERWARE SET
Courtesy of Pottery Barn

The easiest way to upgrade your tablescape without taking up too much space is by swapping in festive plates. This collection from Pottery Barn is particularly perfect this season when kitschy and vintage are trending. The collection is inspired by vintage holiday prints that recall Christmases past, and they’re perfect for layering in with neutral everyday plates.

If you’re not into the current retro vibe or you need a base to get started, Carson Kressley has a suggestion. “I prefer to ditch an exactly matching set," he shares with The Spruce. "Something like Ballard’s Bunny Williams Campbell House Dinnerware Collection is great, as the patterns are coordinating and in the same color family, so they work together without clashing. It feels ultra-modern and un-stuffy."

Ballard Designs Celebratory Cocktail Napkins - Assorted Set of 6

Celebratory Cocktail Napkins

Ballard Designs

Even if you’re not planning a formal sit-down affair, you can still pull together a sweet tablescape for a low-key event. These cocktail napkins are cheerful without being too holiday-specific, which means they can carry you from pre-Christmas all the way to New Year’s Day and beyond.

ComSaf Glass Bud Vases, Set of 6

ComSaf Glass Bud Vases, Set of 6

Amazon

If you’re looking to add some greenery but don’t want to go all out with giant arrangements, even the experts agree that that’s sometimes better. ​​Justin Lievano of UrbanStems tells us, “Don’t be afraid to play with non-traditional options. For example, you could break a bouquet up into several bud vases and place the bud vases between your candles, place settings, and decor."

Tip

You could even take individual stems and place a single flower on each person’s place setting, Lievano suggests.

Crate & Barrel Holiday Candy Canes Double Old-Fashioned Glass

Crate & Barrel Holiday Candy Canes Double Old-Fashioned Glass

Crate & Barrel

When it's time for the nightcap, consider special glasses just for the occasion. We love the whimsy of these quickly-trending glasses from Crate & Barrel. It’s the perfect way to wish your guests a Merry Christmas to all , and to all a good night!

Riverbend Home Oh What Fun Acacia Round Wood/Slate Board

Riverbend Home Oh What Fun Acacia Round Wood/Slate Board

Riverbend Home

Everyone loves a cheese course to start the party, and a cute board like this wooden serving board from Riverbend Home is an ideal way to work some Christmas cheer into an often-overlooked spot.

Pottery Barn Red Ribbon Handmade Recycled Drinkware

Pottery Barn Red Ribbon Handmade Recycled Drinkware

Pottery Barn

Colorful glassware has become a festive tablescape staple, and these glasses from Pottery Barn is a great option—with a candy cane twist. As a bonus, they’re made from recycled bottles, which means they’re hardy enough for daily use all season long.

Ballard Designs Maisie Table Linens

Maisie Table Linens

Ballard Designs

There are lots of reasons a tablecloth might be impractical, and Kressley tells us it’s okay to ditch them if you want. Instead, get creative with how you use your table linens.

“A common mistake is sticking to the 'rules' too closely," he shares. "I am a huge fan of getting creative with product uses and utilizing items in ways other than their intended purpose. For example, monogrammed dinner napkins can easily double as placemats. Have fun with it and experiment!”

Pottery Barn Handcrafted Glittery Decorative Trees

Pottery Barn Handcrafted Glittery Decorative Trees

Pottery Barn

As far as the center of your table goes, Christmas is the perfect time to go all-out with the sparkles. These glittery trees do exactly that. With their varying sizes and silhouettes, they’re great for arranging into an eye-catching vignette, and the golden glitter will look best set against candlelight. 

Ballard Designs Evergreen Napkins, Set of 4

Ballard Designs Evergreen Napkins, Set of 4

Ballard Designs

Regardless of what you use for your placemats, the holidays are most definitely the time to bust out the cloth napkins. These napkins from Ballard Designs are a great option if you’re going for a more casual, classic aesthetic this season.

Pottery Barn Rustic Reindeer Terra Cotta Salad Plates - Set of 4

Pottery Barn Rustic Reindeer Terra Cotta Salad Plates - Set of 4

Pottery Barn

By the time dessert rolls around, your tablescape might be in slight disarray, but that doesn’t mean the dessert course should be overlooked. Consider setting up a separate dessert bar, or at the very least, roll out special plates for the cookie hour—these reindeer plates fit the bill nicely. 

Ballard Designs Reindeer & Sleigh Napkin Rings, Set of 4

Ballard Designs Reindeer & Sleigh Napkin Rings, Set of 4

Ballard Designs

Maybe your napkin folding skills aren’t up to snuff, or maybe you just want to add some jewelry to your table display. Whatever the reason, we say go big or go home—and these Reindeer & Sleigh Napkin Rings from Ballard Designs do exactly that.

Ballard Designs Moss Spheres

Ballard Designs Moss Spheres

Ballard Designs

Fresh flowers, garlands, and wreaths are great, but Kressley tells us there are other ways to add greenery to your table: don’t be afraid to go faux.

“Many people overlook the impact of flowers. It’s not about spending a lot, but rather about showing quality. I’d recommend Ballard’s faux moss spheres for a touch of greenery without the hassle,” he says.

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