Get ready for the Christmas season with our clever tricks to simplify the holidays. Including crafty Christmas wrapping ideas, must-try ideas for hosting guests, and why-didn't-I-think-of-that Christmas shortcuts, our tips for the holiday season are guaranteed to make your life easier.View Slideshow
Set the stage for your Christmas feast with table settings dressed to celebrate the season.
Traditional Christmas colors get a modern twist when paired with silver. Two tall silver candlesticks sitting on a bed of evergreen branches makes a classic centerpiece. Top a stack of white dishes with a napkin wrapped with an evergreen sprig and a silver napkin ring. A display of red cranberries in a pearl-encrusted bowl and a bouquet of white hydrangeas add inexpensive color and beauty to a Christmas feast.
Give your dining experience a classic touch by using traditional colors. Top a red tablecloth with red and white plates separated by a red napkin. Create flatware caddies from seasonal envelopes accented with a peppermint stick. Place green ornaments in a clear vase and set in the center of a wreath for a centerpiece that amplifies the color palette.
The key to any glitzy Christmas table is pops of silver and pink. A small silver tree atop a glass compote makes room for wrapped favors below. Vintage ice cream dishes make wonderful vases filled with pink ranunculus. For festive flair, wrap napkins with silver and pink ribbon and tuck them between mismatched dinner plates. Dainty crowns sitting on the plates fly flags touting seating arrangements.
Bring a sweet twist to Christmas entertaining by combining zesty orange hues with frosty greens and rich copper accents. Decorate the table with mint julep cups filled with mini orange and ivory roses. Tuck a bowl of oranges inside a vintage birdcage to create a transparent centerpiece. Brighten up the scene by playfully suspending twinkling stars and shimmering flatware from any evergreen-festooned chandelier.
Turn your table into a winter landscape by decking it out with a cool blue tablecloth and icy white plates topped with silver wrapped favors. Add height to the table with fanned out blue napkins tucked into glasses and adorned with silver napkin rings. Scatter frosty ornaments and silver trees across the table, and Jack Frost will be begging for an invite to your party.
Bring bright, country flair to your table with a few cozy touches. A multicolor knitted blanket adds warmth when used as a tablecloth. An assortment of colorful candles grouped in the center with evergreen sprigs and pinecones gives a soft glow. Thick washcloths serve as napkins and knitted socks hold silverware.
From desktop to the dinner table, office supplies are oodles of fun for a Christmas get-together. Anything you can find at an office supply store can be used to pull off this creative, contemporary table. Bright, patterned place mats made from opened pocket folders get a fun touch when edged with words printed with a label maker. Wrap paper napkins with short lengths of flexible ruler wired together at the ends for a napkin ring. Set candles in mesh holders decorated with bright magnets and surrounded by colorful ornaments. Oversize pencils and clothespins add to the larger-than-life look at this table.
With just a few inexpensive items, this fun and elegant table can be yours. To give your table some pop, buy three spools of ribbon in various widths and shades to use as a table runner. Wrap an empty coffee can with printed wrapping paper and tie with ribbon for a fun vase for white carnations. Doilies with guests' names printed on them look pretty between a plastic plate and colorful napkin. A sprinkling of ornaments finishes this carefree table.
This natural table setting is easily achieved with a few tiny evergreens. Foot-high yews with root balls nestled in moss look fresh lined up in a galvanized tray. Anchor the small trees with white and purple eggplants for an all-natural look. Trim eggcups with tiny juniper sprigs to create "trees" at the place settings. Fill the cup bases with spice berries and pinecones for a refreshing smell. Linen napkins wrapped with green ribbon and a few candles complete the organic look.
For a cozy, casual Christmas dinner, dress your table in warm layers. Use a matelasse bedspread as a tablecloth and stretch out a plaid wool scarf or flannel fabric for a runner. A special plate layered on top of an everyday white dish is a low-cost alternative to a full place setting of holiday dishes. Keep the centerpiece simple: a footed cake plate displaying small wrapped gifts.
Vivid pinks, greens, blues, and oranges make a bold statement alongside winter white for this playful Christmas table setting. Cover the table in a colorful patterned tablecloth that plays off the hues of the table decorations, then use simple white dinnerware and napkins to balance the whimsy. Colorful napkin rings embellished with ribbon add the final burst.
Open sleepy eyes with a breakfast table set in layers of peppy color and pattern. Over a red tablecloth, run a striped dish towel horizontally for an oversize place mat. Pop a tiny patterned plate or saucer on top of a dinner plate for extra kick. The white backgrounds and matching reds make these two bold patterns work together. Cut paper snowflakes for place cards, and set out peppermint sticks to stir cups of coffee or hot chocolate.
Claret red and deep forest green are good color choices for a woodland-inspired table. Natural-twig mats provide a rustic contrast to holiday china and key-design flatware. Make tree-shape napkin rings from 18-inch lengths of chenille, and use greenery and berries for the centerpiece. Ornaments at each place become take-home favors.
As pristine as new-fallen snow, a white-on-white tablecloth sports napkins stenciled with the image of an angel, bound by simple silver rings. Vintage silverware lends just the right touch of texture, and square plates almost seem to float on air.
Editor's Tip: Give inexpensive cloth napkins more holiday flair with a stencil and spray paint. Hold the stencil in place with painter's tape. Cover the rest of the napkin to avoid overspray.
At this beach house table, the bamboo-slat runner is reminiscent of a stroll along the boardwalk. Shell-pattern dishes and etched stemware evoke an underwater theme. Fan-folded napkins are tied with rope and adorned with sand dollars.
Editor's Tip: A twist on the fortune cookie, a chocolate-filled clamshell stands at each place setting. Using hot glue, fasten two shells together at the right angle. Make a small circle of hot glue on the bottom shell, letting it harden to form a platform that will keep the shells level.
Showcase your collection on a holiday table, where numerous different elements come together in joyous celebration. Here, blue-and-white Chinese porcelain joins orange and yellow fruits and roses to supplement the red and green.
This holiday table is elegantly adorned with tableware ready for a dinner or cocktail party. The classic centerpiece is composed of mixed evergreens with holiday-red fruit, flowers, and berries.