I already shared a bit of our Christmas decorations earlier this month, and I’m back for round two. Last time you got to see the living room and a few tidbits of other places in the home, but today is all about what is one of my favorite parts of the whole house – the dining room.
I had so much fun last month creating our Thanksgiving tablescape that I decided it was high time to change up how I set the table for Christmas. For the last few years I’ve done pretty much the same thing in the dining room every year, but this year I decided to shake it up. We still had our greenery from the Thanksgiving table, and I loved it so much that I decided to make it the jumping-off point for decorating our table for Christmas.
I sometimes get so overwhelmed looking at the pretty table settings that I see all over Pinterest – it seems like it’s impossible to recreate or make mine look anywhere that pretty! But honestly? It’s so much easier than it looks.
Here’s how I did it:
I started off with the same base material I used at Thanksgiving – a long, wide piece of burlap. We have a small table runner that we grabbed on clearance last year, so I layered it on top for just a little bit of extra color and texture. It’s not nearly big enough to use alone on this table, but it looks great on top of something else. Next up was the greenery – I put the same vases from Thanksgiving back on the table (we’ve been replacing the greenery as it dies every few weeks – it’s only $5 a bunch and lasts forever) and I added in a few faux Christmas trees.
Finally, candles! I wanted to create a cozy and kind of romantic table, so I layered in a ton of candles that usually go other places this time of year. We’ve had great fun this month lighting them for the random weeknight dinner and feeling like we’re fancy. It’s lovely.
The last thing I did was set the table. We go back and forth on leaving our table set during the holiday season – we both love how it looks but I don’t like that it makes the table a lot less functional. We sometimes sit here to play games or work and that’s much harder when it’s all fancy. We decided to try leaving it set all season this year and doing all of our working and game-playing (and most of our eating) at the kitchen table. It’s worked out well so far, but I’m kind of looking forward to having my table back!
I think that the place setting is what really makes a holiday table unique and special. This is one thing I never change – ours is pretty much always the same. I considered getting fancy with some place cards, but my family isn’t quite that formal and it would feel a bit contrived to have place settings for any gathering. So, I just left it the same as it is every other year. And, really, that’s one of my favorite things about decorating for Christmas – pulling out the same ornaments and decorations over and over and using them in the same way year after year. It adds in a layer of sentimentality that just isn’t there if you change things up too much!
And with that, the table is complete!
I feel like our style for Christmas decor is still evolving – for the first few years we lived here we threw up every last decoration we had just because we were still growing our collection. Now that we have a nice, full collection I’m trying to be a bit more restrained and thoughtful in what I display and what I leave packed away. I’m still learning and figuring it out, and I don’t think I’ll ever go to a minimalist approach to decorating for Christmas, but I find my style becoming at least a little more defined each year!
In just a few short days this beautiful table will be packed full of family.
It really is the most wonderful time of the year, isn’t it?
Christmas 2011 (Part 1)
Christmas 2011 (Part 2)