In theory, I love nothing better than cooking for my people at the holidays. In practice, it’s pretty stressful, but once it’s all on the table and looking and tasting gorgeous (which so far, it has), I feel like Martha motherf*****g Stewart.
I don’t get to host holidays all the time, but when I do, I try to do it right. Even though we’re typically cramming every single chair in the neighborhood around whatever tables we can scare up, I still try to throw in some sparkle and magic. While the overall effect is likely closer to this than this, it still makes me happy to try. So I am always looking for tabletop items that are either inexpensive or still usable after the holidays. I’m not spending a fortune on holiday table decor, only to be out a bundle AND have to store the stupid thing for a year or two until I can use it again.
One easy way to dress up a holiday table (without taking up too much storage space come January) are fairy lights and votives, especially the battery-operated ones. You can pop them in nearly anything to make a nice-looking display. Even something as simple as a grouping of different-height drinking glasses with lights and a little metallic ribbon, beads, pine or holly cuttings, or small ornaments will dress up the table. And I always like to include some vertical interest. Whether it’s taper candles, tall votive holders or glasses, nutcrackers, or small holiday trees, I feel like something tall enough to mix it up while still being low enough to talk over makes a classy display. I’m also a big fan of picking a color and sticking with it. I usually go with red, but there’s really no wrong choice, as long as you’re mixing up finishes and textures.
So here are a few holiday table settings that inspired me. I’d love to hear about your holiday table tricks in the comments!