How To Set the Table For a Holiday Gathering
Noche Buena and Media Noche are still happening this year, one way or another. It doesn’t matter if you are preparing home-cooked feast or having food delivered, or whether you are celebrating with family members in the same household or with a few friends and loved ones (don’t forget to observe safety protocols). Have the basics of table setting down pat to make the holiday gathering extra special. Here, we show you how to dress up your dinner table for casual get-togethers.
For a basic table setting
This table setting style is appropriate for most occasions. The plate is at the center of the place setting, with flatware arranged around it.
- Lay the placemat on the table.
- Place the dinner plate at the center of the placemat.
- Position the fork at the left side of the plate.
- Place the knife at the right side of the plate. Make sure the sharp edge is facing the plate.
- Place the spoon at the right side of the knife.
- Make sure that the bottoms of the utensils and the plate are aligned.
- Position the water glass above the knife.
- Place the napkin either under the fork or on the plate.
This is perfect for laid-back gatherings. Follow the basic table setting steps mentioned above, then add a few additional dinnerware.
- Lay the placemat on the table. You may also use a charger, but make sure it’s in a more casual style. A wooden or woven charger, for instance, is ideal.
- Place the dinner plate at the center of the placemat. If you are using a charger, make sure it sits at the center of the place setting before putting the plate on top of it.
- Add the salad plate on top of the dinner plate.
- Serving soup? Then put the soup bowl on top of the salad plate.
- Place the napkin at the left side of the plate or charger.
- Place the fork on top of the napkin.
- Put the knife, sharp edge facing inward, to the left side of the plate.
- Add the spoon and place it beside the knife.
- Put the water glass on top of the knife.
- Place a wine glass (or any other glass for another beverage) slightly on the upper right of the water glass.
Other tips for sprucing up the dining table
Go for a tablescape theme that is relatively easy to pull off. A rustic table setup is ideal for the holidays because it exudes warmth and complements an informal table setting.
When using a printed tablecloth, keep the dinnerware simple. Go for plain, neutral-colored plates, bowls, placemats, and table napkins. On the other hand, complement a plain tablecloth with textured or printed placemats, but keep the dinnerware simple to balance things out.
A holiday spread will not be complete without a centerpiece. Group together holiday-scented candles (think cinnamon, peppermint, pine, or spicy cloves), then add a few branches of green leaves from your garden. Top it off with a handful of sparkly Christmas décor like metallic Christmas balls or glittery poinsettias. You may also use warm white fairy lights for a touch of whimsy.