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12 Tips for Setting The Holiday Table

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Have you set your holiday table? Do you have Christmas China you like to use or do you look for ways to dress up your everyday dishes?    I wanted to share with you several place settings, I created for “QCExclusive” magazine using flowers and items I picked up at the local grocers or shops.  The goal here was to use the same dinner ware and silverware, but change the look with a few simple elements.   My hope was to demonstrate how decorating doesn’t have to be expensive or time consuming.  
Hopefully, this post  will spur on a couple of quick ideas to get your holiday table set with ease. If you would like to read the feature in QCExclusive click here.
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My everyday dinnerware is Country Estate by Juliska.  My Country Estate is grey and white but Juliska also offers Country Frolic in red and white for those that want traditional Christmas chine.  I love mine though because it is so neutral.  It looks great with almost any color.   I used snakeskin chargers(no longer available), the Juliska dinnerware, linen napkins, placemats and twig silverware from West Elm.  (My silverware is no longer available but here is a similar style if you like that look!)
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The flowers were picked up at the grocery store.  I used a deep orange because orange has become a popular color in home decor.  Cedar greenery added to the flowers gives a nod to the holidays on hand.  The petite pewter pitchers are from Armetale.  They were a gift from my mom years ago. Folding the napkin and presenting it a special way takes things up a notch.  
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For this place setting I removed the chargers and added a pretty green wrapped gift in the center of the plate with a cork tree ornament.  If you wanted placecards to identify who sets where, you could add names to the trees with a glitter pen.  

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Notice how the addition of a red napkin changes the look of the place setting.
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It isn’t necessary to rush out and purchase red and green to be festive.  For this place setting a linen placemat was used as the base, then layered with a wicker placemat for texture.  The napkin was traded for a russet colored napkin in lieu of expected Christmas red.  A simple votive sits in the plate which could serve as a keepsake gift for guests who attend your feast.  A tiny sprig of fresh greens is adorned with silver beads which are festive enough to leave for New Year’s Eve.  Once all the guest sit down, the votives could be lit and place by the plates to add ambience to your table.
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 Why do the expected when the unexpected can be so beautiful!

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If traditional decor is your cup of team, then by all means go for the red!  This place setting features red placemats,napkins and roses mixed with cedar greens and arranged in tiny white ceramic pitcher.  It’s simple, yet elegant! 
1.  Look at your everyday china and think of ways to dress it up for the holidays.
2.  Shop the local grocery store for flowers that are on special or in season.  My three
     favorite places to buy well priced flowers quickly are Trader Joe’s, Costco, The
     Fresh Market and Whole Foods. (Whole Foods always has great greenery.
3.  Look in your yard for greenery!  If you have a boxwood, holly bush, cedar
     or magnolia, all make great table arrangements.
4.  Layer your place settings for interest.  Don’t be afraid to use a couple of placemats.
5.  Go for the mix!  Mixing and matching dishes is always fun!  
6.  Pick up a fun set of silverware to give place settings a unique look during the year.
     Tuesday Mornings and Marshall’s often have silverware with colored stems.
7.  Don’t stick to red and green, go for something different!  Make your table
     an extension of your room.  If your room is pink and grey, make your table
     settings pink and grey or something that will co-ordinate.
8.  Place a small gift, or keepsake at the table for your guest to take home
     to mark the occasion as a memory.
9.  Use Fresh greens and flowers!  Nothing says special like fresh flowers!
10. Use linen, silver and china whenever you can!  Our world has gotten
      so casual we often opt for paper plates, so use the good stuff, your children
      will remember you went to the extra effort.  Fold the napkins a special way!
11. Light candles.  No other light gives off the romance and ambience of candlelight.
12. Make your guest feel special.  Relax and enjoy the evening with them.  
Speaking of folding napkins special ways….I found these beautiful napkins folded like
a tree and snowflake and wanted to share.
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 Click here to learn how to fold a Christmas tree shaped napkin for holiday guests!
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Click Here for Folding Tutorial!

No matter how the holiday table is set, enjoy the fellowship of loved ones
  breaking bread together.  

Merry Christmas!  May all your dreams come true!

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