Christmas Table Decoration Ideas

10 Minute Read

After opening the presents, Christmas dinner is the main focus of the big day, and when you think how enjoyable it is to share a feast, and how rare it can be for us all to sit down together, it is worth the extra effort to make your Christmas table look great too. Setting up a gorgeous table for your family to enjoy can be a real pleasure, especially when everyone admires how fantastic your table looks! We’ve collected our favourite ideas for you here to get you started.

Christmas table decor ideas

Christmas Table Decorations

When you’re celebrating together with your loved ones, beautiful surroundings just increases the pleasure of the day. Of course, beautiful means different things to different people. You can go all-out and deck your Christmas table with garlands, lights, and candles, or keep it simple with just a few adornments – and both can be just as lovely, in very different ways. Whichever suits your interior design style, and your guests better, there are quite literally thousands of ideas to be found – but these ideas should get you started. 

Christmas Table Centrepiece

Depending on how big your table is – and how many people you’re having for dinner, you might be thinking there isn’t space for a centrepiece once the food is on the table! But your centrepiece doesn’t have to be huge to show that this is special occasion with your loved ones. Whatever shape or size your table is, feel free to take creative license with these ideas – most of them can be adapted to suit your space, simply by adding more, or using less.

Whether you’re going to be using a festive table cloth, or you prefer a bare wood table, using a table runner along the length of the table is a great way to set the scene for your Christmas table centrepiece, as well as providing additional protection. Once you’ve got the table runner in place, then you can place your centrepiece and lay the table around it.

Light Up Your Christmas Table

Tall, tapered candles in candlesticks are a quick and easy way to ramp up the festive factor, and don’t take up valuable space where you want to place a serving dish – not to mention that they’re pretty inexpensive too. Even the vegan soy wax ones are very affordable, and you can find candlesticks almost everywhere at this time of year, in pretty much any colour to suit your Christmas decoration colour scheme.

Tea lights in tiny glasses can look lovely too, if a guest likes to talk with their hands a lot and you need to keep the decorations closer to the table – or you might incorporate both tea lights and tapered candles for a beautiful glow at different levels.

If naked flames simply aren’t going to work for you this year – either because of younger or older guests – then battery powered candles are an excellent safe option.Winding battery operated fairy lights along the centre of the table to light up the table runner can be another easy way to create a pretty glow, and this works perfectly if you’re making the serving dishes the centre attraction. The only issue with this idea is how you’re going to hide the battery pack – but if you’re adding other elements to your decoration, this won’t be hard to do.

decoration ideas for christmas table
christmas table decorations

Use Greenery To Set The Festive Scene

If you’re going all out, it is traditional to use a garland along your table as your centrepiece. Either real or faux is fine, but a point to note – if you’re using real greenery, be certain to protect your table from any potential damage. Once you’ve placed it how you want it, you can add further decoration. Baubles can add extra pizazz if you have spares, or you can add seasonal fruits alongside other natural pieces like pine cones.

Get creative with flowers or foliage. Fill glass vases with cranberries, then arrange foliage and fill the vases with water. If there’s a more festive colour combination than red and green, we’ve not discovered it yet! If you don’t have vases, large jars with their labels removed can look just as good – and are easily recycled after Christmas.

Pull Out The Ornaments

Have you got a festive scene, or a particular ornament that you like to display each year? Consider if you can relocate it for Christmas day, and use part of your Christmas decorations for your centrepiece – either standalone as the focus of the table, or in between the rest of your decoration.

If you’ve got more Christmas decorations in your collection than you actually use to decorate your home each year, then reach into your box of decorations to put those unused baubles, tinsel, ribbons, and ornaments to work on Christmas day. With a length of garland, or some foliage that you’ve foraged from your garden, you can dress the centrepiece of your table in the same way as you might a Christmas tree.

There’s been a trend to hang natural branches and greenery above Christmas tables, sometimes with decorations attached. While it can look gorgeous, if you’re going to attempt this, be careful to make sure nothing is going to fall off – you don’t want random insects or leaves landing in someone’s meal! 

Dinner Table at Christmas
Festive Table Decor

Laying Your Christmas Table

If you’re one of those people who saves certain cutlery and glasses for a special occasion, Christmas is one of them! Even if you’re sharing the table with children, get those crystal wine glasses, and the best crockery out – where children are sitting, you can always substitute with inexpensive Christmas glassware that you can bring out for them each year. Where you’re using regular tableware, you can still make the place settings feel special – and it doesn’t need to take a lot of effort, or cost a lot either. 

Name Tags

Even if you’re all going to sit at the table in exactly the same places that you always do, use name tags as part of your Christmas table decorations. There are so many placeholder tag ideas online, but we love the ideas of wedging small name cards into pine cones, using wooden clothes pegs to hold each name card against their napkin, or tying the name card to candy canes.


Have you chosen a signature cocktail for this Christmas? There’s a huge trend in cocktail bars to serve drinks in unusual glassware – so whether you’ve got a collection of vintage cocktail glasses, or simply a few old jam jars, they can be dressed up easily. If you fancy a project, wine glass marker pens or Sharpies make it easy to draw festive designs, or keep it simple by adding a sugar rim to each glass, and a sprig of rosemary. If you’re using your usual glasses for drinks, a simple ribbon tied around the stem can take them from ‘normal’ into something more festive.


Make sure you’ve got the right number of plates, bowls, and cutlery for each course. While it is nice to have exactly the right cutlery and so on, it doesn’t really matter if you’re using dessert spoons for your soup course (or the other way around!) but you don’t want to have to do a round of washing up before you can move onto the next course. If you need to, buy an additional set so that you can relax and enjoy the meal – even if you’re cooking.When you’re laying your table, stack your soup bowls on top of the dinner plates, so that the table looks more formal than usual, and the overall effect is much more Instagram-worthy – just be sure to get your photos before everyone sits down!

Festive Table Decor
Christmas Home Party

Sustainable Christmas Table Ideas

Christmas might be a time for indulging, but that doesn’t mean that we should buy loads of stuff that will get thrown away. Keeping waste to a minimum is a key part of saving the planet, and so we thought we’d put together a few sustainable swaps for your Christmas table.

We talked more about sustainable Christmas ideas here, but here are a few thoughts for your table:

Napkins over Paper

Use cloth napkins, rather than paper – if you buy a set you love, with a quick wash, you’ll look forward to bringing them out each year. If you don’t want to buy new ones, make your regular cloth napkins look a bit more special by tying them with a bit of leftover ribbon, or folding them differently. There are some great napkin folding tutorials here.

Natural Items

Use natural items to decorate your table – pop out to the garden or along a country lane and snip a few sprigs of holly, or finding natural items that have already fallen. The great thing about this is that children can get involved too, collecting twigs, pinecones, and acorns, and they’ll be excited to help.

Reusable Decorations

Use food items to decorate your table – we know, you’ll have dishes full of roast potatoes and sprouts, but you can add colour to your table using food too. A few cranberries on a wooden toothpick in a champagne (or water!) glass, creating a Christmas tree effect with piles of olives, or making a wreath effect with a mixture of seasonal fruits – they’re all zero waste ways to bring colour to the table. 

🌲 The team at Ben Simpson Furniture wish you a very merry, and safe Christmas, and a happy and prosperous New Year. 

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