Skip to main content

21OAK may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

These Christmas table decorations are the perfect backdrop for your holiday meal

Take your Christmas table decorating up a notch with these fun ideas

‘Tis the season to send our tastebuds on an adventure. From turkeys and hams to unique side dishes and desserts made from recipes passed down throughout the generations, food certainly takes center stage this time of year. However, who says your tastebuds have to have all the fun on Dec. 25?

Christmas table decorations can provide a feast for the eyes (and make your family and Instagram followers swoon). While some may think of it as another item on their to-do list, you may love getting your creative juices flowing by curating a gorgeously arranged tablescape. Allow these ideas to serve as inspiration.

Christmas table setting with food
fascinadora / Adobe Stock


Tell your turkey or roast to move over. Making room on your table for a centerpiece will draw attention to the table (rather than smartphones). You have plenty of options, from subtly beautiful assortments to statement pieces. Consider these ideas:

A bouquet

Florals aren’t just for spring table settings, and you’re also not limited to an obligatory Poinsettia. Red amaryllis is a beautiful winter bloom, and hypericum berries provide a festive filler.


You likely have a wreath on your door or over your mantel during the holidays. Well, how about adding one to your table? Setting out one adorned with thin metallic ribbon or cranberries is particularly perfect for Christmas dinner. Placing a candle in the middle adds warmth.

Bowl of pine cones

Using natural elements can cut down your carbon footprint and put you on Mother Nature’s nice list. Collect some pine cones on your morning walk and set them in a bowl at the center of the table.

Table set with pine cones and pine branches
izikmd / Adobe Stock


Even your napkins can get into the Christmas spirit. While a traditionally folded one in a neutral tone works fine, having some fun with seasonal stitchwork and rings can add an element of joy to your place settings.

  • Find holiday-themed designs. Napkins with festive designs, like stitchings of cranberries or wreaths, are a subtle but pretty way to add some Christmas flair to your table.
  • Fold like a pro. Ensure your table is truly dressed to impress by forgoing the traditional napkin fold and opting for something more creative. In a few (sort of) simple steps, you can turn your napkin into a bow or candy cup (put some treats in it for a sweet surprise).
  • Napkin rings. If you want to use your usual napkins and aren’t an origami master, napkin rings offer an easier — but still festive — fix. A faux tree trim with silver jingle bells or pretty gold-satin ribbons makes for nice touches. You can also use real pine cones or other natural elements to spruce up your napkin game.
Festive Christmas table setting
mashiki / Adobe Stock

Place cardholders

Perhaps you want to assign seats at the table. It may ensure that your politically not-so-aligned uncles don’t wind up next to one another or indicate where the “kid end” of the table is. It’s also just a worthy excuse to make place cardholders. Sites like Zazzle have holiday ones, and you can add text to them, so you don’t have to write names out yourself. Tree-shaped holders are also perfect for Christmas.

Christmas table setting
mashiki / Adobe Stock


If you don’t have room for a statement centerpiece because of all the food you’re serving, a runner serves as a lower-maintenance alternative. Red or green cloth runners work well, as do ones with Christmas designs. These runners can go across the table without getting in the way of your food. (Bonus if the runner complements your napkin design.) You might also consider a garland, like one made of faux evergreen or Spanish moss. Though it takes up some room, it’s a nice way to bring the outdoors inside during the coldest time of the year. 

Person holding small wrapped gift

Personal gifts

You likely already gifted your guests something special, but a Christmas table decoration that they can take with them can ensure they remember your hosting prowess for years to come. For example, small tree decorations won’t wind up taking up dust. And food gifts, such as a small bag of cookies or a small Godiva chocolate, don’t last forever, but your guests’ tastebuds won’t soon forget them. These gifts are perfect for adding a special touch and often one final way to tell guests how grateful you are that they came to celebrate with you.

Sometimes, just getting Christmas dinner on the table feels like a win. However, if you want to go the extra mile this year, Christmas table decorations can make your place settings visually interesting and just plain fun. Centerpieces are an obvious choice, but blooms other than Poinsettia, like amaryllis, elevate any tablescape. If you don’t have room for a centerpiece, opt for a runner instead. Even napkins can be a little merrier this time of year. You can find plenty of festive designs or get creative with your folding. And remember, favors that double as decorations are a sweet way to show your guests how happy you are to have them in your life.

Editors' Recommendations

BethAnn Mayer
Beth Ann's work has appeared on and In her spare time, you can find her running (either marathons…
5 clever Christmas tree decorating ideas that will wow your friends and family
Your guests will be impressed with your unique Christmas tree
Christmas tree in living room surrounded by presents

If you want to shake things up with your Christmas tree decorations this year, then we’ve got just the list for you! Decorating the Christmas tree is one of the things we look forward to the most during the holidays. It’s a chance to show off your personality and blend tradition with items passed down through generations. So, if you’re struggling to come up with the perfect way to wow your friends and family this year, check out our top five Christmas tree decorating ideas.

Add your holiday cards to your Christmas tree
Each year, families receive holiday cards by the dozens. This tradition has transcended the digital age and proven to be a nostalgic and heartwarming experience for many. If you have a few holiday cards sitting around on your table or mantel, why not put them to use as part of your tree decoration?
Place them on your tree
One simple way you can use holiday cards on your Christmas tree is by nestling them between the branches. Scatter them around the tree alongside ornaments and garland to create a beautiful and cohesive look. This option is excellent for those who are running short on time but still want to add something special to their tree. And just think, when your family and friends come around for a holiday get-together, they’ll be overjoyed that you put their cards on display.
Turn them into ornaments
If you'd prefer something smaller — or are looking for a way to repurpose the beautiful cards you got last year, you can always turn them into ornaments. Pick up some flat wood discs from your local craft store, some glitter, glue, and twine. Cut the card a bit smaller than the disc, glue it, and trim the edge with glitter. Once you glue a loop of twine to the back, it'll be ready for your tree.
Create garland
Alternatively, you could create a fun garland out of your holiday cards. If you want to get crafty (and have plenty of cards and a little time on your hands), gather up the necessary supplies to create a holiday card garland.

Read more
10 stunning rustic Christmas decor ideas that actually feel fresh and modern
Copper, plaid, natural elements, and more: Check out these rustic Christmas decor ideas
Wood table with a white ceramic mug for Christmas

Just because you're using plaid, natural decor elements, and wall signs, doesn't mean your Christmas decorating scheme has to feel like everyone else's. However, when it comes to decking the halls of your home this Christmas, the best way to achieve a rustic look while still remaining modern can be puzzling. For rustic Christmas decor ideas that are still fresh, there are a few approaches. From worn wood frames to natural elements, you can adorn your space with wintery decor pieces that are sure to wow your family and friends while still giving off that warm holiday vibe.

It's all about how you incorporate these elements into your existing decor. If you've been looking for some inspiration with your Christmas decorations this year, keep reading. We’ve collected 10 unique ideas that will appeal to your cozy country style in a fresh and modern way.

Read more
Christmas tree lights set the tone for your decor (what you should pick and why)
Tips for choosing the right Christmas tree lights for your home's holiday decor
lit christmas tree with presents under it next to a fireplace

The Christmas season is upon us, and with it, all of the fun that comes with getting your home all decked out for the holiday season. While you may love pulling out your heirloom nutcrackers or festooning your fireplace mantel with garland, bows, and stockings, the main holiday focal piece of most homes is certainly the Christmas tree.

Beautifully decorated with shiny glass balls and ornaments that have been passed down through generations, your Christmas tree can be a personal way to celebrate the season. Regardless of how gorgeous your tree is, or how impressive your collection of ornaments is, nothing has a bigger impact on the look of your tree than your lights. Here's how to choose the right ones.

Read more