10 Christmas Table Decoration Ideas

Tables are a blank canvas for decorations to usher in Christmas. How should you decorate your tables?

You can smell the douglas fir candles, taste the peppermint in your coffee, and hear the chorus of the familiar holiday melodies drifting through the speakers. Christmas time always seems to sneak up after you’re busy with the day-to-day stresses of the year until you smell, taste, and hear the familiar signs that it’s time to decorate your home and outside of your home too

Setting up the tree and arranging the nativity scene is a given, but how can you spruce up your dining room? It’s likely where the family will gather and spend quality time together, so it deserves to be a show-stopper. 

Instead of just using a simple white-laced tablecloth, try to incorporate natural elements of the holiday season. You’ll feel like your home is complete, and your guests will love the beautiful arrangements. 

Since this is such a narrow and often cramped space, here are a few ideas to incorporate into your home without taking away too much valuable table space.

1. Use a Burlap Runner 

Adding a burlap runner as the centerpiece is a great place to start. Using a runner instead of a full tablecloth lets you show off the rustic kitchen table, and you won’t have to scrub out as many stains. 

The fabric is an ode to the holiday season and looks great with garland, mason jars, and candles. If you have a ton of dishes that stay on the table during your feast, you can even opt for just the simplicity of the burlap runner itself. 

If you keep your dishes on a dining room buffet, the burlap will be a lovely addition to your arrangements and keep things fresh. 

using burlap runner in setting up a dinner table

2. Incorporate White Candles 

Adding a bright and crisp color to the table is a great addition around Christmas time. Incorporating white candles of any shape or size will look great and provide functional light and scents. 

You can set out bare candles or place them in glass jars to add to the look. Whether you arrange them close together or spread them out amongst other decorations, they’ll look fantastic. 

Keep the wicks away from any greenery or paper napkins to prevent any potential fire hazards!

beautiful christmas dinner silverware

3. Add a Rustic Lantern

Aligning with the spirit of the season, adding rustic lanterns, and using them to enhance your arrangement could be a great addition to your dining room. Lanterns are great because if they’re empty, you can fill them with your favorite decor pieces without taking up valuable space for your plates and dishes.

You can add a single candle to keep things simple and add additional lighting, or you can add things like garland, string lights, and pinecones to get in the holiday spirit. This is also a great chance to add a pop of color in what will typically be a neutral space. 

christmas lantern decor with a white candle

4. Add Some Garland 

Garland can be used in so many ways around the Christmas season. You can wrap it around your porch, use it on the fireplace mantle, and even use it on the dining room table. 

If you want to opt out of a tablecloth or runner, choose a long length of garland and lay it down the middle of the table. This acts as a runner on its own, or you can spruce it up with pinecones, cranberries, and other holiday accents. 

If you don’t want something so large, you take a smaller length of it and wrap it around a candle arrangement. This creates a barrier around the candles, keeping them away from other flammable materials, and it will look like a wreath that was meant to be there all along. 

fancy and elegant christmas dinner table

5. Create Nature-Inspired Napkin Holders

If you’re hosting a dinner party at your home, it’s always great to have unique napkin holders. You can achieve a high-dollar look on a budget by using nature-inspired materials. 

Using twine and sprigs from a Christmas tree, you can create elegant napkin holders that your guests will love. This is a project that the kids will love helping with, and it won’t take very long, allowing you to accomplish other tasks around the house. 

You can make each one unique by adding a different size or shape or a twig or try to keep them uniform by using the same size for each napkin.

nature inspired napkin holder

6. Mason Jars 

A great way to add color without feeling overwhelming or forced is through mason jars. The jars are a great decor piece, and they have enough space to add some of your favorite things. 

You can use multiple jars and choose different accents to fill in each. For example, use red cranberries in one jar, then fill the next with green pine needles that have fallen off your tree. You can even fill a mason jar with small ornament bulbs to bring in colors like silver or white. 

If you want to make the jars look more seasonal, you can tie a piece of twine around the top or use a burlap strip around the jar’s body!

Christmas light decor using mason jar

7. Create an Ornament Arrangement 

Some years, you’ll find yourself with many Christmas ornaments leftover after decorating the tree. You can pack up the extra bulbs and forget about them until next year, or you can put them to use. 

Create an arrangement of the ornaments by selecting your smallest silver, green, red, or white bulbs and placing them around your dining room table. Since you likely won’t have room for a full-size tree in the dining room, this option brings the festivities straight to you and your guests. 

If you have pets or small children running around, you can always use items to keep the ornaments from rolling around. Placing the ornaments in mason jars or creating a garland barrier around them and arranging it to look like a beautiful holiday wreath will prevent them from rolling to the floor if someone bumps into them.

christmas dessert with some ornaments around it

8. Use Gold Accents 

Incorporating gold accents can instantly add elegance and glamour to your space. Gold accents will perfectly pair with green, red, and white decor pieces and make your dining room feel sophisticated. 

You can incorporate this gorgeous color into the silverware, plates, candlesticks, and more. Try to find gold accents in decor pieces that you would already use, like finding a gold lantern or a gold plate set. 

gold accents used in preparing a christmas dinent table

9. Use Tree Stumps 

Creating contrast by utilizing different levels can help you incorporate the decor you love without taking up too much space. If you have a large family, you understand the need for every inch of the table. 

Using tree stumps as decor pieces will shine on their own, but they’ll allow you to place pieces like candles, small Christmas trees, or mason jars on top of them. It will save you space and draw your eyes up, creating gorgeous contrast.

The best part is you don’t have to go to the store to buy these. You can use the ends of round-cut firewood or cut your own from a fallen tree in the backyard. 

tree stumps as christmas decor

10. Add Faux Snow 

If you’re looking for an untraditional way to spruce up your space, consider adding fake snow! You can do this many ways, and whichever you choose, your arrangement will feel authentic to the season. 

You can go to most craft stores, pick up a bag of fake snow, and then sprinkle it over your decorations or arrangements. This will give your space some sparkle and shine and make your designs look like they’ve been out in a December blizzard.

If you don’t want piles of fake snow that could brush off and fall to the floor, you can grab a regular bag of cotton balls and stretch them out to lines instead of the traditional ball shape. Do this with as many as you’d like and spread them around your arrangements to make it look like a winter wonderland.

Jessica Childres
Jessica Childres is a Georgia native and former teacher. She loves to share her skills, knowledge and passion with others. She has an ongoing interest in real estate, home decorating, and design.
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