Central to Christmas Day for me is lunch (always very late admittedly) and I like to dress the table to create a bit of a wow factor as everyone gathers round to eat.
I love to create something a bit special every year but it has to be practical too – lunch is normally fairly raucous, loud and busy so the table has to fit in around us rather than the other way round. Tall, expansive arrangements may look fab but can get in the way of seeing and and hearing everyone round the table. So I tend to keep it simple – but that doesn’t mean it can’t be extravagant too.
Key for me are scent, candlelight, glass and colour. If you’re opting for scented candles try not to choose something that’s too sickly, it’ll be overwhelming. It’s really hard to beat the smell of freshly-cut pine or evergreen from the garden so if you have time to add some greenery then do. Even a few sprigs will make a difference, just in a jar, decorating candles or creating a runner down the centre of the table. Don’t be afraid to cheat – if you have an artificial arrangement simply add some fresh greenery to it, especially if you have the berries too.
I always use as many candles and as much glass as possible although that’s not always feasible if you have young children. The combination of candle light sparkling against coloured glass, massed closely together, instantly creates a beautiful soft warmth that’s enchanting. Add some depth with a runner, topped with your greenery, and the result is magical. If you want something with a bit more pazzazz introduce something more extravagant here, be it vintage baubles, glitz, feathers, kitsch, flowers in abundance – it’s Christmas after all. Otherwise, simply tying your napkins with some ribbon or a simple sprig can be enough. Just go with whatever feels right – and enjoy!