Having to make arrangements to entertain a larger crowd around your dinner table for Christmas can add a degree of difficulty to the task of setting the table, even if you’re the known master of decorating your tree and your home for the season, let alone getting it to look as spectacular as you’d want it to!

We have compiled a simple, three-step guide to make it much easier for you to create that WOW factor you’re undoubtedly looking for with the setting of your dinner table for Christmas.

Step 1: Decorating and Dressing the Table

Starting out with what will be a totally “blank canvas” (remove everything from the table), take into account how many people are going to coming around for dinner, which will give you an indication of how much space you’ll need. Since your crockery and cutlery will be taking up a lot of space, when playing around with decoration ideas for your table, you have to consider how it will look with the cutlery and crockery forming part of it, as well as how much room it will be taking up.

Make use of a plain coloured or patterned table cloth to keep your table dressing simple if you are of the suspicion that you won’t have that much room left. That should do it to dress the table a little differently and more elegantly than how you’d ordinarily dress it for your regular dinners, otherwise the table can be dressed with beautiful coasters, accessories and placemats if you perhaps want to show-off the dining table itself.

For those of you who have the privilege of owning longer tables or if you want to achieve both effects discussed, you can make use of a table runner. If you have the room to work with then you can apply both approaches uninhibited, combining your beautiful table cloth with spectacular, layered placemats of different sizes and textures. Make sure to adhere to a colour scheme so that you offset the risk of things becoming too chaotic and too busy.

Step 2: The Correct Way to Set the Table

Since the festivities around Christmas are all about family and fun, the regular rules and regulations of table setting can be bent and stretched to your liking, with the only real importance of setting the table correctly residing in the practicality of the exercise.

Take some inspiration from the books of the restaurants you visit to learn how to correctly set a table, taking special care of your place setting.

Step 3: Adding the Finishing Touches

Remember that setting a table for Christmas that looks fit for this spectacular occasion while taking nothing away from the practicality is all about the number of people who will be enjoying the occasion with you, and how you balance out your tableware and table dressing. It’s perhaps an exercise you’ll have to take through a trial run in more of a visual sense to match the picture you have in your head, because what might work mentally may not necessarily translate in the same way practically.

Don’t be afraid to add your own special touches to the more classic table setting and dressing traditions!