Christmas Countdown

Christmas Memories in My Heart is a place for me to share all things related to Christmas, which is my favorite time of the year. I plan and prepare for the holidays all year, so that I can enjoy that busy time without having to stress about shopping and all the details of the season.

I am actually able to decorate and then enjoy the spirit of the holidays and celebrate Jesus' birth and the reason for the season.

You can find links to my three favorite holiday sites in my sidebar. They are Organized Christmas, Our Home for the Holidays, and Magical Holiday Home. All three of these special places are like my home away from home. I have cyber friends there who I feel a great bond with and we share a common love of Christmas. We understand each other and support each other in our quest to have magical, wonderful holidays.

Please come back to visit often.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Decorating Tables for Christmas

Beautiful tables have always held a fascination for me. I oooh and ah over them in all my magazines, especially during the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons. I have always wanted to have one of those homes that look like a snapshot from a magazine, but I know that in reality that is just not me and doesn't fit my lifestyle. However, I still love them and I have a serious interest in dishes and tables recently.

I am new to tablescapes and for the most part, my tables rely on dishes set in a relatively simple style. I just don't have that flair for incorporating all the wonderful things that I see on Susan at Between Naps on the Porch's weekly Tablescape Thursday. However, every once in awhile, I surprise myself with something that I think is getting there.

In the mean time, I am having fun playing dishes and my family is enjoying a nice table that gets changed frequently. So, it was a natural thing for me to want to host a Christmas in July Tablescape Party this month. It is an ongoing thing on my Playing Dishes blog. Click on the white button in my sidebar to get all the info and come and join the fun and pick up some chances to win the beautiful Christmas tablecloth that I am giving away on the day of the last party, Saturday, July 25. I will have a post up with Mr. Linky ready for you to add your links by on Friday evenings.

I have been doing a lot of blog hopping---on my own, not on one of the organized hops---encouraging other Christmas lovers to join us for the rest of the parties and to visit here, too.

That got me to thinking about doing a post on tables for the holidays. Then, I thought, what do I really know about tables to pass on to others. So, I spent awhile reading and came up with some hints for decorating tables for the holidays. These ideas were compiled from a variety of sites.

• Select a tablecloth color that compliments your dining room, kitchen or combined area.
• Consider using a cream or other neutral colored tablecloth in either linen or lace on the table. Using a cream tablecloth gives the look of elegance, while providing a neutral background for decorations. A deep red tablecloth also works well, but be sure to use more neutral dinnerware and napkins so that the tablescape does not clash.
• Use mirrors or other materials to make a base for your centerpiece.
• Make use of different levels to add variety to the table.
• Experiment with different textures and materials to enhance the table.
• Use miniature Christmas trees, snow globes and other holiday decorations throughout the tablescape scene.
• Do not decorate more than 1/3 of the table, as it will look too cluttered and people will not be able to make use of the table without destroying the beautiful Christmas tablescape
• Set up each place setting with the proper dinnerware. Break out the best dishes and glasses, providing each guest with a dinner plate, bread plate or soup bowl, and glasses for wine or water.
• Fold napkins in a professional manner at each place setting, or put them through elegant napkin rings.
• Use name place cards to add a touch of elegance and cut down on confusion of where to sit for your guests.
• Place tea lights around the table. They provide elegant lighting as well as a beautiful ambiance. Use pillar candles as a centerpiece, selecting scented candles to provide both light and a fragrant aroma. Add festive decor such as mini pine cones or small groups of pine branches with holly berries and pine cones surrounding a large pillar candle. Candy canes work well with any decor; place them in glass vases along with a tea light.
• For variety also decorate a coffee table buffet or entry table for the holidays.
• If candles are used, be sure not to place them near anything flammable or leave them unattended.
• Add a touch of whimsy to your tables.
• Decorate the rest of the room to complement the Christmas tablescape. Add a few Christmas figurine.
• Play background holiday music.. For a dinner party, instrumental Christmas carols or music is best so that it does not drown out the conversations of the guests, but still provides music for enjoyment