Traditional Christmas Table Decoration Ideas

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One of the best-loved parts of the Christmas holiday is the delicious meal served each year. Celebrate the tradition of the season with a classically decorated dining room table. Use favorite color schemes and décor pieces to design your own traditional Christmas display.


This design theme rests on the traditional colors of Christmas - red and green - with accents of gold and silver. For the holiday season, large pieces in these colors can easily be mixed, creating a colorful, richly designed table spread. This design does not often use lighter, brighter colors like purple, yellow or light blue. Try some of these color combinations for a traditional Christmas dining room:

  • Red tablecloth, green runner and red and green tableware.
  • White tablecloth, red or green runner, and red or green tableware.

Traditional Christmas Decorations For The Dining Room


For this theme, use as much color in your plates and glasses as you do with linens. Because the traditional theme remains a classic, purchasing colored tableware is a safe bet that can be used year after year.

  • Use red or green chargers to give white plates you already own a pop of Christmas color.
  • For extra seasonal color, match green chargers with red plates, or vice versa.
  • Use napkins, placemats and coasters in contrasting red and green colors.
  • Plaid is a very common pattern for traditional Christmas décor, and is a great option for table runners. Because plaid is such a busy pattern, it is a better fit for narrow runners than an entire tablecloth.
  • Either gold or silver flatware is appropriate for this style. If you typically use flatware with colored plastic handles, consider purchasing an inexpensive silver set for Christmas.
  • If you have red napkins, tie a black bow around them in place of a napkin ring to resemble Santa's belt.
  • Use small Christmas stockings to hold utensils and napkins on each guest's plate.
  • Slip a candy cane into each guest's napkin.

Traditional Christmas Decorations For The Dining Room


Candles are a Christmas tradition. Many are premade for the holiday season, is a variety of theme appropriate colors. There are also simple tricks for turning candles and candleholders you already own into traditional Christmas décor.

  • Spray paint pillar candleholders you already own red or green. For red pillars, tie a black ribbon around their center to replicate Santa's belt.
  • Wrap candy canes vertically around a candle or candleholder until it is completely encircled. The candy cane's curved end should be upward, and facing out. This trick can also work around flower vases.
  • Fill a bowl or hurricane candleholder with large classic red, green and white Christmas light bulbs. Place a red, green or white candle in the middle.
  • Purchase small (two to four inches tall) pots from a craft or home improvement store. Paint them red or green, then allow them to dry. Cover with a spray on adhesive, then roll in Epsom salt. The salt will look like ice, and creates a beautiful frosted candleholder.
  • Wrap a pine garland around the base of pillar candleholders and hurricane candleholders. Attach red ornaments and cranberries for extra color.
  • Decorate windows and doorways with traditional colored string lights. Wrap the lights around a pine garland for added substance.


Fun and festive traditional Christmas decorations are the best way to create this theme in your dining room. Try some of these easy, DIY ideas or craft store purchases:

  • Fill a bowl with pinecones painted red and green.
  • Use a red vase you already own, or paint one red, and fill with pine boughs, branches, candy canes and cranberry branches. Wrap a black belt you already own around the center for "Santa's belt".
  • Create a candy cane bouquet in a vase you already own. Purchase candy canes in varying sizes, and arrange in the vase with pine boughs as filler.
  • Tie two candy canes together, at their base. Twist the canes outward, so their curved ends and facing slightly away from each other. Turn them upside down, and the candy canes should now resemble and easel. Use the candy cane easel to display guest's name card placeholders.
  • Tie large red and green bows to the back of each guest's chair. Slip a small pine bough and cranberries in each bow.
  • Fill a large hurricane candleholder with alternating layers of candy canes and Christmas ornaments. Place at the center of the table, or in a line down the dinner table.
  • Leave a peppermint next to each guest's plate as a seasonally appropriate after dinner mint.
  • Wrap empty boxes with alternating red and green wrapping paper and bows. Make the boxes decrease in size from the bottom up, resembling a Christmas tree when stacked. Place at the center of the table, or create a larger version to put in a corner of the dining room.
  • Tie a stocking to the back of each guest's chair.
Last Updated: December 17, 2012
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About Alexandra Kerr Through Ideal Home Garden, Alexandra covers topics ranging from interior design to home improvement, gardening and cuisine. Having a passion for cooking and entertaining in her own life, she hopes to communicate her love of home design and decorating with her readers. 

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