The Christmas 2012 dining table was done with no cloths, for a change, to show off the beautiful walnut table. Lenox Holiday china was used with my sterling Grande Baroque flatware that I've been adding to since 1969. (Haven't added any lately due to the price of silver!) I used vintage Rose Point wine and water goblets that I bought at an antiques mall in Gruene, Texas, and white linen napkins monogrammed in gold thread were on each plate. The center tablescape was my ever growing set of Snow Village houses with small live Christmas trees with bitty lights at each end. Our table was custom built and I was able to have openings put in the center of each 8' section for an electrical outlet so lamps or centerpieces with tiny lights could be plugged in.
The buffet table for an early December Christmas open house was covered with a red cloth and edged by a wide band of gold beaded ivory ribbon. I bought the ribbon on line and it was gorgeous but expensive so I safety-pined it on from the back side and after the party I disassembled the table and saved the ribbon for future use. I'm such a collector, saver, and recycler. It helps when one wants to have lots of options. It also helps to be very organized - I have shelves in our attic where I store labeled boxes, one of which is "Christmas Ribbons." I wrapped boxes in Christmas papers to use as risers for several of the buffet food items. Flatware was tucked into green or white napkins and tied with vintage French silk ribbon that had been hand-dyed red by a seller in Warrenton at the biannual antiques fair.
The tablescape was fruits, veggies, and flowers in reds and purples. I started with craft store garlands as a base that were pine greenery with red berries and pine cones. I added kale, red cabbage, grapes, purple Iris, burgundy Aistroemeria, purple asparagus, and eggplants.
Robert's 2008 birthday dinner was held in our new house even tho we had not yet moved in. My table is in three 8' sections and at this dinner for 16, I used two sections and put the third in the bay window to use as the buffet. Pale green and white was the color theme and this is the only time I can think of when nothing on the table was antique except the silver compote that the flowers were arranged in. I started with a damask cloth and matching napkins that I got in Italy when our youngest married there in 2002. I used silver chargers, white china, and new crystal water and wine glasses. Each place had a small clear vase with one white rose.
This time I used a winter theme all in whites and silvers. Branches, sprayed silver, were from the yard and were displayed in simple cylinder vases with white roses and clear glass marbles to add sparkle. Silver bead garland was strung down the middle, draping around the mercery glass candle holders and the vases. The glass dome objects are snow globes that I used as place cards because they had the person's photo inside them, a craft project bought on line. Each person got to take their globe with them. China, cloths, and napkins were all solid white to keep with the winter theme.
This Christmas table was done about 15 years ago. I started with a red base cloth and layered on green holly placemats with damask napkins held by red Bakelite napkin rings beside Lenox Holiday china. (I've collected Bakelite all over, starting in Nashville 25 years ago, continuing at the Brimfield show, all over Texas, and in England.) If you don't have enough of a set of anything, either mix and match several different patterns or alternate, using two sets as I did for this table's glassware. Red water goblets were paired with green wines at one place and the opposite at the next. An all-white centerpiece completes the table and makes it more formal.