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6 tips for creating a dashing holiday table

Lorna Meister, director of dietary services at Good Samaritan Society of Albert Lea, recommends choosing a focal point, color and theme as the first step to decorating a holiday table.

Lorna Meister, director of dietary services at Good Samaritan Society of Albert Lea, recommends choosing a focal point, color and theme as the first step to decorating a holiday table.

Hosting a dinner party this holiday season and don’t know how to decorate?

Consider these six tips from Lorna Meister, director of dietary services at Good Samaritan Society of Albert Lea.

Meister was one of the organizers of the former Tour of Tables, where people were invited to decorate tables and sell tickets to raise money. She stressed the value that a thoughtfully decorated display can add to the dining experience.

“When someone walks in and you see that beautiful table, you anticipate great food,” Meister said. “It helps with conversation and draws people into the holiday spirit.”

A poinsettia, Christmas cactus or red roses make a beautiful centerpiece for a holiday dinner table.

A poinsettia, Christmas cactus or red roses make a beautiful centerpiece for a holiday dinner table.

 

1. Start with a focal point, color and theme. 

Whether you want an elegant or whimsical setting, choose what color and theme you want before you begin to decorate.

Meister said table runners are good for a casual table with a Santa Claus, snowman, Christmas village or favorite collection in the center to create a fun conversation piece.

If you’d rather use a floral decoration as a focal point, consider using a holiday poinsettia, a Christmas cactus or Christmas rose. Too many items on a table are distracting.

 

 

2. Try fresh garland.

Meister said though there are some nice artificial garlands, she recommends using fresh garland when it is available.

She said she particularly likes noble fir, shore pine, red cedar, coned cedar and princess pine. Place it across the length of the table.

 

3. Don’t forget accents.

Accents can be added for texture and color, such as holly, ivy and mistletoe or even Christmas ornaments. They should tie into the overall color and theme.

 

4. Add candles for warmth. 

Using candles of different heights will add dimension to the table. Choose a color that will compliment your remaining decoration.

 

5. Set the table based on what will be served.

Meister said Christmas china is fun to use, but any china or stoneware can be incorporated with a meal.

Decide whether a placemat, charger or tablecloth would be the best background for your dish ware.

 

6. Keep it personal. 

While place cards have a practical purpose of telling guests where to sit, they can also be attached to a keepsake for guests to take home with them.

Let your dinner guests know they are always welcome at your table for Thanksgiving or Christmas.