Tabletop Allegro by David Patchen

For many of us, the holidays are spent together with family and friends. It seems that the center of such occasions is often a large, nourishing meal. Sitting down around the table brings everyone together to enjoy good food, conversation, and company.

Here are some tips on how to bring a festive atmosphere to the holiday table:

These Holiday Mugs by Vaughan Nelson are charming and whimsical, and would hold a perfect amount of hot cocoa. I collect mugs, and these would be a wonderful addition to my cabinet. I can just picture wrapping my hands around a hot cup on a frosty day, warming my fingers and soul.

My go-to hot cocoa recipe follows, and can be adjusted for taste by using less sugar or adding mint extract or flavored liquors:

3 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

3 Tablespoons sugar

1/2 Teaspoon vanilla extract

16 oz milk

Whisk together the cocoa, sugar, and about 2 tablespoons milk in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until cocoa and sugar are dissolved. Whisk in the rest of the milk and heat it over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until it is hot. Stir in the vanilla and serve.

Holiday Mugs by Vaughan Nelson

This bowl from Louise Bilodeau (Lulu Ceramics) brings the important things in life to the forefront. Hand-stamped with the words family, love, memories, home, laughter, and cherish, this bowl is a visual reminder with each serving.

Celebration Bowl by Louise Bilodeau

  • Light can help set the mood. 

Christmas Confetti Glass Candleholders by Ed Edwards set a festive mood with colorful lighting. These would look lovely placed on top of a mirror, adding even more reflections of red, green, and white.

Christmas Confetti Glass Candleholder by Ed Edwards

These Gold Leaf Candlesticks by Dan Mirer are a dramatic, elegant addition to holiday decor. On a mantle framed with gold and silver stocking holders or pine boughs and cones, these candlesticks would give balance and height to the overall look.

Gold Leaf Candlesticks by Dan Mirer

  • An extraordinary centerpiece can take the whole table to new levels.

The Abundance Centerpiece in Nickel by Susan Woods is beautiful — whether it holds ornaments, oranges, or nothing at all. Such a versatile, neutral piece provides an opportunity for stunning contrast.

Abundance Centerpiece in Nickel by Susan Woods

The Grid Platter in Red and Cream by Heather Palmer brings holiday color to the table. Add coordinating ornaments in golds, reds, and creams to make a beautiful centerpiece. Placing some deep green foliage and red cranberries inside would also pull together a pretty holiday effect.

Grid Platter in Red and Cream by Heather Palmer

  • Let your food speak for itself.

Served on the Medium Provence Platter by Ivan Hull, this platter of cheese, bread, and pomegranate makes an attractive presentation. Find delicious menu ideas and recipes on our “a feast for the senses” Pinterest board.

Medium Provence Platter by Ivan Hull

Do you use any of these ideas? I’d love to see your holiday table!