Merry & bright: Christmas table decorations to bring cheer to your home

In this post: We share ideas for more sustainable Christmas table decorations.

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For many, decorating for Christmas is a highlight of the season while for others, it’s a holiday chore. In either case, breaking down the scope of Christmas decorating can make it more manageable and fun. 

A great place to focus is on Christmas tabletop decorations. This can be a dining table, coffee table, entry table, or any other place where you’ve got a surface that could use a little cheer. We checked around with our favorite designers and makers to bring you our top ideas for Christmas table decorations. In addition – because it’s what we do – we’ll focus on the most eco-friendly decor ideas we can find so you feel great about your Christmas decorating.

We’re hoping that whatever side of the decorating fence you’re on, you’ll find something to get excited about. 

In this article:

Dining table Christmas ideas

Make each place setting special with Christmas table decorations

While there was a point in time when it was commonplace to have a specific set of dishes just for Christmas dinner, this can feel like overkill these days amidst our more casual lifestyles. Not to mention that not everyone has lots of storage for things that only get used once a year.

One way to make your table feel a little more festive without the need for a lot of holiday storage is to dress up an everyday place setting with a little festive flair. This can mean special napkin rings, wine charms, or even bringing in some greenery from outside. A spring of holly, a pine clipping, or a few small poinsettias in the center of the table can make it feel special without the need for a lot of waste.

Christmas table decor with colorful drinks and silverware with a sprig of pine tied around the napkin with twine

Image courtesy of The Table Stylist

Christmas crackers

A fun and easy accent to your Christmas table decorations is by adding Christmas crackers. For many families, this is a favorite part of Christmas dinner and an important tradition. We've highlighted two of our favorites, below. 

The first is Village Scene Matchstick Puzzles. Each matchbox contains a puzzle, game, paper hat, and seasonal joke. Plus, they can be displayed together as an adorable Christmas village scene.

The second, Linen Monogrammed Reusable Christmas Crackers, puts a spin on traditional crackers by making them more elegant and reusable. The possibilities on what to include each year are endless and you could opt to have each person's initial on their own cracker or use the same initial for all of them.

Image courtesy of Marvling Bros Ltd

Image courtesy of KateSprostonDesign 

Christmas place setting name tags

Nothing makes guests feel more special than a place setting with their name on it. And in the likely event that you have many of the same guests year over year, you can store and reuse each tag or even use them as ornaments in the future. We’ve included a few of our favorite handmade options below, and this is something you could DIY if you’re feeling crafty. 

Image courtesy of Savorysweetsisters

Image courtesy of Savorysweetsisters

Vintage Christmas table decorations

If you’re lucky enough to have an abundance of storage, one of my favorite Christmas accents are vintage wine glasses. They add so much character to each place setting and make you feel special using them throughout the season, whether they're filled with mulled wine or simply ice water.  

Depending on how you use them, they can also fit in well with a lot of different design schemes. You can go the traditional route and stick with all red, all green or a mix of the two. It’s also fun to try a mismatched scheme. Not only is it a fun and colorful look, but it means you don’t have to fret when one gets broken since you can add to your collection over time. If this is appealing to you, check out MillieandMargotFinds on Etsy.

Carrying this vintage Christmas table decoration theme through to the centerpiece would be a great way to repurpose some decorations you already have or give new life to thrifted decor. A vintage Santa or an arrangement of glass ornaments would be a stylish way to create a vintage Christmas theme.

Images courtesy of MillieandMargotFinds 

Photography by Flashpoint Photography, LLC

Opt for some color in your Christmas table decorations

If you’re bored by the traditional hues of the season, why not spice it up? One of the great things about bringing in some of your favorite but unexpected colors is that it means you don’t have to store decor that is used only once a year. Adding a few special holiday touches to more versatile items will cut down on what you have to buy and store.

Melissa LaFave does a beautiful job with her Christmas table decorations. This dreamy tablecloth could be used for a number of celebrations and her colorful and versatile Christmas ornament centerpiece can be repurposed and changed out in different ways. 

If you love her placemats as much as we do, you’ll be excited to know that they are her original artwork! Check out her shop for information on purchasing them for your table.

Images courtesy of Melissa LaFave London

Focusing on nature in Christmas table decor

We always celebrate the use of natural decor and it’s hard to imagine there’s a more beautiful example than this one from My Maple Leaf Homes. Having such a natural bounty as part of the table decor is such a refreshing approach to a winter holiday. 

With access to the right natural resources and a little creativity, this Christmas tablescape could be created for a reasonable cost. Using branches and pinecones as the foundation and some purchased or DIY dried and fresh oranges to brighten things up, you can make a version for your own Christmas feast.

Images courtesy of My Maple Leaf Home

More edible options for your Christmas table decorations

Pomegranates are another option for Christmas table decorations that bring vibrancy to your table. Fresh or dried pomegranates bring a classic, timeless charm to any Christmas decor. The fresh version has the benefit of being a refreshing ingredient in a post-Christmas brunch. If you need a source, check out Rancho Tres Rios for fresh or dried pomegranates.

sustainable pomagranate christmas table decoration

Image courtesy of Idoweddingflowers

Image by Tim Douglas

Packages as Christmas table decor

Why should the Christmas tree have all the fun? Using color coordinated wrapped packages as table decor is a fun way to make sure that all the effort you put into wrapping gets as much longevity as possible. 

We also love the way that this Christmas tablescape is both traditional and a little different. Using just green plays up the natural elements present at this table and feels so fresh and clean. As a bonus, if you're looking for white Christmas table decoration ideas, this is a great one!

Images courtesy of The Table Stylist

Repurposing potted plants as rustic Christmas table decorations

Another idea from The Table Stylist, why not add some potted plants for a natural rustic feeling? This style would work well in so many homes, and it feels like a particularly natural fit with more rustic Farmhouse decor. 

If you already have potted herbs or other small plants, they could be repurposed for this occasion. If not, you can feel better about the investment in a Christmas tablescape knowing that you can make use of these small plants throughout the year.

Images courtesy of The Table Stylist

Natural blooms can bring classic style to your Christmas table decorations

If you can time it right, incorporating natural blooms into your table decor is a stunning way to celebrate the season. Amaryllis bulbs are a favorite but it can be a little tricky to make sure they’re ready on your timeline. 

Another great option are poinsettias which you’ll find in abundance in a variety of sizes throughout the holiday season.  A few small poinsettias worked into a an evergreen or magnolia garland

Image courtesy of BlueBuddhaFarm

Felted elements are a great way to brings some life to your table

There are so many things to love about adding felted elements to your decor. Not only are you supporting working artists and craftspeople, but you’ll be adding decor to your table that you can use again and again throughout your home. 

If you’re willing to make a slightly larger investment, this mistletoe from HeartwoodForrest could make a beautiful napkin ring or napkin topper with your Christmas table decorations and could also be repurposed as filler in a larger floral arrangement. 

Another great use for felted florals is as a replacement for plants that aren’t safe for your pets. If you love poinsettias in your Christmas decor but worry about their toxicity, felt versions are a safer alternative.

Images courtesy of TheHardwoodForest2

Christmas entry table decor 

If tackling a whole Christmas tablescape is unnecessary for your situation, focusing on Christmas decor for an entry table can be a fun and more manageable way to add some Christmas cheer to your home. One of the things that makes entry table decor a little easier is that you’ll likely be working around some existing and functional elements – like a lamp, key bowl, or mail tray – so you don’t have to come up with an entire design scheme.

A great place to start is to spruce up your entry table’s usual decor with a small grouping of festive elements. Check out these adorable snowmen that will instantly bring a winter vibe to your entry. Plus, since they’re more winter-themed than any specific holiday, you don’t have to feel rushed to get them put away. These could also double as a centerpiece, giving you a little more bang for your buck. 

If you’ve got room for another piece of Christmas table decoration, a live plant or crafted greenery can bring some life to the entryway. We love an amaryllis but a rosemary tree, Christmas cactus or an everyday houseplant with a few ornaments could all work well.

Image courtesy of RoottoVine

Image courtesy of Blue Buddha Farm

Simple coffee table Christmas decor

A coffee table can be another great surface for some holiday cheer. To make it more lively, it simply takes replacing some of the typical elements – coffee table books, a paperweight, a candle – and replacing them with their Christmas equivalent.

You probably already have a lot of these elements already in your Christmas decor stash, but if there are any you are missing, we have a few recommendations to consider.

Literary Christmas table decorations

You probably already have a few Christmas books that could be repurposed here. Even just adding a Christmas book to the top of the stack can help transform your table. Some of our favorites include:

Christmas candles for your table

Here you can go with something classic, more rustic, or more obviously just for the holiday. Here are examples of what we mean.

Image courtesy of Junebeginnings

Image courtesy of The Dancing Wick

Christmas table decor accents

These can be similar to what you would use on an entry table, and provide an opportunity to switch items between the two spaces each year. We’ve included a few favorites below and threw in an easy option in case you’re up for some do it yourself Christmas table decorations, as well.

Image courtesy of TeshPaperFlowers

Image courtesy of TheHardwoodForest2

Image courtesy of RootToVine

We hope these ideas help you create beautiful Christmas table decorations! And we hope you'll share them with us – check out links to our social media pages below!

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