Setting your Christmas table

For some people the arrival of Christmas is not exactly a time of peace, especially if they host the main midday or evening meal. 

Gastronomical purists say that at home you should shun fake flowers or other small adornments when arranging the table. Not a single color or aroma that can detract from enjoying the food, this line of thought argue.

 You should also keep in mind that certain kinds of flowers are poisonous. The poinsettia plant, for instance, so it is not recommended for the table but for decorating a sideboard.

For the table centerpiece it is best to use walnuts, chestnuts, apples and raisins. They not only look good, they are edible.

Some kinds of flowers help create a festive atmosphere that is more sophisticated. This is the case with roses and carnations. After the meal you can give them away to the female guests.

As for the tablecloth, that old line that it must be white for full enjoyment of the wine is not the best idea since wine tasting contests are not held at the table. Don't use a red tablecloth either. If you want to use one that is brightly colored, opt for ochre. It gives the room an elegant touch.

This year, roll up the napkins from the left side as if they were small cushions. Place them on the plate but not in the center, rather on the fork side. On the side with the knife, place a knife rest.

Glassware, china, silverware...

When serving a special meal it is recommended you set the table with all the silverware, glasses and plates you are going to need throughout the meal.

Don't forget that the first glass within our reach is the wine glass. It is no longer in fashion for them to be smaller than the water glasses or the same size. If you want to draw attention to the wine, choose large glasses which, of course, you will only fill one-third of the way.

One last tip

After doing all this you may think the table looks a little stiff. If so put a placemat under the plate at each diner's seat or, for a truly original touch, a sheet of vinyl.

Now all this left is deciding whether to put ashtrays on the table. That's up to you. I carry one in my pocket just in case. Happy holidays!

Got plenty of Christmas leftovers?

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