Before we set our table for Christmas, we need to focus on the true meaning and purpose thereof.
Christmas is a time for reflection on our life – the good and bad. It is a time to celebrate God’s love for us. It is a time to count our blessings and spend precious time with loved ones.
Christmas is spent differently amongst Christians. Some exchange gifts as God sent his most precious gift to us – also because the three wise men gave Jesus gifts.
Christmas is celebrated on 25 December, but it is most likely that it was on a different month and day.
As Christians have Christmas, so other religions also have festive days like The Festival of Lights for the Jewish and Ramadan for Muslims.
Whatever your religion and beliefs are, we are all united under the African sky with its hot summer holidays and we all have reason to celebrate and to be thankful.
Let’s unite in love and be thankful for the past year. It was rough at times, yes, I know. But we are still here! Covid-19 ruined many lives and businesses. My sister-in-law was one of the many who passed away due to Covid-19, leaving a heartbroken family behind. I contribute this blog to her as she was an expert in decorating her house and table for Christmas. She turned it into a science.
So, let’s decide on the table setting!
We have a few choices but picked two distinctive designs hopefully suitable to most of your liking and taste.
The first is the traditional table setting and the other the natural and organic table.
Traditional table setting
The basis of all great tables is a classic 100% natural white linen tablecloth.
Classic elegance triumph in uncertain times.
The traditional colour scheme is different shades of red, combined with dark green and gold. Choose one or two of these colours to give it a modern twist. We have chosen green and gold and no, it has no resemblance to any South African sport.
Now you can fill the picture with matching plates, cutlery, and glasses. We do not mix and match with this look as it is not informal. Red and or white wine glasses; champagne glasses and even a water glass if you prefer.
Candles, yes, if you have a Christmas dinner but if the sun is smiling brightly at you and you are having a lunch, I’d rather leave the candles.
To add personality to your table, add crackers with a little gift but please do keep animals in mind – most of them don’t like the sound of crackers and popping champagne bottles. Just take the “cracker” strip carefully out of the cracker so it won’t make any sound.
Add cotton or linen napkins to compliment the tablecloth or table runner.
The menu is also traditional: leg of lamb from the Karoo, gammon with honey glaze, chicken pie …. Liplekker!
Natural and organic table setting
For those of us who prefer simplicity and sustainability, we suggest our natural and organic table setting. After this tiring year (at times) we certainly look for a retreat and comfort during the festive days. Leave the loud colours for New Year’s Eve. Let’s do calm colours that soothes the senses and will leave us refreshed. Natural linen, wood and hues of green will paint a picture-perfect scene.
Use rosemary sprigs or any other fresh green sprigs or leaves from your garden as napkin holders. Your table will effortlessly smell wonderful!
Another idea for a napkin holder is a home baked cookie in a Christmas tree or star shape. Make two holes before you bake it and use the holes to tie it with cotton ribbon to your napkin.
You can use white flowers or green leaves as centre piece décor … or you can use green fruit that is in season: green apples, grapes, figs, pears, whatever you can lay your hands on. It can also be a great edible name card holder when placed on your plate.
Locally sourced products like hand made plates and glasses would be a good choice for this table.
Your menu can include rosemary and garlic roast lamb (nothing beats a Karoo leg of lam’s taste) Green salad from your garden and a homemade salad dressing.
Gifts can be an expensive exercise, especially if you need to bring a gift for everyone. Rather draw names from a hat and let each guest bring a gift for someone specific. Determine the budget.
Use your imagination, be different and add love and care to your table. The rest will follow naturally.