The holiday season gives us the chance to spend quality time with friends and family, especially during holiday dinners. Setting a formal table for Thanksgiving or Christmas is a nice way to make the meals special. If you are unfamiliar with the traditional customs for setting a table, you may feel unsure where to start. However, setting the table for a holiday meal is not as difficult as it may sound.
First, decide what sort of decorative elements you want to include with your table setting. If your table has room for a centerpiece, you can choose a floral arrangement or something in line with the season, such as a bowl of apples or squashes. The next step is to pick a tablecloth. Although a crisp white tablecloth is very formal and classy, you can also make seasonal color choices like autumn red or chocolate brown (these are also more forgiving to stains than white).
A trend for formal table settings that is making a comeback is including a charger at each place setting. A charger is a large plate that sits at the center of each place setting. For the early courses, the soup bowl and/or salad plate is place on top of the charger. When it is time for the main entrée, the charger is replaced with the entrée plate. A charger is not a necessity for a nice table setting. You can simply place the entrée plate at the center of each place setting if you do not wish to use the extra dishes.
An easy rule of thumb to remember when setting utensils is the utensils should be set outwards in to proceed with the courses. So the utensil that will be used first (usually the salad fork) will be the furthest from the plate and the entrée fork will be the closest to the plate. Forks are set on the left side of the charger/center plate. Spoons and knives are set on the right side of the plate, with knives are always turned towards the plate. You can place glasses at the top right of the place setting, with the same rule as the utensils: first is furthest. So the water glass is usually the furthest out, followed by the wine glass if wine is served.
At a holiday table setting, one other very important element is the napkin. A cloth napkin is a nice touch that lends your holiday feast a touch of sophistication while you enjoy the company and delicious food. Before the start of the meal, place the napkin inside a napkin ring on the center plate. The holiday table setting is a simple and inexpensive way to celebrate special time with loved ones. Silver Mine Gifts has a variety of pewter and sterling silver napkin rings that will match whatever type of table you decide to set for Thanksgiving and the entire holiday season.