Christmas is around the corner. There’s no denying it any more. But it’s okay, I think I’m ready this year. With a natural, simple approach, it doesn’t take long to whip a house into shape. Today I’m talking about my country French Christmas table.
For this table, I purchased the big mercury Christmas ball ornaments this year. Everything else I already had.
These are beautiful oversized Christmas ornaments that I used on top of each plate. They would make a wonderful party favor too. They are sitting on very small perserved boxwood wreaths. The wreath acts as a nest, and keeps the round ornament from rolling about.
The table is set almost exclusively with vintage materials. The tablecloth is an antique made from homespun linen. All of the dishes, silverware, and napkins are also vintage.
I re-use many of these items for different holidays throughout the year. I just add a few elements that give a hint at the season. For this table it’s the boxwood wreaths and mercury glass ornaments that tell you it is Christmas. It’s simple, but that is what I like about it. Simplicity is often more elegant, and at the same time cheaper and easier. Let’s not make this difficult is my motto.
I love using simple natural touches like the fresh lemons and the rosemary plant.
The dishes belonged to my mother-in-law; I love the tradition of using them. So I have a few tips to share with you that I try to keep in mind when setting the table for guests.
1. Keep it Simple.
I don’t have a lot of time set the table, and I know you don’t either. That is why I almost never come up with anything elaborate. What is the good of doing an elaborate table for you to see if it is too much trouble for you to replicate? You see? I am just thinking of you. (Hee, hee)
2. Keep it Natural.
I love real food and real plants and real flowers. I try to always use fresh elements as my centerpiece, even if it is just a simple herb plant. I know I have already said this, but there is an quiet elegance and beauty to simple, natural things.
3. Use a tray.
By placing a tray in the center, everything is organized together. It all looks like it is part of the whole rather than a bunch of disjointed elements set on the table. This tray is large, but you could use a smaller one. Yes it takes up the entire space in the center of the table. There is no place to serve food on this table. There are two solutions. First, you could simply remove the tray right before you set out the food. Or, you could serve from somewhere else. We have a big island, often we set all of the food on the island, and then we don’t have to transfer it to the table. Yes it requires getting up if you want seconds, but keeps the table from getting cluttered.
How about you? Do you have any tips for setting a holiday table?
I hope you will join the other blogs on this Country French event covering Christmas.
Confessions of a Plate Addict says
So pretty, Anita! I always love having a peek at your beautiful dining room, too! I am loving our little group! Hugs…Debbie
It’s perfect! Working on my decorations today. 🙂
Thank you Susan.
Sharon Santoni says
Your christmas table is just beautiful Anita, love the simplicity and calm.
December starts here!
Parsimonious Décor Darling says
You are right, your table is absolutely elegant. Just lovely. I also love your gorgeous cabinet!
Anita, I love your table and especially the miniature boxwood wreaths cradling the ornaments.
Will you kindly provide a source for the mini wreaths?
Thanks and Merry Christmas!
They are from Antique Farmhouse.
I’ve given up on elaborate tables. Too much time I don’t have and most times that make it difficult to enjoy a meal and have a lively chat….
I luv your elegant simplicity!
Doré @ BurlapLuxe says
Oh How i lové your Joyeux Noel look here, simple and all is calm.
Love the tray so much so that my small nook table is rarely with out a caddy (tray) centered and ready to hold and contain something for the occasion.
Everything is so beautiful, truly a room with a view to love.
I was over visiting Sharon and took notice of her newly posted holiday and as I took notice of her French Bleu pillows it’s the same one as my recently purchased grained pillow with Bleu velvet pattern that takes on a different shad of soft worn silvery Bleu in the light. Mine is posted in my latest post on being featured on the front cover of Fifi’s new to release Prairie-Style Weddings.
I am going to so enjoy the holidays here and all that you inspire.
What home are you spending Christmas morning in?
Just beautiful, Anita!! You always manage to capture the spirit of the holiday or celebration with just a few simple touches. Thanks for your inspiration!
Michelle Mortensen says
Simple, elegant, and lovely. I love how you used your tray (I also love to use trays in my decorating & tablescapes). Where did you find the mercury ball ornaments? I adore them!
Michelle from simplysantabarbara.blogspot.com
Your table looks lovely, simple and natural which is the way I am going this Christmas too. I also have little Rosemary plants in pots which I have trimmed to a tree shape. The simple Christmas bauble on the plate is a really lovely idea, do the guests get to take one home 🙂
Looking forward to more of your lovely ideas.
Marlene Stephenson says
I love your ideas and the table decor,thanks so much.
Anita…love all things french. Absolutely beautiful.
Any resources for those minature boxwood wreaths?
Antique Farmhouse or Decor Steals. I think they both have them at times. I bought them at on or the other, can’t remember which one.
Thank you so much…just love your table!
Shirley@Housepitality Designs says
I so love this room and your table is simply exquisite!
Your dining room is lovely. I love your light fixture. Could you please tell me where you bought it? I would love to have one like it. I really enjoy your blog and look forward to seeing what you are doing next
Carol it was from Horchow. Thank you.
Your room is beautiful! Could you please tell me thecolor of the walls? Iam looking for a soft look like yours! Thanks!
Betsy they are SW agreeable gray.
Marty K says
Very nice! I like the idea of an ornament as a favor for your guests!
Kathy Peters says
After two back- to-back trips to France sixteen years ago, I have embraced the simple, elegant French farmhouse look, and you have totally nailed it with this table setting!
Oh thank you Kathy! I do love something that is simple.
Cathy Gunn says
So lovely! I am a Country French girl all the way! Love this table?
I love the “less is more” attitude & deco!
Ginger Valdes says
I absolutely love the simplicity and quiet beauty of your table. What a lovely family setting. As usual, you’ve nailed true French Country! X0 Ginger
Thank you Ginger!!! ‘Quiet beauty’ I like that phrase! I just may have to borrow that one.
Liz Teerlink says
I have Christmas dishes that I get out every year. They are such a joy to use.
Jennie Giordano says
Love the look of your table especially the tablecloth. Can you please let me know where I am purchase one?
Jennie, I have a few in my shop right now. http://shop.cedarhillfarmhouse.com/collections/all/tablecloth
Beautiful! Thanks for the tips!
I really like the mercury Christmas ornaments. They are so beautiful.
Carole Shiles says
To borrow from a previous comment, I love your quiet beauty in your dining room. It is always inspiring to see how you decorate so gently.
The tray stacked with essentials in the middle of the table is such a great idea. I agree with you, all you really need is an item or two to make a seasonal statement. Easy and, yes, very elegant.
A friend gave me the prettiest ivy and berry potted plant that shouts Christmas. It will look charming on my Christmas Eve brunch table.
Carol Ann says
The tablescape is perfection! Love the mercury glass balls. Need to find some. Thank you for some great tips.