How To Set A Proper Holiday Table That’s Fit For Downton Abbey

how to Set A Proper Formal Holiday Table Setting


 I set a beautiful holiday table for my Christmas Eve feast last night! Thanks to my years of waitressing and catering I sit in anticipation for the night to come and my guests to arrive. I put a lot of love and creativity into this special night in hopes that my guests will feel special, welcome, and elegant.  As I sit here sipping my coffee on this Christmas eve morn and catching up on my emails, overlooking the work I did last night to prepare, it dawned on me that my readers may need a little help in the table setting department. So, here goes…

Start Setting Your Holiday Table Early and Follow These Simple Rules!

Setting an elegant holiday table is easier than it looks! I like to get a jump on it and set my table the night before so i can tweak it as I wish without feeling the pressure of having to do so many things the day of.

 The table is set according to which course you will serve first.

Place the dinner plate in the middle , a charger plate, aka a decorative plate that highlights the dinner plate may be placed under it.

My Christmas Holiday Table setting
Still Tweaking

xmas table3 2015

The forks go to the left of the plate with the outside fork being the one that is used first with that corresponding course. If there is more than 1 course than there should be that many forks ( I usually serve a salad, appetizer, and entree). Example: a salad, appetizer, main course…(I usually just use 2 forks, one a salad fork, and another for appetizer course fork, and I wash the appetizer fork for when I serve the main course because I don’t have a large enough dinnerware set to accommodate 3 forks.

How to set a formal Holiday table with a charger plate

Place the entree fork to the left first, then the salad, then the appetizer fork because that is how the dinner should be served: app, salad, entree…however, many people will start with the salad first.

To the right, place the knife (with the sharp edge placed in towards the plate. Also place a spoon if you are having a soup course or are using it to twirl pasta.

The butter knife can go on the butter plate that is to the left and above of the forks or next to the dinner knife or spoon.

The glasses go to the right above the knife and in the order they are to be used. 

How to Set A holiday Table with napkin

You can get creative with the napkin and place it folded under the dinner plate, or rolled, or folded on top of the plate or in the water glass…only cloth napkins will do for a formal holiday table setting. If you you are looking for creative ways to fold napkins check them out here 

Note: Make sure your guests can see each other and don’t have to fight with a too tall centerpiece.

Note: I always like to have something living on the table such as fresh cut greens, flowers, or fruit

Hope that helps,

Happy Holidays ,

Marie Grabo



How To Set A Proper Holiday Table
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