Decking out the Holiday Dining Table

Decking out the Holiday Dining Table
Often the formal dining table is only used during the Holidays. Even if one is not hosting dinner, often the dining table is in festive form. It's an opportunity to bring out the never-used china, flatware and crystal. A much-loved centerpiece might be displayed. A pretty table runner or table cloth which only sees the light of day during the Holidays may get its due. If this much effort goes into a table which might not even have people gathered around it, just think how much attention it will receive if you are actually hosting a Holiday event...

Setting a beautiful table is really quite simple. If you have plates, flatware and an assortment of glasses, you should be quite set. The question usually is, however, where does it all go?

The answer is really quite simple. Start with the dinner plate.

Center a dinner plate with each chair. If you have salad plates and want to use them, you can place the smaller salad plate to the left of the dinner plate. Next bring out the napkins and flatware. Napkin goes on the left, if folded. If you stuff the napkin into a holder you can place it to the left of the forks. Forks go on the left of the dinner plate, atop the napkin, if it's folded. Knives and spoons on the right. Larger items are closer to the plate and they get smaller as you work your way out. This means large fork next to the left side of the plate. Smaller (salad) fork to the left of the bigger fork. Knife goes to the right of the plate. spoon goes to the knife's right.
Now you can eat. But what about that OTHER plate? The one that's smaller than the salad plate?

That would be your bread plate. While we are talking bread, let's talk drink too.

While keeping your fingers up, curl your thumb and forefinger. See how one makes a little b and the other makes a little d? Think b (on your left hand) for bread and d (on your right had) for drink. Your bread plate goes on the left and drinking glasses go on the right.

Upon examining your cache of crystal, do you have more than one size glass? You may even have three or four different sizes. Not to worry. All of them can feasibly be used during a dinner party and all can be displayed.

Glasses can be clustered on the right (d side) of the place setting. A triangle of three or square of four are not so very odd, really. The smaller glass is usually your water goblet. You want that one closest to the diner, perhaps just above the spoon. The medium glass is for white wine. Because white wine is served cold, the glass is smaller, as a smaller portion of cold wine won't get warmed as much as a larger portion. The larger glass is for red wine. Red wine is better when it breathes and a larger glass allows for this. If you have a cup and saucer, and want to display them, you can set them on the right, to the outside of the crystal.

There. Your table is set for entertaining at a moment's notice.

Now that your table is set, you are probably wondering about that cup and saucer. Not to worry. There's a place for that too.

You Should Also Read:
Table Manners for Kids During the Holidays
Holiday Table Manners for Kids

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