Easy and Elegant Christmas Table Decoration Ideas

Last Updated: February 13, 2024

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Add sparkle and elegance to your holiday table with these Christmas table decoration ideas that are so easy you can do them at the very last minute.

easy and elegant Christmas table decor ideas

Every year I say that I’m going to start getting ready for Christmas early. That I’m going to avoid all the stress and have everything done ahead of time.

But no matter how hard I try, I always seem to be rushing around at the last minute.

Which is how I’ve become quite the expert at creating really easy Christmas table decorations that don’t take a long time to put together.

So I thought I would share my favorite easy and elegant Christmas table decor ideas in case you want to simplify your holiday planning, too.

1 | Put Down Wrapping Paper As A Table Runner

Silver and white Christmas table setting with an easy and elegant Christmas centerpiece

If you don’t have a runner or table cloth that goes with your Christmas decor, try using a piece of your Christmas wrapping paper.

It’s usually fairly wide so you can even get away without place mats if you want to.

And you can throw it out at the end of the night so you don’t have to worry about someone dripping cranberry sauce on it!

If you don’t want to have any of the table showing, you could also layer the wrapping paper on top of a table cloth.

2 | Use Wine Glasses As Candle Holders

Christmas table with a wine glass used as a candle holder

Wine glasses actually make really good candle holders.  

They’re about the right height and size for tea light candles.  

If you have tealights in clear plastic containers, you can put them in the wine glass just like that.

Simple candle holder made from a wine glass

Or if you prefer not to see the candle and you have some small tealight holders, you can put them inside a large wine glass to raise them off the table.

A Christmas candle holder made from a stemless wine glass filled with sand and faux pearls

Stemless wine glasses work, too!  

This one has some white sand and faux pearls around the candle.  

The sand also prevents the bottom of the glass from getting too hot from the candle if you are worried about that.

Read the full tutorial on how to make these candle holders HERE.

Shop Candle Supplies

Click the images to find the product sources.

3 | Create Centerpieces From Trays

christmas centerpiece made from a tray, evergreens, ornaments and a candle

Add some Christmas decor to a tray to make an instant centerpiece.

I used a pillar candle with some evergreen branches, holly berries and Christmas ornaments.

I found that using ornaments with different shapes, textures and sizes makes the centerpiece a little more interesting.

Tray filled with mirror ball Christmas ornaments on a buffet

Another option is to fill up a tray with sparkly ornaments that go with your decor.

Shop The Centerpieces

Click the images to find the product sources.

4 | Layer Your Place Settings

To make your Christmas table setting feel luxurious and special, use lots of layers.

I put down a place mat and a charger in addition to the dinner and salad plate.

And then layered 2 napkins together to create this blue, white and gold tablescape.

It feels very festive even though I don’t have any Christmas-specific dinnerware.

5 | Use Ornaments As Napkin Holders

Close up of a silver butterfly Christmas ornament used as a napkin holder on a place setting

This is one of my favorite Christmas table ideas!

Christmas tree ornaments, like these butterflies, make great plate decorations.

I literally took these butterflies off my Christmas tree.

That way you know they will go with the rest of your holiday decor.

Christmas table setting with snowflake ornament as napkin holder

If you wrapped your presents with paper that co-ordinates with your tree, then you can use it on your table along with the ornaments to create a table setting that fits right in with your Christmas decor.

Shop The Place Setting

Click the images to find the product sources.

6 | Create Faux Pearl Napkin Rings

Christmas table setting with faux pearls used as a napkin ring

Speaking of DIY napkin rings, another easy but elegant way to create them is with a string of faux pearls.

Simply wrap them around the napkin 3 or 4 times and tie the ends on the back.

You can easily do a whole table with one string.

7 | Add Christmas Runners

Christmas table setting with 3 runners across the table

If you don’t have a Christmas table cloth, putting Christmas runners on your table will give it that holiday look.

Even if you don’t have many other Christmas table decorations.

Christmas table setting using table runners instead of a tablecloth

For a more modern look, run more than one of them across the table rather than down the center.

In this case, I didn’t use a tablecloth at all. Just alternating runners to create more interest.

8 | Use String Lights and Ribbon

White Christmas lights, candles and silver ribbon on a buffet

White string lights always look magical when their light is reflected off of glass and metal surfaces.

Place them on top of the buffet with some candles, ornaments and ribbon to create a pretty backdrop for your table.

This would also make a gorgeous centerpiece down the center of the table if you have battery-operated lights.

Some of you who know me are probably wondering why I didn’t use white feather boas (one of my favorite inexpensive Christmas decorations!) with the lights…I used them all up when I did my all white Christmas tree.  And I didn’t have time to go buy some more.  But I actually like the way it looks without the feathers, so I didn’t really miss them.

White candles with silver candle holders on a buffet

Don’t worry if you can see the wires…when the lights are on, you won’t really notice them.

If you happen to have them, lights with white wires would probably blend in a little more than the ones I had on hand with the green wires.

White candles, lights and ornaments used as Christmas decorations on a buffet

They look even better with a reflective surface under them…like the mirror top of my buffet, or the mirror chargers I used for my Silver and White table setting.

Christmas tray via nellyvintagehome.blogspot.com
Christmas tray via nellyvintagehome.blogspot.com

If you don’t have a mirrored surface, try a silver tray like this beautiful scene from Nelly Vintage Home.

Shop The Buffet

Click the images to find the product sources.

9 | Hang A Wreath On The Wall Or Window

White Christmas wreath hung on the wall

If you have a wreath, hang it above the buffet or in front of the window to add some holiday decor to the vertical surfaces.

Silver wreath hung over a buffet decorated for Christmas

I used some ribbon to tie this wreath to the top of my dining room backdrop.

The same idea works to hang it from a curtain rod in front of a window.

10 | Add a Garland To The Chandelier

Evergreen Christmas garland hung around a chandelier

If you have a Christmas garland and a chandelier with arms, you can add instant holiday decor by wrapping the garland around the chandelier.

It is especially effective if you are also using evergreen branches in your centerpiece.

Have a Happy Holiday!

Silver and white Christmas place setting

If you’re in a position of needing some easy and elegant Christmas table decoration ideas, I hope you found some inspiration.

But in the end, the most important thing is to relax and enjoy the company!

I hope you have a happy holiday season!

Have comments or questions on our Christmas table decoration ideas?  Tell us in the section below.

This post was originally published on December 23, 2016 but was updated with new content on February 13, 2024.

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