It’s Tuesday, December 3rd and my to-do list is multiplying at a terrifying rate. I suspect yours is too. Decorating, cooking, entertaining, writing and addressing holiday cards, gifts…all on top of your regular work and personal schedule. The most wonderful time of the year can be a bit stressful too. So I’m on the lookout for jobs I can knock off my to-do list as early as possible. Holiday tablescapes fit the bill.
As far as I’m concerned holiday tablescapes need to meet a number of criteria:
- Simple. My flower arranging skills are negligible at best, so as much as I love those still-life-esque floral arrangements, it’s not happening in this house. I’ve embraced decorating minimalism.
- Durable. Another strike against flowers and greenery is that it won’t last as long as I need it to. At best, you get a week out of flowers and, although greenery lasts a bit longer, inside the house it gets dried out and crispy looking.
- Versatile. Because I want to get my holiday tablescape done ahead of time, it needs to be something that will work through several rounds of entertaining, as well as our family Christmas meals. When serving food at a dinner party, I tend to set the table, but then place the dishes on our sideboard for guests to help themselves. I’m going to do the same for our Christmas meal this year. That way I can
wrestlecarve the Christmas beast in the kitchen while everyone serves themselves. At our big annual cocktail party, I serve a buffet on the table. This tablescape will need to work through several scenarios.
- Pretty. I may be floral design-challenged and a decorating minimalist, but there’s really no point if it isn’t pretty!
I’m a big fan of repeated elements in my holiday tablescapes. Some years it’s pinecones, other years it’s bowls of clementines, this year I’m going über simple with candles. For this post, I’ve put together a collection of candlesticks from my store and fitted each one with an 8 inch beeswax taper. The table has been draped in a linen cloth and the silver candlesticks scattered along the middle. They are random heights, sizes, and styles…the candles themselves are the constant factor. The placement along the middle will allow me to set the table with individual place settings or with the party buffet. The tablescape is not so dense or tall it will interfere with conversation when we sit at the table and is pretty from a bird’s eye as well as table height view.
You may not notice in the main photo, but some of the candlesticks are imperfect. I’ve been debating what to do about these pieces? They still are perfectly functional, but have suffered some bumps and bashes. There is a lovely term, borrowed from Japanese, being used in the design community to describe this aesthetic — wabi sabi. Perfectly imperfect is a very short description. I normally end up scrapping pieces like this…but am wondering if I should list them in the store instead?? What do you think?
Now I’ve written and published this piece for work I need to get our family holiday tablescapes in order. I’m definitely keeping the same look, but replacing shop stock items with personal ones. Once I’ve made the switch I look forward to crossing one item off my to-do list with great satisfaction.
And let me know what you think about the wabi-sabi pieces…scrap or stock?