Raid your yard to create a rustic holiday table setting
Just because it's cold outside doesn't mean that there isn't anything you can harvest from your yard to decorate your holiday table. Nature provides us with a beautiful color palette to use for decorating.
This chilly season has a myriad of elements you can use: conifers, evergreen trees and shrubs, logs, pine cones and seasonal fruit. Look around, I bet you can find interesting colors and textures to add to your holiday tablescape.
Fill the middle of your table with a generous layer of greenery. Shoot for several types of textures. I love to use the clippings off of my Christmas tree. Here's a tip: When you are out getting your tree, ask the loader if you can have the branches that were trimmed off the other trees. They will give them to you for free! I also clip evergreen branches from the trees in my yard. On top of the greenery, I used an old, dried log found in the woods behind my house. Here's where the fun begins!
Pine cones are a must for a Christmas tablescape. If you do not have them in your yard or a friend's yard, they are inexpensive to purchase at a craft store. You may be able to find some in a grocery store this time of year. Tuck ornaments and/or pine cones in the nooks of the greenery. I stuck with natural colors. For extra ambiance, you can use tealights or taller candles around the centerpiece. Be sure to not let the candles get too close for safety reasons.
You don't have a full place setting for all your guests? No worries. The tablescape is made to accommodate different textures. I mix and match dishes on purpose; even the glassware.
The napkins are wrapped with corrugated cardboard secured with a piece of twine. A sprig of rosemary is tucked in for some added interest. The glassware is informal as well. If you do not have enough drinking glasses, try using different types of jars. Your guests will find this detail charming and amusing.
Here's where the fruit will come into play. Seasonal fruits such as clementines, pears and pomegranates are great additions to a winter tablescape. They are awesome for two reasons: They are cheap in the winter and you can eat them as well. I place it in the serve ware before I fill in with greenery.
Make sure you have multiple layers. If you do not have cake stands or multi-tiered serving dishes, try using an upturned bowl and placing a plate on top. Tuck greenery in the spaces between the serving dishes. Dress up your appetizers and desserts with fruit and herbs (like rosemary).
Clementines are in season and they make a tasty and inexpensive garish for your food. Tuck the fruit in between plants and among the greenery. The best part is that the fruit can be added to your guest's appetizer plate. That means less cleanup later!