9 ways to decorate your holiday table that don’t involve cranberries or poinsettias

We love traditions for a reason: they’re comfy, they’re cozy, they’re safe. But every once and a while it’s good to change up you traditional decor (read: poinsettias and cranberries) by updating your holiday table with a little twist. Ditch the centerpieces that seem to be standard at every holiday gathering, and use some of these ideas to shake up your holiday table, instead. Trust us, your guests will thank you later.

1. When in doubt, add pine cones

Pine cones and candles create a charming rustic ambiance in just about any way you arrange them. For extra holiday flair, add cinnamon sticks as shown here. You can scatter them randomly, in a circle, or put them in jars.

2. Colored burlap

Run a wide piece of painted burlap (or buy it that way) through the middle of your table and set a few vases on top. You can also wrap Mason jars with it, tie bows around pine cones, or use it to make simple napkin rings. The options are endless and it’s impossible not to look festive.

3. Use literally any other flower

Your flowers don’t have to be Christmas flowers to be beautiful. Pick whatever flowers jump out at you and place them in clear jars of various sizes. Add some tea light candles in between and call it good. If you want to add a Christmas touch, wrap the jars with red and green twine or ribbons.

4. Fill vases with candy canes

If you want to hide the flower stems in your centerpiece and add some Christmas flair at the same time, line a wide vase with candy canes. If you want to skip flowers altogether, you can use a series of smaller vases to make mini candy cane bouquets.

5. Say hello to cake pop bouquets!

Any bouquet you can eat gets bonus points — double bonus points if it’s full of sugar. So if you’re not the baking kind, order a batch from your local baker and make a cake pop bouquet. Try this recipe if you want to make your own (just switch up the colors you decorate with!).

6. Use crisp red apples

As a nod to the delicious apple pie you’d better be serving, arrange red apples in your centerpiece with some candles. Add some pine cones as a nod to tip number one and all that’s missing is that scrumptious pie in the oven.

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7. Put extra Christmas ornaments to good use

I don’t know about you, but there are always a few stragglers in my ornament box that don’t have hooks or don’t fit on the tree. Use them to Christmas-fy any basic bouquet for your centerpiece.

8. Use nontraditional colors

Find some Christmas knick-knacks at the dollar store and spray paint those bad boys whatever color you want. Situate them with other Christmas decor in cups of sand… and voilà! Christmas decor with a color twist.

9. Add pops of red with roses

You can take the Valentine’s Day vibe out of roses by adding Christmassy ribbons and holiday-themed add-ons to the bouquet. You get the bright red Christmas pop that poinsettias usually offer without having to actually use them.

And just like that, you’re the hostess with the mostess.

Image: Gabriela Arellano/SheKnows

This post was sponsored by Big Lots.


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