Create Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” inspired table and buffet designs for your holiday entertaining. Candles, tablecloths, knick knacks that co-ordinate.

Continuing with the inspiration from The Ghost of Christmas Present from the prior Best Holiday Centerpieces article, your thematic table design will be filled with lushness, abundance and riches. Use inexpensive decorative items from the discount store or from your party closet. Things to include in your design:

  1. Small, festively-wrapped boxes
  2. Wrapped confections and candy canes
  3. Perfectly shaped, red lady apples
  4. Gold coins (faux coins are available at your local party store)
  5. Gold bead strings
  • Pile these items throughout your table design; the goal is to create the effect of multiple waterfalls of treats and gifts. Use the strings of gold beads, available as a Christmas tree decoration, to help with the cascading effect.
  • Candlelight is critical to the feel of this theme. While votives and tealights are often used in tablescape or buffet design, the best illumination look for this implementation comes from white or ivory tapers in silver, brass or golden candlesticks.
  • Remember, this theme is about wealth, abundance and opulence, and everything must feel rich.

Inspiration: The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come

Dickens portrayed this final spirit as dark, foreboding and ominous. Obviously, those are not adjectives that one would like to connect with a festive holiday event, so this inspiration takes a less literal approach.

The holiday design from the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come is interpreted from an architectural perspective. Clean lines, angular elements and a monochromatic palette define the table design, which creates a sophisticated, urbane impression.

Implementation

  • Use a dark charcoal or super deep purple cloth as your base.
  • Rather than covering your buffet levels with the fabric, use clear acrylic risers placed on top of the cloth.
  • Use a lot of candlelight by adding in votive holders that look like crystal ice chunks and clean-lined sterling silver candlesticks.
  • Multiply the effect of the ice and light by adding in mirrored, reflective pieces. These elements could be small craft mirrors under each of the candles, small silver Christmas balls tucked in between the risers, or strings of mirrored or silver reflective beads wound throughout the display.
  • Do not include any greenery, fruit, toys or knick knacks in this display, as they would reduce the architectural impact that you’ve created.

Inspiration for holiday decorating can come from a number of places. You may find yourself awed by a tree dusted with frost, the sky during a light snowfall, a gorgeous holiday gown in a store window, or by a classic movie.

Take a critical and editing eye to your inspiration, and challenge yourself to recreate whatever inspiration has impacted you. You can choose to interpret this vision in a literal sense, like the tablescape suggested by The Ghost of Christmas Past or in a more figurative sense, like the design inspired by The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come.