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How to Set a Red & Green Christmas Table

Find out how to set a red and green Christmas table with foraged running cedar, wild ferns, fresh flowers, candles, and Santa Hat Christmas crackers. 

Christmas Celebration

There is something magical about a Christmas table! Every year, I set a different table for my extended family. No one knows what to expect, but they always know I will give them a little peek a few days beforehand! I will show you how I set this red and green Christmas table.

Night vs Day Celebration


Usually, I set a Christmas Eve table with lit candles. I weave tiny fairy lights into the table centerpiece, dim the overhead chandelier, and let the candlelight flicker and reflect around the room. It is so serene and beautiful that it sets a festive mood for our gathering–no matter the color!


When I set this table, our plans changed from Christmas Eve to Christmas Day. I wasn’t sure about creating a daytime table because the house wouldn’t be aglow with Christmas lights and anticipation–things I depend on to create a festive atmosphere! Instead, I needed the table to be bright and cheerful in the sunlight to replace the cozy candles and Christmas lights.

White Tablecloth

I started with a white tablecloth for this table because red and green decorations would show well on it. Also, I thought the running cedar I planned to use would show up better on white than on a busy patterned tablecloth.

Use Dinnerware for Inspiration

The inspiration for this table started with Vietri Lastra Holiday plates with evergreen trees and red birds. However, if you don’t have Christmas-inspired dinnerware, use white instead. Then consider placing colored napkins and festive napkin rings on each plate. 

For this table, I placed striped napkins on the table instead of on the plates. Then I added a sprig of greenery and fresh cranberries.

Mix and Match Dinnerware

I like to mix and match plates for my tables. In this case, I used Vietri’s Lastra Pasta Bowls with La Porcellana Bianca Firenze Dinner Plates. The pierced edge of the dinner plates lets the red placemat show through and looks festive. If you plan to purchase new dinnerware, consider white dinner plates because they will easily mix with other colors, such as colorful salad plates or bowls. 

Tip: Be careful using pierced plates if you plan to serve food with a sauce. I discovered that sauce easily flows through the holes when I served Steak au Poivre on these pierced plates because the border gives you a less solid surface for food. 

Red Bird Bowls

I added red bird bowls to this table and filled them with old-fashioned striped peppermint candy for “after-dinner mints.” If the candy is not wrapped, place a spoon with the bowl so guests can help themselves.

Use Grocery Store Flowers

Grocery stores order lots of flowers before Christmas, and it is usually easy to find red and green bouquets. If you don’t plan to get your local florist to make a table arrangement, turn to a grocery store or even a garden shop with potted plants you can cut. Use small vases or glasses and make mini arrangements that don’t require a lot of skill. Then add fern cuttings or other evergreens. To decorate this table, I placed the flower vases in a line down the middle.

Running Cedar

I foraged for the running cedar (a.k.a. Clubmoss, Fan Clubmoss, Ground Cedar) I used for the tabletop greenery. It grows wild and abundantly on my property. Years ago, it was sought for making Christmas wreaths; however, it is not used often anymore due to habitat destruction and over-harvesting. Running cedar is related to ferns (not cedar trees) and is such a slow grower that it takes years to spread. It thrives in a wooded habitat with dappled sunlight and acid soil. Where I live, this dainty and beautiful little plant thrives. I clip it, rather than pulling it up by its long-running roots, so it can continue growing along my back wooded area.

What to Substitute for It

This unique plant has a look that is hard to replicate with other plants, but you can get a similar look with clippings from cedar trees or use faux cedar stems.

Where to Place It

I placed the running cedar around the vases of flowers in the center of the table. Then I put it inside the hurricanes around the candles and added wired red berries. To keep the running cedar as fresh as possible, I kept its stems in water. Then I put it on the table a couple of hours before we used the table.

Add Christmas Crackers

I placed red Santa-hat Christmas crackers at each place setting to dress up the table and give guests a fun activity. You can find Christmas crackers online and in discount home goods stores.

Santa hat Christmas crackers with toy cars inside. Click here to link to them.

Vintage Glassware

I love to use these green vintage glasses on a Christmas table because they look like they were made for a Christmas celebration! The advantage of colored vintage glassware is that it is usually made of colored glass rather than with a colored plastic coating that might peel off. However, one advantage of modern glasses made with a colored coating is that they come in many colors to match your decor.

I also used the same glasses on another red and green Christmas table (click here to see this table) with a different look.

Use Food and Ornaments to Decorate Your Table

Sometimes it is hard to find things to fill the center of a decorated table. Add small bowls of fruit, colorful or wrapped candy, unshelled nuts, or even small ornaments. However, all “decoration food” must be clean and edible because your guests might just help themselves!

I hope this red and green table inspires you to create your own pretty holiday table. There are links to other Christmas tables and a mantle at the end of this post. Enjoy the rest of the photos!

Other Christmas Tables

Here are some other Christmas Tables and a Christmas Mantle in red and green that you might like. Click on each name to go to the table.

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