Holiday tablescape: a Christmas tale

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Once upon a time, there was an enchanted forest inhabited by elves and wild animals like foxes, deer, and owls. On a foggy December morning, they all gathered and decided to celebrate Christmas together around a fabulous feast. The theme of this holiday tablescape that reflects this wonderful and dreamlike enchanted world is “A Christmas Tale”.

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I’ve always been drawn to the forest and its wildlife. One of my favorite books is The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame and this tablescape is no doubt a little tribute to this book but I’ve also added a few elves. There is no feeling comparable to a walk in the forest, following a random path and feeling all this invisible life surrounding you, and when you are lucky enough to spot a wild animal, you truly embrace the beauty of nature. I am so fortunate to spot all kinds of wood animals in the forest, especially deer. I love them so much. As for our garden, we are also lucky because we have red squirrels playing in the morning, jumping from branch to branch and we have hares and beautiful birds. What’s funny is on the same day that I set this table, a fox appeared in the garden… I could not have been more excited on that first day of December!

The forest is thus a theme that I use a lot at this time of year, whether it is to set the table, draw invitations or decorate the Christmas tree. I often reuse items that were used for other home décor or tablescapes. For instance, mushrooms, pheasants, moss and pinecones were used for my Autumn decor so I try to reinterpret them differently.

These woodland tablescapes are often quite dark so you have to play with this special atmosphere. I bring a few touches of color with those exuberant red mushrooms. I’m playing here with textures and heights, and, if you look carefully, there are many different mushrooms.

The forest is thus a theme that I use a lot at this time of year, whether it is to set the table, draw invitations or decorate the Christmas tree. I often reuse items that were used for other home décor or tablescapes. For instance, mushrooms, pheasants, moss and pinecones were used for my Autumn decor so I try to reinterpret them differently.

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These woodland tablescapes are often quite dark so you have to play with this special atmosphere. I bring a few touches of color with those exuberant red mushrooms. I’m playing here with textures and heights, and, if you look carefully, there are many different mushrooms.

The choice of velvet ribbons in magenta tones enhances those rather common linen towels. A little bit of color is also brought by the candles in different shades of green: a mossy green combined with a fir green here. To stay in “A Christmas Tale” theme, I’ve opted for dishes that also tell their own story with illustrations of various fables by Jean de La Fontaine. They add a touch of poetry and visual contrast with the tartan tablecloth in a rustic country style. The napkins are placed on the top side so as not to hide the illustrations and that way the beautiful plates are front and center.

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During the holidays, tartan is one of my weak points: I love using it (almost) everywhere. I’ve also used various glasses in smoky tones combined with dotted ones and yet, it is still quite harmonious. They add a little bit of modernity to the table and reinforce this mysterious atmosphere like a secret feast held in the deep woods. I’ve also added a small DIY project that is very easy to do at home: place setting cards. Take a few stamps, a beautiful paper, and draw a frame – Voilà ! 

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On the table you can also add a few large birch branches on which you will place different animals: owls, foxes, pheasants and elves that help bring a fantastic and poetic touch to this table setting. A small wooden house also sits at the end of the table and one almost expects to see a little creature coming out of it – “A Christmas Tale” is taking shape in front of us! So as to enhance this festive spirit and to remind your guests that we are celebrating Christmas after all, add a few branches of fir here and there, some moss and pinecones. Do not hesitate to do more than necessary regarding table décor – the more, the better!  Use your imagination and do not forget that if there is a season in the year when we can afford a little exuberance, it is this one!

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