By Guest Blogger Kristie Moesner, author of the blog Kristie in Carolina

Despite all the challenges and hardships that 2020 has brought many of us, it’s still the most wonderful time of year and the holidays don’t have to be cancelled. Christmas has always been my favorite, and I won’t let 2020 change that!

I love everything about the season – the traditions, the music, the lights, the time spent with loved ones, and the fellowship that comes with the holiday season. One tradition that we have is an annual holiday gathering. I believe that now it’s more important than ever to maintain those relationships with loved ones. So today I want to show you some tips on how I’ve set the stage (or table in this case) for a 2020 style holiday gathering.

Holiday Tablescape 101

This is an easy guide to follow year-round no matter the holiday you’re celebrating!  The table is where the laughter, friendship, great food, and good drinks are flowing, so you want to make this the centerpiece of your gathering.

Step 1 – Lay the Foundation

Start by adding texture and color to your table.  This can be done with a tablecloth, table runner, or both if you’re feeling inspired!  I prefer to use table runners throughout the house.

Here’s a little secret, these two runners shown below are actually scarves – it’s fun to get creative!


Step 2 – Add a Centerpiece

This may seem out of order, but it’s my tried-and-true method.   I want the centerpieces to stand out and build place settings around it.  I like to add different levels and colors for visual interest– flocked garland, pinecones, berries, and various candlesticks.

Step 3 – Layer the Necessities

Have some fun by adding textured placemats and chargers under those dinner plates you already have in your cabinet.  Gold and plaid are common themes around my house for Christmas, so I’m bringing them all together here in the place setting.

Step 4 – The Final Touch

You may get tired of hearing me say it, but I’m all about textures and layers.  Finish off your place setting by adding cloth napkins and festive napkin rings.  A friend once described my decorating style as “Farmhouse Chic” and I think these cloth napkins and napkin rings are the perfect example.  I love the juxtaposition of the gold text on the cloth next to the burlap and wood napkin ring.

Fun fact – these napkin rings were a DIY project!

Bonus Step 5 – 2020

Normally, I don’t have assigned seating because I want everyone to mingle with one another.  However, 2020 brings some changes!  In order to stay safe, I’ve given everyone a designated seat at the table with a name plate.

You could also add a mini bottle of hand sanitizer to go the extra mile!

Sweet Treat & Signature Drink

Top off your gathering with a sweet treat and signature, festive drink that will leave your guests counting down the days until your next gathering!

For a signature drink, don’t feel like you need to do anything fancy!  An easy holiday drink can be as simple as mixing cranberry and vodka in a drink dispenser and calling it “Very Merry Cranberry.”   Being creative and thinking of a fun name will make your guests feel like you’ve thought about every detail.

For a sweet treat, individual servings are a great idea for 2020, so I wanted to share a favorite of mine with you.

These peppermint Oreo balls are a quick and easy treat for any holiday gathering!

Whether you have your holiday festivities in person or via zoom, I hope I’ve given you ideas to spruce things up! Let’s cherish this time with family and friends to close out 2020 on a positive note.

Do you have a signature touch for holiday gatherings? I would love to know in the comments below!

Want to see more blogs like this and get notifications on local events and happenings? Subscribe to TMoM’s free weekly newsletters here.