Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Set a Transitional Table for Christmas through January

How do you set a transitional table that can be enjoyed both during the Christmas holidays and throughout the month of January? I started with traditional red with a large dose of green. I used table linens in a rich green in a shade between forest and pine. They have woven holly leaves in a slightly different tone with a sheen to the weave.

Tartan dinner plates edged in gold are beneath luncheon plates with different types of backyard birds in their centers. The rim is wreathed with pine and holly, intertwined with red ribbons, and edged in gold. I think of this pattern as more wintry than strictly holiday as seen in Snowdrifts on a Plaid Table!
Cedar Waxwing
For a centerpiece I used pine cones and greenery on a vintage glass plate. Accents of red can be seen here and there on the table.

Matching napkins are held by exuberant napkin rings that Greg gave me last Christmas. Two of the napkin rings feature cardinals sitting on flocked greenery.

I'm anticipating late lunches or early dinners, so I've included a pair of glass candlesticks to fend off the dark during the shortest days of the year. I love their red bowls! You may remember the candlesticks from  A Little Romance for Valentine's Day.

Downy Woodpecker
I added a pair of cute Santa salt and pepper shakers, to anchor the table firmly in the Christmas holiday season.

The centerpiece has a glittery ornament with holly leaves. But it also has pine cones with a light touch of gold painted along the edge of the open scales. In this photo you can catch a glimpse of the vintage topaz glass plate. It's etched in a rather modern design, but the molded handles place it firmly in the 30's or 40's. The plate had belonged to Greg's grandmother.

I chose gold flatware to pick up on the gilded plate edges. I don't know the manufacturer or pattern; the set had belonged to Greg's mother although I don't recall her ever using it.

This is the other set of napkin rings, complete with red ornaments and berries, and gold-glittered leaves.

The centerpiece isn't elaborate, just a festive seasonal touch simply arranged.

Red wine goblets provide a bold accent, that I first used in A French Inspired Tablescape shortly after I bought them in an antique mall. They're neither vintage nor antique, but I loved the color and the graceful shape.

I love the beautiful designs on the luncheon plates! I had collected them over several years from various places and online sources after I had bought the first four along with bowls, cups and saucers from a vendor closing out her stall. I was startled to see the current pricing (which varies by bird type)!

Eastern Bluebird
I'm going to be enjoying this holiday table!


And to show how easily the table transitions to a wintry January setting —

I replaced the red candle holders with tall brass candlesticks to continue the gold accent touches, and changed out the red wine glasses for clear etched  goblets.

The ornament was removed from the centerpiece and Santa has returned to the North Pole. The beautifully detailed napkin rings have been switched with simpler gold-tone brass holders. The only remaining red touches are on the plates: the tartan plaid and the encircling ribbon. Neither of which are limited to Christmas.

And voilĂ ! The holiday table has become a winter setting!

Table details
Dinner plates | Williams-Sonoma 'Classic Tartan'
Luncheon plates | Lenox 'Winter Greetings'
Clear goblets | Fostoria 'Holly'



  1. Sandra, I love both of these tables, and it is so great that you have shown how you can transition the Christmas table into a winter table. This is especially good for me where I live and our winters can be so long; I'm always looking for wonderful ideas for a winter table setting. The red goblets are so pretty and the bird plates are darling (and versatile). Love the Christmas napkin rings and you and Greg are so fortunate to be the recipients of his mother's and grandmother's treasures. Thank you for sharing and wishing you both a merry Christmas and a wonderful holiday (and winter) season

    1. Sandra @ Dinner at EightDecember 17, 2023 at 1:46 PM

      Thank you, Kim! January often seems so dreary after a long holiday season that begins in the fall. I hoped to show that it doesn't need to be a decor desert! And we are indeed fortunate to have inherited from my mom as well as his family -- wish we could have kept it all!

  2. Sandra, I love the transition! I have the dessert plates with chickadees and cardinals. I can't remember if I have bluebirds but I don't think so. I got mine probably 20 years ago now at an after-Christmas sale from either JC Penny, Macy's or another big store back then. I'd love to find the luncheon plates! I must say your tablescape is beautiful both ways... Very happy to feature your post at this final Share Your Style #413 for 2023. <3

    Happy belated Christmas hugs,
    Barb :)

    1. Sandra @ Dinner at EightDecember 29, 2023 at 10:16 AM

      Thank you, Barb! I’m excited to be featured! I’m visiting my daughter for the holidays and taking a bit of a break until the new year. Hope you had a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year!

  3. Sandra, your table for Christmas decor is beautiful. Thank you for sharing it with us at The Crazy Little Love Birds link party #18. We took a break, but the party returns tomorrow at 9 am MST. I hope you will join us again. :) Happy New Year!

    1. Sandra @ Dinner at EightJanuary 17, 2024 at 11:39 AM

      Thanks, Stephanie! Happy New Year! I'll be visiting soon.

  4. I LOVE all your bird plates, Sandra! And I love that this can transition to winter! Featuring you at Tuesday Turn About this week! Pinned!

    1. Sandra @ Dinner at EightJanuary 17, 2024 at 11:41 AM

      Thanks so much, Julie, what a lovely surprise! And Happy belated New Year!


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