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Let joy overflow from holiday tables

By Ricky Toledo and Chito Vijandre, The Philippine STAR Published Nov 20, 2021 5:00 am

Just when you thought that placing that star on the treetop was the finale for your Christmas decorating for the season, you look around your house and realize that all those tabletops, the ones you got to know so intimately the past year and a half, are looking neglected and calling for some holiday cheer, too.

More so if you don’t even subscribe to putting up a tree or just don’t have floor space for one. There are also many ways to dress up those lonely tables this season.

Christmas trees on tabletops

If you find a small tabletop tree too joyless, get a pair or even three but get them in different heights or position them with stands or leather-bound books so that they are more interesting to look at and not just randomly bunched together.

You can even make your own with Styrofoam or Cartolina version glued with silk leaves or flowers, faux fruits, ribbons and passementerie. Instead of the usual box base, use urns or vases like the ones you see in those antique engravings of topiaries in marble urns.

Christmas balls not on the tree

If you don’t have a tree, you can still use all those Christmas balls and ornaments on the tabletop. Have them bunched merrily in a bowl—a rough-hewn one in quartz, stone or wood could make a nice contrast with the shiny orbs, but whatever you have in the house, like a blue and white porcelain one, would do just fine if the colors harmonize. You can also add silk foliage, flowers or fruits to the mix.

Bring color and light

In this season of light, the more candles the merrier and color always makes things festive. You can opt for faceted candleholders with colored shades that can be grouped together beside a vase or a bowl filled with flowers, fruits, or holly. As accent, add large blown-glass balls with glitter in the tableau.

Celebrate nature’s bounty

The holiday season is one of abundance and thanksgiving which can be reflected in a tableau of nature’s bounty. Fill a classic urn or vase with overflowing grapes and fruits that can spill out with some on the base together with ornaments. Artichoke finials make a nice accent to this classic setting, reminiscent of 17th century still-life paintings.

Birds bring love 

Representing love, commitment, and an effort to build a happy home, birds are most welcome in the holiday table. Have a whole flock grouped together under a lampshade with a porcelain bird base. Legend has it that a nesting bird can bring prosperity so you may also add one to the grouping.

Bring Christ to the table

A holiday table is never complete without a belen or, at least, an image of the Christ child in a sculpture or a painting. It always brings childhood memories of traditional Christmas settings with the manger scene on the table or on the tree and reminds us of the essence of what we are celebrating in the first place.