How to place the cutlery and crockery on the Christmas table
Christmas dinner is a special day we celebrate with our close family and at the same time, an often unique occasion to coincide with perhaps more distant family members. For all the above [...]
Christmas dinner is a special day we celebrate with our close family and at the same time, an often unique occasion to coincide with perhaps more distant family members. For all the above, the hosts of the Christmas dinner want this day to turn out perfect, almost as if it were a wedding.
In previous posts we have already noted how to choose the best placemats for the Christmas table, and we also gave some tips and ideas to surprise your guests with the Christmas table decoration.
We have even shown you how to fold cotton napkins in an original and Christmassy way!
Today we will focus on explaining how to place the cutlery and crockery according to etiquette on the table and thus achieve a harmonious, functional and welcoming setting.
Because the image of the laid table is the first that the guests will have and, as is often said, “There is no second chance for the first impression” 😉
Etiquette on the Christmas table: 4 prior considerations
1. Quantity is not always synonymous with quality: choosing which pieces of crockery or decorative elements are important for you. We must avoid an overload on the Christmas table since we will need space to serve the different dishes. As well as this practical reason, it is important to leave empty spaces so that the table and the diners “breathe” and can enjoy the meal in a relaxed way.
2. The lighting, another key factor: what the eye doesn’t see, doesn’t exist, but at the same time lighting that is too powerful can be aggressive. The ideal solution is to place the Christmas table in a space with natural light and, if that is not possible, use lights that are not too strong. Having candles lit on the table will help us create a warm and welcoming atmosphere, always taking the necessary precautions to avoid mishaps.
3. Are you clear about the Christmas menu? Depending on the recipes we are going to cook and how we are going to serve the dishes (plated or not), we will need some or other plates and cutlery that we must place according to the etiquette of the table. As regards the order, we advise you always begin with the mildest dish.
4. An important figure: the number of guests. Try to confirm as soon as possible the number of diners and their characteristics: intolerances, if there are small children… You will also have to adapt the etiquette of the table to these particularities.
Etiquette on the Christmas table: the crockery
Today there is a great variety in crockery, so we must choose the one that is most in harmony with the style we have chosen for our Christmas table. You don’t have to be a professional of table etiquette to be aware of the importance of having enough pieces for all the guests, and some spare items for unforeseen circumstances.
How to lay the crockery on the Christmas table
Below we list some aspects to take into account when laying the crockery on the Christmas table. Some are basic rules of table etiquette:
- As a minimum, lay a soup dish and flat plate.. Never place a soup dish directly on the placemat.
- We can simplify and only lay two glasses: the water glass on the left and the wine glass on the right, both on the upper part of the plate. According to the space available and the diners’ preferences, the champagne glass can be laid from the beginning (in a second row, behind the water and wine glasses), or brought out when the time comes for toasting.
- When the guests are seated at the table, observe and ask who wants water or wine and remove the glasses they will not use. It is not useful or aesthetically pleasing to have a table full of empty glasses that can bother people or overload the table.
- The bread plates are placed over the cutlery of the left-hand side, to the left of the glasses.
- In the case of the cruet sets or other elements for sharing, we should have one set for every 6-8 diners.
Etiquette on the Christmas table: the cutlery
TWith this being a special occasion and with a certain degree of formality, we recommend changing the cutlery with each course. Nevertheless, for a table to be elegant it is not necessary to overload it with an endless number of items of cutlery from side to side of the plate. Table etiquette also includes the possibility of placing the cutlery of one or two courses to start with and the rest as the meal progresses.
In this way, the Christmas table will be less loaded and will make it easier for the use and comfort of the diners.
How to place the cutlery on the Christmas table
Do we place the fork on the left or the right of the plate? The placing of the cutlery is a regular subject of debate when laying the table and during the meals. So on Christmas day it is best to follow the rules of etiquette on the table and ensure you do things properly.
- The fork must be placed on the left of the plate. We place firstly the one that is closest to the plate (which is the last one we use) and then the others to its left, so that the first fork to use must be the one that is furthest from the plate.
- The knives are placed to the right of the plate. They should be placed with the cutting edge facing the plate and in the same order as the forks (the first one we use is the furthest from the plate).
- The spoon or spoons are placed to the right of the plate and the right of the knives. Once again, the spoon furthest from the plate is the first one we should use.
- The dessert cutlery is placed in the part above the plate: the spoon and knife with handle towards the right and the fork with the handle to the left.
- For younger diners it is best to place only a fork and a spoon.
As regards the distance, we should place the cutlery 1-2 centimetres from the plate, and approximately 1 centimetre between each piece.
With all the elements in their position, your Christmas table will be elegant and practical, making it easier to relax and enjoy the company!