How to place the cutlery and crockery on the Christmas table

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12 December, 2017

.Christmas is a special day we celebrate with our close family and at the same time a unique occasion to reunite with more distant family members. For everyone hosting Christmas dinner, they want this day to turn out perfect.

Cómo colocar la vajilla y los cubiertos en la mesa de Navidad

In previous posts, we have already shown how to choose the best placemats for the Christmas, and we also gave some tips and ideas on how to impress your guest with your 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.

The table is the first impression and always remember: “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. For practical reasons, it is important to leave empty spaces so that 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 of crockery, for our Christmas table. Always have 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 on 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.

Cómo colocar la vajilla y los cubiertos en la mesa de Navidad

Christmas table setting etiquette: The cutlery

Being a special occasion and having 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 cutlery on each 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 more comfortable for the guest.

How to place the cutlery on the Christmas table

Do we place the fork on the left or the right side of the plate? The placing of cutlery is a regular subject of debate when setting the table. On Christmas day, it is best to follow the rules of table etiquette and ensure you do things properly.

    • On the left of the plate, we place the fork. We first place the one that is closest to the plate (which is the last one we use) and then the others to its left. The first fork to be used must be the one that is furthest from the plate.
    • To the right of the plate, we place the knives. They should be placed with the cutting edge facing the plate and in the same order as the forks. The first one used is the furthest from the plate.
    •  To the right of the plate and knives, we place the spoon/ spoons. Once again, the spoon furthest from the plate is the first one we should use.
    • Above the plate, we place the cutlery. The spoon and knife with the 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.

The cutlery 1-2 centimeters from the plate, and approximately 1 centimeter between each piece.

With all the elements in their position, your Christmas table will be elegant and practical. This will make it easier to relax and enjoy the company!

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