i love a good table.
the right linens, plates, glassware and cutlery all laid out in their proper places.
and the centrepiece.
the right centrepiece for the table, the food, the space.
"The Grinch", a past theme that was fun and elaborate. the tree and table were divided between bright Christmas colours and black, white and silver wherever the Grinch was (representing the loss of Christmas Spirit).
a good friend of mine, and an avid Christmas-er, once explained to me that a themed tree is a good tree. naturally, as an avid Christmas-er he knows his stuff.
admittedly, we don't have a themed Christmas every year, but this year we decided on a Country Christmas. a Country Christmas could mean many things, including a showplace for all things DOLLY, but i'm leaning more towards log cabins and X-country skiing and less towards Jolene.
my inspiration is nature, country scenes, and all things wool and cozy. colours will tend toward the traditional Christmas colours of red, green and white with some golds and natural elements. old glass ornaments are a must.
perhaps the best things about this theme is that my toddler can get right into collecting nuts, twigs, birch bark and pinecones on forest walks.
with the theme comes the table decor. i considered a few options and absolutely love this tree-shaped chandelier made from Christmas balls. it would be stunning over a round table, but i have a long harvest table and a theme to consider.
any decor with a toddler has to be practical and that means no floor length table cloths or long table runners and some extra thought has to go into what is in arms reach. i love the idea of the snow globe (and that little things are contained) so i'm taking the idea of the winter vignette jar to a bigger stage.
i started by looking for large jars, although a cake stand with lid, bowls or a trifle bowl could work. we stumbled upon a beverage dispenser at a second hand store. the spigot had been removed and someone had filled the hole with caulking, but that was actually pretty perfect for this use.
i had a vague idea of the scene i wanted to create but the size of the neck of the jar and the space inside the jar is somewhat limiting and ultimately, i decided to scale down and simplify the idea a bit.
i found some miniature people. upon reflection, i think i should have made my own out of clay or wire, but after looking creatively at their fixed body positions, doing a little surgery to cut off tools they were holding and giving them a paint job so they looked dressed for winter, i managed a small grouping that worked and a country winter story began to take shape.
some fake snow, fairy lights, and bottle brush trees were the only necessities.
that and a tractor. tractors are a big deal around this household these days (well, this week anyways), so it seemed like a fun idea to somehow involve a tractor.
i also wanted a skating pond and the idea started to take shape. i had a small piece of glass (although plexi, resin or a mirror would have worked well), some benches, light stands, and obviously the tractor.
the miniature people's body positions included someone crouched down and a man in a top hat that would never look like he was skating, so to the scene design i added someone making a snow man and a little bonfire for one guy to stand by. these were later dismissed - i discovered that there really isn't much room inside the jar and adding too much really doesn't work.
i wanted the tractor to have a purpose so using it to help light the trees seemed like the best option. having a figure standing in the bucket to reach the top of the trees worked.
i loved the skating rink idea but early into the scene setting i was worried it wouldn't work. after moving things around a few times and taking out a lot of the fake snow, it all fit in. the skaters have a touch of hot glue on the bottom of their feet to stick them to the ice.
when it was obvious that much of what i had and wanted to use wouldn't fit, i went back to the drawing board to figure out what was really important. in the end even some of the trees came out but it helped make a more clear vignette.
assembly is a bit finicky but much easier than a small narrow mouth jar. I poked a hole in the caulking that covered the hole for the spigot and thread the fairy lights in through that. it was awkward to get the lights on the trees but the hole allowed me to hide the battery pack outside the jar under some branches on the table. so i can turn it on and off without having to get inside the jar.
a table centrepiece has to have many functions and they are all worth considering when you are making one.
- i like to have something on the table throughout the season as added decor so considering how we use the table every day is a must.
- as i mentioned before, the people in the house may have to be considered as well. pets, toddlers, or anyone else, should be at the forefront when you are trying to decide on the size, reach or edible nature of the items on the table.
- it also has to look as good in daylight as it does at night so don't rely completely on lights, but having some can really take it up a notch come night.
- it is important to consider how you eat your Christmas feast as well. there should be room for salt and pepper shakers, butter dishes and if you bring bowls of food to the table for people to help themselves, have places to put the serving dishes, or sections that can be easily lifted out to make room for them.
the rest of the table came together with a wool scarf as a table runner, some bows, branches and pine cones. placed throughout there are some Christmas ornaments, votive holders made from rounds of birch and some jars filled with fairy lights...
...and another tractor.