Oh we love our tablescapes during the holidays don’t we? I know I do. Most of the year, you’ll find a simple bowl of fruit and some fresh flowers on our dining room table but during the holidays, like many of you, I set it with a pretty centerpiece. Friends appreciate it, and an attractive centerpiece on a dining room table is a great way to creatively get into the spirit of the season.
Beckie from Washington sent me this email with a great question about what to do with decorative centerpieces when you’re serving guests a meal:
“Hey Kate. This is one of those questions that I think a lot of people (ok me) have always wondered how to do gracefully but seem too afraid to ask. Real life just doesn’t work the way you see it in a magazine, so here goes.
You go to all the trouble and creativity to set a beautiful table for a special occasion, you set up a nice well thought out centerpiece and you bring out your best dishes and set up the place settings and your nice stemware and everything looks perfect . . . You’ve cooked your meal and now everyone is sitting at the table ready and waiting with baited breath, but wait… there is nowhere to put the food as you have filled your table with beautiful things. How do you deal with that?
Do you set up a buffet? Remove the centerpiece? Fill each plate and serve each person like a waiter? Am I the only one who doesn’t know how to do this right? Awaiting you answer for the holiday season. ~ Beckie”
Hey Beckie, great question! I don’t believe there is any one way to “do it right”. There are several ways to work around your table decorations during a meal, it just depends on your preferred method of serving guests.
When it comes to how to serve your meal and where to put the food, you have a few options. You can clear your centerpiece and make room for the food on the table, family style. You can set up a location for the food elsewhere such as a sideboard, and serve buffet style. Or you can choose the formality of serving your guests on a plate one by one.