Add some extra cheer to the setting for all of your holiday events.

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There are many wonderful things about the holiday season, but gathering around the table and enjoying a meal with loved ones is the highlight for many.

Here are some ways to add extra cheer to the table during all of your holiday events.

Set the stage with linens

A crisp white tablecloth is only one approach to starting a stunning table. Try mixing two or three tablecloths in harmonious colors and prints.

Show off the beauty of a wood table with a runner. You will still get added color and texture, and your table can shine. Achieve a similar effect with place mats. And, as a bonus, place mats are super easy to launder.

Ground the settings

Give each place setting a bit of panache by slipping a charger or tray under the dinner plate. It’s amazing how this little touch will elevate the look of the whole table. You can even stack place settings on top of things like mirrors, artwork and wreaths. Let your creativity run wild.

Mix up your dishes

Say goodbye to matched sets of dishes. Try using different patterns for the dinner plate, salad plate and the top layer (a soup tureen or a cup and saucer). The variation makes your table more interesting to look at and it allows you to use those partial sets that are gathering dust in your china hutch.

Give your everyday dishes an instant holiday makeover by topping them with a holiday-themed salad plate. Or top your tower of plates with a wrapped gift for each guest, a sorbet glass holding a tree ornament or a mug ready for hot cocoa.

Sante Red Wine Glass, $18 at Anthropologie; West Elm Copper Salad Serving Spoons, $39
Sante Red Wine Glass, $18 at Anthropologie; West Elm Copper Salad Serving Spoons, $39

Add extras with flair

Just as a great accessory or two can make your outfit, your choice of glassware and flatware can amp up the finished look of your table. Colored glassware gives you a chance to accentuate a key hue in your palette. And don’t be afraid to use more than one set of glassware or flatware on your table.

Also try working in seasonal serving pieces, which are festive and fun, but don’t take up a ton of storage room the rest of the year.

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