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How to set a jaw-dropping holiday table

Edible centerpieces suggest a bountiful harvest. (All photos from Shutterstock.)

No matter which holidays you celebrate this season, it's likely that food is a highlight of the festivities. Family and friends love to gather around the table to chow down on their favorite holiday dishes.


Make your dining table the center of your celebration with these festive DIY centerpieces. Put them together yourself before your guests arrive, or get them involved and start a new holiday tradition. The combination of a delicious meal and festive décor is a surefire way to make holiday memories around the dinner table.

Use ornaments in new ways. Instead of hanging all those ornaments on your Christmas tree, save a few for the table. Combine ornaments in your favorite holiday colors in a decorative bowl and place in the center of the table. If you don't have decorative dishware, try a wicker basket or even an every-day serving bowl. The shiny ornaments will immediately dress it up.

For a more modern look, choose ornaments in one color to dress up the table. Stack them in a clear bowl and add a sprig of greenery for a pop of color.

Create an edible arrangement. Use fruit to create a delicious centerpiece for the table. The best part? You can serve it for dessert once dinner is over.

Simply wash some oranges to remove the wax, create small holes with a needle and decorate the exterior of the orange with cloves. Place the oranges in a holiday-colored bowl, and add a few small ornaments and some holiday ribbon as accents.

You can also roll the clove-studded oranges in a fragrant spice mixture to create pomander balls. Wrap each one individually in ribbon and give them as holiday gifts when the night is over.

Don't forget your vegetables. It's not just fruit that has a place on a holiday table — veggies also create eye-catching centerpieces. If you've transitioned to winter plantings like ornamental cabbage and kale in your garden, clip a few bushes to use in your centerpiece. Add Christmas-colored fruits and vegetables like red and green peppers and grapes, and combine in a neutral bowl.

Place the bowl in the center of the table and surround with candles. Set the entire display atop a holiday-themed runner to complete the look.

Get inspired by nature. Some of the best holiday décor is probably right in your backyard. Head outside and gather fallen pine cones, berries and twigs. Place them in the center of the table to add some natural elements to your holiday décor. You can bunch them together on a runner or place them in a bowl, depending on the size of your table.

Tie the twigs together with some holiday ribbon and spray paint them silver and gold for added drama, or spray fake snow on the pine cones to give guests the illusion of a winter wonderland. However you choose to display them, these natural elements are sure to bring warmth to your holiday.

Ilyce Glink is an award-winning, nationally syndicated real estate columnist, blogger and radio talk show host, and managing editor of the Equifax Finance Blog. Follow her on Twitter @Glink.

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