Tablescape: Large Group Christmas Storybook Tablesetting

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I have a passion for Christmas stories—and over the years I have collected a large collection of Christmas books which I have lovingly shared with my family.

Each year I have put out these books in three large baskets, decorated with greenery, on my hearth. The books would be wrapped, so it was a surprise for my sons when they took turns selecting a book to read aloud each evening before bedtime. We not only loved the stories, but we loved studying the beautiful illustrations. Over the years, the boys would try to guess which book was which by its size and thickness.

Because I own all these lovely books, I realized they would be perfect to share as table centerpieces at our monthly church luncheon for December. The books would make unexpected centerpieces, and would hopefully encourage guests to check out these stories and perhaps fall in love with them as I have.

All of our tables for the luncheon are covered with white paper table-covering. At each place-setting, we placed a holiday napkin with a plaid border, red berries and tiny yellow-gold stars. A handout with a list of Christmas books that our luncheon guests might want to check out was also placed at each place-setting.

In the middle of each smaller table, I placed an artificial greenery wreath and added a few sprigs of red berries and several large yellow-gold paper stars. Inside the wreaths, I stood Christmas books open a bit so they would stay up. I chose books that were not too tall to see over. On the longer tables, I used garlands of greenery with berry sprigs and stars as runners down the length, and then stood books up along the way.

The books I used have wonderful illustrations and very colorful covers. They gave the tables a very bright holiday look, and guests enjoyed walking around to see the different books on all the tables.

Even if you don’t own all these books yourself, you could do something similar by using books from the church or public library. If you don’t have access to a large number of artificial wreath or garlands, you might be able to create real greenery table runners with cuttings from your yard, the yards of friends, or the church property.

So, don’t forget that books can make very interesting centerpieces for a large-group meal. They are easy to use and easy to set up and clean up. Inspire your guests to check out great seasonal stories!

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