'Tis the season for gathering around a table piled high with honey-glazed ham and mashed potatoes with the ones that we love. Southerners know that the design of their holiday table, however, is just as important as Mama's signature recipes that sit in the center of it. Creating a festive place setting for your guests may seem like a difficult task – especially if you don't have a set of Christmas china ready and waiting in the closet – but it doesn't mean you can't have a pretty, colorful tablescape. Layer on Christmas colors with your dishes this season by following this formula for mixing and matching. One of our favorite settings? Try mixing solid plates with a contrasting charger (or larger dinner plate), and then using a patterned bread-and-butter plate to finish off the look. A metallic napkin ring adds a little shine to the table, and using an unconvential item – like a bell – as a placecard gives a playful touch that can double as a favor for guests.

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