We’re reaching that time of year when you frequently find yourself saying, “Get out the crystal, honey, company is coming!” Whether that sentence puts pep in your step or has you reaching for the Pepto, here are a few quick, easy centerpiece ideas that require little time, talent, or budget.

Floral ideas:

  1. In two separate 6-inch tall round glass containers (easily purchased at your florist), arrange a single color and type of flower. Single color will give you a higher-end, more elegant look. Put one arrangement at each end of the dining room table. Guests can speak over the arrangements and you’ll still have plenty of room for the food.
  2. In a crystal bowl, float just few large blossoms. Flank with two pillar candles.
  3. Place a small evergreen wreath in the center of the table and fill the center with pinecones.
  4. Fill a soup tureen with large blooms – use florist foam if layering-in smaller favorites. Using just water works well for large blooms like hydrangeas.

Non-Floral. If you’d like a break from flowers this year, try some of these:

  1. On a large silver tray, layer candles in a variety of heights, but vary your colors in two tones only:  all white and cream, all gray and silver, all gold and cream, and so forth. Glass marbles may be scattered along the bottom.
  2. On a large silver tray, scatter a variety of oversized pinecones and insert three pillar candles in the mix.  Be careful when lighting them, please – pinecones are flammable.
  3. On a footed cake stand in the center of the table, build a pinecone “cake.” Stack the pinecones in some easy but full fashion, just not so high that guests can’t see each other.
  4. On a footed cake stand, do an arrangement of single-color Christmas balls, ornaments, or dreidels. Flank with pillar candles.
  5. On a footed cake stand, do a scattered arrangement of 3-inch tassels. Set on top of a tray and scatter a few tassels on the tray as well.
  6. Run three to five martini glasses down the center length of your table depending on your table size. Fill each glass with: a large pinecone, a Christmas ornament, a bunch of 3-inch fabric tassels, a small mound of curled ribbon, or colorful, foil-wrapped candy. Make sure you run the same theme through the glasses – don’t mix one of each of these suggestions!

If you don’t have a silver-tone tray or footed cake stand… get moving, girl! Happy (almost) holidays!