Brighten your holiday meal by adding festive touches to your table. Whether it's creative napkin rings, pinecone place markers or effortless orange garnishes (like what's used for Hot Cider with Orange Twists), original ideas like these take just minutes to complete. Best of all, each is easy and inexpensive, too.

Seasonal Things Become Napkin Rings

When decorating a holiday table, take a cue from your seasonal surroundings. Dress up place settings with items you already have on hand. For instance, we found several objects that could be used as napkin rings for a special dinner.

Tree ornaments imageSome tree ornaments can be used this way. Ones that work well include colorful reindeer, rocking horses, bright wreaths, musical horns and other decorations that have open areas to pull the napkins through.

Or try other types of tree trims. A length of most any type of garland can be tied around a napkin to form an impromptu ring. We used an easy-to-shape wire garland that sparkled with gold metallic stars.

Cute cookie cutters, like the metal star-shaped ones, work well as napkin rings, too. Try a variety of shapes, such as gingerbread boys and girls, angels, stockings or most any other open cookie cutter.

Garnish Drinks with Citrus Twists

citrus image

If you're looking for a warm way to greet guests on a cool evening, try Hot Cider with Orange Twists. The steaming spiced beverage looks impressive with its citrusy cinnamon stirrers.

You don't need a long list of supplies to put together these gorgeous garnishes, so assembly is a snap.

First, you'll want some cinnamon sticks. You can use the regular ones from the spice aisle of your favorite grocery store. Or, depending on the depth of your mug, you may want to buy longer ones.

You'll also need a few oranges cut into 1/4-inch slices. You'll get about four to six full slices from an orange, depending on its size.

citrus imageFor each garnish, make a cut from the center of an orange slice out through the peel. Holding the edge of the peel on each side of that cut, twist slice in opposite directions to form an S.

Now insert a cinnamon stick through the S in two places near the edge of the peel to hold its curved shape.

Then simply place a garnish in each mug of cider for a fancy-looking yet fuss-free touch.

In this Story

  1. Making Holiday Napkin Rings
  2. Use Pinecones for Place Settings