We’re sharing a White Christmas-inspired patio and tablescape today!
Each year before the hustle and bustle of the holidays kick into high gear we host a friends’ dinner. It’s nothing elaborate at all just a casual get-together inspired by one of my favorite scenes in the movie, The Holiday.
The scene begins with Iris (played by Kate Winslet) realizing she has not been playing the leading lady in her own life and ends with a relaxed night spent laughing with sweet friends, Christmas fettucini, and lots of wine.
I rewatch that movie every Christmas with nostalgia and wonder why we don’t make more time to sit and treasure each other throughout the year instead of trying to cram it all into the month of December!
Most of the time, I look at our calendar and realize we’re either out of town or have commitments every weekend from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day and feel clueless about how we’re going to fit it all in.
But one night, we decided it was too important to let it go.
So, we started carving out time during the week. And even though it was technically a “school night,” it somehow made the whole experience that much more memorable.
Thankfully, the house is usually already decorated thanks to my Mom’s help.
We keep the food super simple with nibbles, big pots of soup, and salad and everyone settles in for a relaxing night by the fire.
Even though we keep things casual, I still like for the tablescape to feel festive since most everyone lingers over dinner. This white Christmas tablescape couldn’t have been easier to create!
I started out by layering the table with things I already had on hand like a white dust ruffle for the base and used cream-colored lace curtains as a tablecloth.
For the place settings, I used a basic charger I painted grey years ago then mixed and matched 2 different sets of dishes, one with snow-covered trees and the other mistletoe.
Next, I gathered white ornaments from the dollar tree and painted these tiny sleighs a pretty metallic silver color.
I completely forgot to pick up pom-poms from the craft supply store. So, we used cotton balls to stand in for snowballs.
Eating outside always feels like a treat, even when it’s cold outside.
We usually have a big fire going but I also wanted to have lots of candles on the tables too. It makes for such a cozy atmosphere no matter what time of year it is!
I couldn’t find any cream or off-white colored roses so I cut a few stems off our Texas Sage bush. The leaves are such a pretty color this time of year. And the pale green really helped to break up all the shades of whites and grays too.
Several years ago, we turned an old workbench into an outdoor buffet and it’s made such a huge difference in how we’re able to entertain outside now.
I love to collect ironstone and have plenty of soup tureens. They’re great because even when we’re not serving soup, they help to keep the food covered.
Plus, they’re so neutral you can use them throughout the year no matter what the occasion or season.
One thing we always try to do when we’re setting up the buffet is to have items at different heights to make them more accessible.
Books, wooden boxes, cake stands, and trays are super easy to use and they’re budget-friendly too.
I found three different size metal containers at the thrift store and spray-painted them all white. Then I stacked them on top of each other and added a set of beads.
The wooden stool they’re resting on is also a thrifted find and an item we use all the time when entertaining outdoors.
My baby sister gave me her tree a few years ago and it’s always a fun way to add a white Christmas vibe to the patio.
Our back patio isn’t a covered space so we can’t leave it out there all the time but even when it’s only for a night, it still feels kind of magical.
I made the paper chain garland from old sheet music pages and used ornaments we already had on hand.
This area is fairly close to the fire pit so I wanted to make sure the s’mores and hot chocolate bar would be handy.
We usually just keep all the supplies for the s’more in a long crate. That way, it is easy to move closer to the firepit as needed or to bring it inside the house whenever the s’more supplies need to be restocked.
I think the best part of the whole night is just being able to relax and laugh the time away without any distractions.
We all could use a little more of that this season, am I right?