Setting a Surprise 6 Minute Christmas Table

My husband Brett and I are staying with friends in South Africa.  Christmas doesn't seem quite the same here as it is the middle of summer.  I decided to set a simple but festive Christmas table while my friends were out, using what I could find in their home.  I added in a table cloth I had with me (I had bought the fabric to use as a large picnic blanket during the Heartistry Experience) plus one of my favorite decorating items, my lights.  I just love my little strings of mini-LED, battery operated lights and they travel with me in my suitcase.  I have used them over and over to turn a normal meal into a celebration! (You can purchase the lights at a hardware store such as Orchard Supply or buy them on  Look for string of battery operated LED lights.)

I picked some greenery from the garden to use as the centerpiece.  The searched through my friend's cupboard and chose two vases.  I partially filled both of them with water, added the greenery to the smaller one and put it inside the larger vase.  I added cherries to the water of the larger vase.  I would have liked to use fresh cranberries but didn't have them due to it being summer here in South Africa and I was using what I could find in the fridge!

I added the pretty napkins/serviettes that I had brought my friend earlier in the week and strung the little lights around the vase and along the length of the table.  I added the silverware and glasses, and voila, the table was set!  Surprise!

Watch this short video to see how to set a simple and hurriedly thrown together table!  Please SHARE with friends and check out our Heartistry Youtube Channel.

You are invited to sign up to receive our newsletters.  I will send a notification when I post a new blog (most of the time!)  Don't miss out on helpful tips and inspiring stories.

Set the Table in September Participants

It was such fun to see all the different ways in which people participated in Set the Table in September by inviting family and friends to the table. Here are photos of some of the tables.  They range from a  meal for just two who are empty nesters to a birthday party on an island in Panama.  Some tables are simple and some more festive.  I was touched by the stories and the way each person put effort into reaching out and touching the life of someone else.  Thank you so much for participating.

The prize for the winners of the Set the Table in September contest is a set of little LED lights that are perfect for making a table centrepiece fun and festive.

We have two categories for the winners:

For the decorative table part of the contest, we (you actually) have selected Monique Cronk's table because the posting of the pictures of her table on Facebook had more interaction than any of the other posts.  People wanted to have copies of the recipes she used for her meal and commented on her bright and cheerful table. Monique, your gift will be arriving in the mail soon.

The second section of the contest was based on the story behind the table setting.  Gail Rudee has been gathering the family around the table for birthdays and Jewish holidays and inviting her mom-in-law, who lives in an Alzheimer's care facility to join the family. Gail shared how much her mom-in-law loves being with her three children and the rest of the family.  I have watched Gail grow in the area of hosting people since she began participating in the Heartistry challenges and I am proud of her.

Thank you to everyone who participated.  Your tables look so lovely. Keep setting the table and gathering friends and family to join you.  The memories you make will enrich your lives and last a life time.