The rules have always been the same: forks on the left, drinks on the right, conversation just slightly to the left of non-controversial.


Here, the eight best ways to switch it up in time for the holiday season.


Skip the tablecloth

Use brown butcher paper as a placemat for a rustic look with effortless cleanup. (Got a permanent marker? The mat can double as a placecard.)


Play mismatch

Don’t own a complete china set? No problem. Stack different and non-matching plates and bowls.


Forget Ironing and Starching

Place a folded (OK, wrinkly) linen napkin between a full-sized dish and a salad plate.


Cutlery Can Go On the Same Side of the Plate

Who needs two forks, anyway?


Or Above the Dishes

For a more modern look.


Or in a Jar in the Middle of the Table

Everybody grab a spoon.


Don't fret over matching wine glasses

Mix and match like the eclectic lady you are.


And don't worry about fancy centerpieces

A sprig from the garden is all you need.

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