Welcome to my dining room for Christmas dinner. To me there is no right or wrong way to set a table. As long as it is comfortable for eating, that is all that matters. One thing that I highly recommend to anyone hosting Christmas dinner is to set your table the day before. This way it is one less thing that you are worrying about the day of.
If you ever decide to purchase holiday dishes, try to keep your choice generic. If you do this, it will make it easier to add to your set at a later time.
When dinner is ready for serving, I recommend moving your centerpiece off of the table unless it is at a low height. You want your dinner guests to be able to see and speak with everyone at the table.
Chargers are a great replacement for placemats. I love the look of them, but more importantly they protect your table from the heat of the meal. The only problem is that sometimes they can get a little pricey. I purchased my chargers at Target and spray painted them oil-rubbed bronze to get the color finish that I wanted. By choosing to spray paint them, you can go as flashy or as simple as you want. If you have white dishes, you may want to choose a more decorative finish. Some options include: red, green, silver, gold, and metallics. If you really want to add some sparkle, spray your charger then while it is wet sprinkle glitter of the same color onto the charger for a more festive look. Here was the before...
The dishes you use, depends on what you are serving for dinner. Here are two different options for place settings that I have used in the past.
Dinner can be a lot of work, so try and remember to get as much done the day before your dinner as possible. This will make hosting a lot easier and much more enjoyable for you.