Checkered Christmas – A Snowman Theme

It’s December 4 and a balmy 60°F degrees outside….in Kansas City! (For those readers who live outside the U.S.A., that’s smack dab in the middle of the country, and we are usually shivering through daytime highs of only around 35°F or 40°F by now!) Hardly the weather for a snowman! So you can imagine my tablescaping students’ surprise back in October when they walked in and saw a room full of them! A snowman-themed tablescape is always fun, though, whether you’re entertaining the mathematically young or the young at heart.

Next week I’ll bring you a variation of this table for a larger number of guests to demonstrate how the same basic elements can be used to create a table with an entirely different look! I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
(Click to enhance/enlarge any photo. Photos by Sheri L. Grant)




IMG_9338WMThis is the kind of table that just brings me a lot of joy! It’s playful, but with a teensy air of sophistication introduced via the details. A full-length black and white checkered tablecloth from is the driving force behind this fun table setting. Its bold pattern commands attention in an unconventional way for Christmas. The dishes – a white ceramic charger from Old Time Pottery and a black ceramic dinner plate from Dollar Tree – are kept simple to avoid competing with the pattern.

Napkin & flatware collagePlain white cotton napkins are folded lengthwise to drape off the side of the table, gathered with ornamentation for a miniature Christmas tree, and embellished with a sprig of snow-covered pine.

Hot chocolate & stemware collageClear glass stemware from Old Time Pottery is used, including an Irish coffee mug for an after-dinner adult beverage laced with a chocolate-caramel liqueur.

Centerpiece, ribbon collageThe snowman centerpiece is made up of a squatty clear glass cylinder (I’m using these cylinders a lot this season!) layered with faux snow, pine branches and bright red berries. Red, besides being a traditional Christmas color, is a natural when paired with black and white. To complement the snowman’s attire, I added a dash of it to the table using a criss-cross of wide red ribbon. Notice how the checks in the tablecloth mimic that of the snowman’s jaunty little scarf. (I used these snowmen in a post called Frosty the Snowman two years ago. Click HERE or on the “Winter” tab above to see the difference.)

IMG_9745WMI used lots of votives on the table to counterbalance the deep tones of the black and red, further offset the quadrants already defined by the ribbon runners, and to add an adult dose of seasonal warmth and ambient light.


Cake & cookie collage

Drink tray, urn collageOver on the vitrine is an assortment of sweet treats and “whoopie juice” for your hot chocolate. The pine boughs used here are the same as those used on the dining table. (Repeating a key element throughout the room lends the desired cohesive look. Besides the pine boughs, other repeated elements here include snow, snowmen, black & white checks, the color red, and stovepipe hats.)  Flanking the vitrine are huge urns topped with giant red ornaments.

Secretary collageThe secretary on the opposite wall from the vitrine is decorated with a few more snowmen and more pine boughs including a wreath. Notice how the “Rule of 3” is used here with the wreath as a backdrop.

Geoffrey collageGeoffrey, dressed in his sexy fur-trimmed apron and stovepipe hat, joins the evening’s fun with an offering of Christmas cookies. Really, Geoffrey, you’re an English gentleman. Find a top hat that fits, will ya!!! 🙂

IMG_9702WMA silver Revere bowl filled with shiny red ornaments is simple but elegant.

Nine other Christmas posts can be found on this site’s WINTER page.
Additional Christmas posts on this site:

Pink & Purple Chocolate Christmas
Sugar High Payback
Contemporary Christmas
Cranberry Christmas
Cranberry Christmas Squared
Get Me To the Church On Time
Christmas Progressive Dinner
White Hot
Winter Brunch

I am delighted to join Cuisine Kathleen once again this week for “Let’s Dish!” starting at 6:00 p.m. CST on Wednesday and Susan for “Tablescape Thursday” starting at 9:00 a.m. CST on Thursday. My fellow tablescapers have some marvelous ideas for you to see!!!

70 thoughts on “Checkered Christmas – A Snowman Theme

  1. Beautiful post! I love the checkered cloth as I am crazy over black and white buffalo check. It looks great at Christmas time! I am nuts over snowman and love how you displayed it in a wide vase. Great idea! The table is very inspiring.


  2. Oh my, we are on the same wavelength today, Alycia. I posted a snowman table too. This must be one of the simplest table I have seen you do and it is just as gorgeous. I love how you draped red ribbons on the table. You are truly an expert tablescaper, my friend. Lucky students!…Christine


  3. What a wonderful idea for a different and more intimate celebration. I love the funny and relaxed tone of it. Small wonder that Geoffrey prefers the hat that way; a true gentleman knows when not to see, not to listen, not to speak 😉
    In love with the lights on top of the bureau and just hoping you’re already packing that Irish coffee to send it my way ahahahah
    And again, so many Light!
    Light be always with and within you, Dear Alycia!


    • Boy, is the above comment meaningful! You know what I like about this table? You have finally created one that I can actually do! Black and white always works for me no matter the season, and I like accenting with the red of holidays. This is perfect for the four of us. Did you tell me what time to arrive?


  4. Alycia,
    How can you go wrong with black and white! The touches of red are perfect. I love the ribbon across the tablecloth. It makes it look like a big present ready to unwrap. I swear Geoffery has more outfits than I do! Dianne


  5. So fun Alycia! I love the red ribbon dividing the table! I think the black and white tablecloth is a lot of fun and jazzes it up! Your snowman centerpiece is very cute and he’s portable!! I like stuff like that! Geoffrey looks like he’s had one too many cocktails!! Hiccup!! LOL 🙂


  6. So much great stuff going on here! The black & white check is brilliant with snowmen, to me the black check mimics the shape of a traditional snowman hat. I LOVE the snowman in the glass cylinder, like a snowglobe! Thank you so much for sharing such great ideas, you really got my wheels turning for January. I have a Geoffry too, except we call him James. Love that you dressed him up! Fun Fun Fun!


  7. Alycia, to say you excite, inspire and stir the imagination would be an understatement. I’m a bit late with this comment, but you are a natural for TV!!! Move over B. Smith & Martha!!!! When do U sleep??? Also thinking of a winter snowscape, as my da decided to do purple this yr. and I hauled my stash to MD. at Thanksgiving. Hope you get some ME time during the holidays.


  8. Another amazing, fantastic tablescape, Alycia! I love the black checks, and the bright red, and that snowman centerpiece. Also love that you incorporate Dollar Store items, like those stylish black plates–I love Dollar Store and their china and glassware section in particular. So nice to hear from you today–my little blue vignette under the cloche is also there in large part to keep the cats out of it–they are my sidekicks! It’s been warm here, too, but just super rainy. Take care, and have a fantastic rest of the week, Whoopie Juice:)


  9. That tablecloth is PERFECT for this table, Alycia, and I’m going out on a limb to say most tablescapers would not have thought of a black and white plaid for a Christmas/Frosty table. Leave it to your creative mind…good lesson here, Teacher! The whole thing (table, vitrine, secretary, Geoffrey) is perfect and fun and not stuffy but well coordinated. Fun, fun, fun! Thanks for the smiles this evening as I looked through this post. ~Zuni


  10. I’m impressed by how something as simple as ribbon can jazz up a tablescape. Grosgrain is so versatile! I’m really liking what you did with the cylinder in the center of the table. Geoffrey needs to make an appointment with his tailor, STAAT! 😉


  11. The adult dose of seasonal warmth and ambient light is going to melt that darling snowman. LOL. Adore the black & white checked cloth. Sitting on a plane in Atlanta waiting to take off for home. Will post later this evening. Thanks for inviting us for a peak. Cherry Kay


  12. This is so cute, Alycia! I just love snowmen; yep, we go way back, those little guys and me. I usually put out my plethora of snowmen after I take down the Christmas decs; they sort of cheer the place up during the winter months.

    I love that you’ve coordinated the black checkered tablecloth with the snowman’s scarf — very effective. This is really cheerful. I especially love the snowmen and wreath on top of your secretary. My in-laws have that very same English “butler” in their beach house. He’s placed right next to one of the easy chairs. I call him Jeeves. 😀 My MIL got him at the Bombay Company, right before they went out of business. I really miss that store.

    Hope you’re having a wonderful week!



  13. Alycia~ I bet you had snow-much fun with this table in October! It was a balmy 66 degrees here today, I personally wouldn’t mind temps that are more December-like so it feels like Christmas!

    I love your wonderful black & white checked tablecloth~ so versatile! I’ll take my hot chocolate with whoopie juice please 🙂


  14. Love the black and white check tablecloth and details! Add that touch of sophistication! Love how you have the fake snow IN the glass cylinders. My house is too drafty to keep it out like some do. Also I have cats. LOL!
    You know I make hats, maybe I can help with Geoffrey’s!!! 😀


  15. This is so cute, Alycia. I have a checked cloth like that. Might do a snowman table. At the rate I am going it will be winter table.

    Sunday is the garden club house tour. J likes to see the homes too. We are usually traipsing around in snow. I cannot believe it is as warm as it is!! The year we were on the tour we had to have the street, driveway and walk cleared!! It was very pretty. Had lots of visitors. We really enjoy going around to all the houses when it snows. Ice is a different story though!!

    The Santa on the lodge table is from Evergreen at the lake several years ago. He looks like he is carved in birch.


  16. Love love love this.. It’s so perfect.. all the snow and none of the cold and wet! Your sweet snowman is fab! Perfect that you picked up his scarf in the table linens. I am going to have to come and visit that “Vitrine” Breakfront…whatever it’s called from wherever any one is from… I love that piece. It literally makes me swoon. What is the history? Your secretary is so pretty too. It was almost 80 hear yesterday almost 70 today.. what winter??? Can’t wait to see next week’s rendition! You rock!!


  17. Hi Alycia! I don’t know how you did it, but you have combined sophisticated with adorable! No one else on the planet can accomplish that! Snowmen are always so cheerful, and yours are no exception. Always love black, white and red!

    It’s warm here, too, but I think the cold is coming!


  18. Everything you do is so fantastic! This table manages to be cute, fun and elegant all at the same time. Love how the elements of the snowmen are repeated on the table. The red ribbon streamers are the perfect finishing touch. And caramel cappuccino…… I love you!


  19. Hi Alycia. Cold nights and warm days here in the high deserts of Utha. I loved, love that black and white dramatic table. I love all the votices that warm up and brighten the table. The snowman is tres cute, and I WANT the food. Joni


  20. Love the touch of whimsey with Geoffrey dressing up! You are such a doll! What a fun presentation. I know I need a black and white checked cloth! That is so fun and versatile! What a clever idea to place the votives down the ribbon like that. I just love votives. Wish the kids wouldn’t always want to mess around with them! This just makes me want the snow to come (almost – but then just stay for a week and go away!!)


  21. Darling table and that checkered tablecloth is so sweet with the red ribbon. The snowman is cute…..You have such a whimsical spirit and your talent definitely shows. Love the votive idea too. Good old Geoffrey is charming as usual….makes me smile.


  22. Thank you so much Alycia to post such a lengthy and beautiful comment for me.sorry to hear you took ill.hope you are back to square. this snow man table setting is just great with lot of little details. love the red ribbon and it”s such a contrast and matching to the whole setting.. your side board setting is so grand with all those beautiful things on it…..Take care…love …sujatha.:):):):)


  23. Alycia, This is such a fun table. I wouldn’t have thought to use the b/w checks, and they are so perfect. I love Geoffrey! Thank you for your well wishes for our little Dylan. laurie


  24. Hello Lady?
    How’s everyone? Hmmm… mouth watering choco drink (for adults, only) *wink

    I really adore your tablecloth. What a great combo. B&W with a dash of red. I never think of this? Uhmmm…

    I won’t get surprise with you talent adding your gadgets on your tablescape. I know you by now and well, the thing is you surprise with your never ending inspiration.

    Thank you for sharing once again.

    Greetings from a very snowy Stockholm,


  25. I have been lost in the retail flurry and have missed several tablescapes! I always enjoy your posts. I think I want to come party at your place though – everything always looks soooo wonderful.


  26. I love the black and white check! And that Geoffrey…always dressed for the occasion. The black, white and red are so festive..makes me want to take a seat! We are trying to get in the Holiday mood around here…we went to our Christmas Parade last night and sat there without coats…it was 74 yesterday…I am ready for SNOW!!! Thanks for showing off another festive was to celebrate! Have a great weekend!


  27. Beautiful and festive decorations around the house, my dear friend. I love the cute tablescape too, with the b&w..who knew!..of course you did, Miss master tablescaper, you!.. and the centerpiece is adorable..I’d love to copy cat you on it! I haven’t been around for more than 2 weeks,so don’t think I was an ingrate..I had some family and blog issues, both resolved, thank goodness! Have a terrific weekend.


  28. Alycia, I always love a snowman theme. It’s about the only “snow” I see here in Texas. 😉 Of course the black and white checks are perfect in my mind. Thanks for sharing………Sarah


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  30. Love the black and white check and the cute snowmen and the Revere bowl. Revere bowls are one thing I love the most for serving and decorating. I have a large-ish one on the foyer chest filled with ornaments, too. 🙂


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  32. I love the black and white checks tablecloth. Who would have thunk that it would work so well with a snowmen theme? I’m fascinated by all the centerpiece variations you’ve created with your cylindrical vases! Beautiful!


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  34. ok next year a tree is going up and decorations, I like the black and white I’ve decided a checkered tablecloth will look good on my porch table. Such inspirataion. Thank you


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