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Experts: Setting table can be easy

Setting the table for Christmas need not be a chore. Check out these tips from the experts at HGTV .

n Setting a formal table is easier than you may think. Start by adding a tablecloth and runner, making sure that the tablecloth has at least a 6-inch drop on all sides and that the runner is either the same length or shorter than the tablecloth.

n It’s time for the place settings. Forks go to the left of the plate, and the knife (with the blade turned toward the plate) and spoon go to the right. Another tip is to place cutlery in the order that it will be used, with the first utensil, like a salad fork, farthest from the plate.

n To keep the table from becoming too crowded, simply bring dessert utensils out with that course. Bread plates go to the left of the place setting, glassware to the right .

n Napkins can be placed either on top of the dinner plate or to the side .

n Of course, a table setting need not be formal. Casual settings work just as well and give you a chance to go bold with your color choices and mix patterns.

n If the styles vary, make the colors consistent. No need to buy items that are matchy-matchy, though — just use what you have on hand.

Distributed by Scripps Howard News Service.

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