When throwing an outdoor gathering, we like to keep our styling laid-back and simple. We scavenge for things around the home we can repurpose. We collect odds and ends as we find them. Nothing needs to match perfectly or be brand new to create an easy outdoor affair.

Dress you table with natural elements

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Gathering natural elements from your backyard or surrounds is an easy way to dress your Christmas dining table. Think a living table runner of foliage or buckets of fresh herbs so the guests can pick their own when it comes time to eat. Don’t fuss with it too much, leave it natural and easy.

String up some lights

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If the weather is pleasant, the food tasty and the company in good form chances are your outdoor Christmas lunch will roll into the evening. Enhance your festive atmosphere by stringing up a garland of bulbs and dotting tea lights around your backyard. If you’re keen to really get into the Christmas spirit, hang some lights in your trees to achieve a magical twinkle.

Set up a makeshift bar

Having a dedicated drinks area means more space on your table for platters of food and your drinks can be kept cool. A makeshift bar also becomes a gathering place before you’re ready to sit down and after the feast has been devoured.

The bar doesn’t have to be fancy. Simply use old crates or pop up a trestle table. Pop your beverages in large tubs or recycled Styrofoam containers. Dress your bar with candles, straws and a large glass dispenser with a refreshing mocktail. Don’t forget to rope in your niece or nephew to serve a few drinks!

Create areas to escape to

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No matter how beautiful your setting is, no one wants to sit all day at a dining table. If you have the space, create areas your guests can escape to throughout the day. It could be some bar stools near the BBQ or some armchairs in a corner of your garden. A sofa or beanbags are great for stretching out, or simply lay out a few rugs on the grass.

Focus on the detail


It’s the little details people often remember and take away as inspiration. For more a formal outdoor Christmas gathering, replace disposable napkins with linen napery. Print a menu and set place cards if you’re doing a sit down lunch or dinner. For a relaxed, yet stylish vibe swap plastic cutlery for eco-friendly wooden knife and forks. Serve up your condiments in little jars rather than the plastic squeezy bottles and present food on the tables for people to pick and choose.

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Stress less about everything being in its right place and spend more of your time focusing on the vibe you wish to create for your outdoor Christmas festivities. Most of all, let your hair down and have a little fun! It’s Christmas after all.