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Which holiday centerpieces are best?

Nothing makes a holiday table cheery like a festive centerpiece. Branches from evergreen trees, flickering candles and bows can make for a lovely sight on a winter evening. There are a lot of holiday centerpieces out there. Considering the size and shape of your table, whether you prefer real or artificial materials and your preferred decor style can help narrow your search. 

The National Tree Company Artificial Christmas Centerpiece is a great choice for a rectangular table. 

What to know before you buy a holiday centerpiece

Types of holiday centerpieces

Before buying a Christmas centerpiece, you’ll want to consider which type best suits your decor. Whether you want a candle holder centerpiece, a range of festive figurines or a centerpiece made from evergreen branches, there’s something out there for you. These are just some of the varieties available or you can mix and match some of these items to create your own centerpiece for the table. 

  • Evergreen centerpieces: Many Christmas centerpieces use evergreen branches, such as pine or spruce. These can be real or fake. They’re often adorned with berries and pine cones. They may also be candleholder centerpieces. 
  • Mini wreaths: Mini wreaths are small circular wreaths that can be made from evergreen branches or other materials, such as baubles or bare winter branches. A mini wreath is often a candle holder centerpiece, with space in the middle to fit a pillar candle, taper candle or tea light. You can arrange several on a table or use them individually for small tables or mantles. 
  • Festive figurines: You can find a range of festive figurines that work great as Christmas centerpieces. There are plenty of options, from bottle brush trees to winter villages to a fleet of reindeer pulling Santa on his sleigh. 
  • Faux presents: Faux presents can add intrigue to a Christmas centerpiece. You can buy light-up versions or simply wrap empty boxes. 
  • Lanterns: Lanterns are great as part of a Christmas centerpiece, bringing a traditional edge and some ambient lighting. They’re also great if you’re worried about open flames around kids. 

Artificial vs. real materials

Holiday centerpieces often come decorated with natural elements, like pine cones, berries and evergreen tree branches. These can be either real or artificial. Artificial materials will last you for many years with proper care and are often more durable than the real thing. If the centerpiece uses candles, the artificial elements are frequently fire-resistant. 

Some prefer to use real materials in their holiday decorations. Natural materials will only last one season, but they have some perks. Natural tree branch cuttings smell amazing. Using actual items from a wintery forest can also add something special to the ambiance. 

Decor style 

You can find holiday centerpieces in all sorts of different styles. Which you choose depends mainly on your surrounding decor. There are elegant centerpieces made from the branches of evergreen trees. These often feature a large candle in the center or several tired ones. You can also find cute seasonal figurines, like snowmen, trees or farm trucks filled with holiday items. These are perfect if you are going for a cozier holiday look. 

Table shape 

Before buying your centerpiece, consider the shape of your table. For rectangular tables, long table centerpieces work well. These tend to be thinner, having much more length than width. You can choose one that covers either a few feet in the center or the entire length of the table. A centerpiece for a round or square table will usually be circular with a more centralized size. 

What to look for in a quality holiday centerpiece


Many holiday centerpieces incorporate candles into their design. Candle holder centerpieces are classics for a reason; they look great and provide mood lighting for your holiday meal. Some come with candles, while others require you to purchase them separately. You can use real or flameless candles with your candle holder centerpiece. Flameless candles often come with a timer and remote control. Some versions mimic the flickering of real candles. If you choose real candles, never leave your lit centerpiece unattended. While white candles are a classic choice, red, green, silver or gold are excellent choices for the holiday season as well. 


If you look forward to the first snow of every season or are trying to bring some winter magic to a warmer climate, a centerpiece with some flocking can be an excellent choice. Flocking is done by spraying white synthetic powder onto various items. This makes them look as if they are covered with a dusting of snow. You can buy items that already have flocking, or you can add flocking yourself. Flocking is most commonly found on tree branches, but ornaments, candles, candle holders and other centerpiece decorations can also have it. 


If you’re looking for a Christmas centerpiece, you have plenty of options, but sometimes you want one you can use for various holidays. If you want your centerpiece to also work for Easter or Thanksgiving, you’ll need to stay away from overtly Christmassy items, like evergreen branches or Santa. Elaborate candle holders or vases of twigs are versatile enough to work for a range of holidays. Fall centerpieces look great for Thanksgiving but aren’t necessarily great for other holidays. 

Accessory decorations

Most holiday centerpieces come adorned with various decorations. Bows, LED lights and artificial fruit are all popular. You can also find centerpiece decorations of cranberries, ornaments and pine cones. If you are the DIY type, try buying a plain centerpiece and adding decorations yourself. You can even involve your children in the process. 

How much you can expect to spend on a holiday centerpiece

For a traditional centerpiece made from evergreen branches, expect to spend between $40-$70. If you are buying a larger-than-average centerpiece, expect to pay over $100. 

Holiday centerpiece FAQ

What are some places I can use my centerpiece besides my dining table?

A. You can use centerpieces to decorate more than just your dining room table. Centerpieces can look great in the center of the mantel in your living room. You can also place them on entryway tables.  

What should be in a centerpiece tray? 

A. Using a tray is an excellent way of creating a Christmas centerpiece. It contains the items you’re using and makes your centerpiece easier to move into position and remove without having to lay it all out again. A centerpiece tray can contain anything you like to make a holiday display. Candles look great as part of a centerpiece tray and provide ambient lighting for your meal. 

Natural materials such as spruce branches, pine cones, holly leaves and berries can also look good. For added festive appeal and aroma, try adding dried orange segments and cinnamon sticks to your Christmas centerpiece tray.

How long will my centerpiece made from real materials last? 

A. This depends on the climate you live in, but you can expect the natural materials of your centerpiece to last for two to three months. Of course, this depends on the natural materials you choose. Fresh materials, like branches or berries, will last a shorter time than dried materials, such as cinnamon sticks or pine cones. 

What are the best holiday centerpieces to buy?

Top holiday centerpiece

Best National Tree Company Artificial Christmas Centerpiece for Table

National Tree Company Artificial Christmas Centerpiece for Table

What you need to know: This holiday centerpiece will bring elegant winter cheer to your dining table. 

What you’ll love: Perfect for a table or mantle, this centerpiece consists of 58 individual branch tips decorated with natural-appearing berries and pine cones. The piece is lightly flocked, giving the piece a frosted look. There are three steel plates to hold candles. 

What you should consider: Some customers have noted that the candle pillars are not steady. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top holiday centerpiece for the money

Best RootToVine Book Snowman

RootToVine Book Snowman

What you need to know: These adorable snowmen make for a great holiday centerpiece. 

What you’ll love: Made from the pages of books, these snowmen have a red scarf, an acorn hat and buttons. Available in three sizes, you can purchase them individually or in a set of three. You can also choose a natural acorn hat or a black one. 

What you should consider: You’ll need to buy the set for a full-looking centerpiece. 

Where to buy: Sold by Etsy

Worth checking out

Best SandersonWreaths Fresh Fraizer Fir Centerpiece for Table

SandersonWreaths Fresh Fraizer Fir Centerpiece for Table

What you need to know: Perfect for those who love the smell of pine, these centerpieces are made from fresh Fraizer fir. 

What you’ll love: You get nine mini wreaths decorated with red ribbon, pine cones and berries. You can arrange them to make one large centerpiece or use them individually or in smaller groups to dress more tables. 

What you should consider: The ingredients used for this centerpiece are all real and will only last you through the holiday season. 

Where to buy: Sold by Etsy

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Morgan Freeman writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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