Art papers -- taped together -- make a festive and super-easy table runner.
A quick way to create a festive and contemporary holiday table is to make a temporary runner using art paper. Tape together several sheets end-to-end (each sheet is usually around 20 x 30 inches and costs around $6). A typical dining table for eight will use three sheets.
Then lay the runner lengthwise down the middle of the dining table over a single color tablecloth for contrast. (Note that art papers may stain the tablecloth underneath if they get wet, so be sure you can wash the latter promptly.)
Key your flower arrangement and candles to the colors of the runner. Papers with abstract or botanical designs work well because they allow you more freedom to coordinate with foliage, cones, or blooms.
Here are some art paper designs to consider -- available from Paper Source.