Growing up, we always knew it was a special occasion when Mom's embroidered tablecloth came out. It made eating a little more hazardous; drips and spills were avoided at all costs. Then we had our own table, and it was a hand-me-down in an unattractive shape. So it was always covered in something pretty, like this Mina tablecloth from Anthropologie. Now there is a big wood table in our kitchen, and no tablecloth.
It seems like using a tablecloth depends both on your idea of formality and on your table. What kind of tablecloths do you like, and are you breaking one out for the holidays?