As December is upon us (Tomorrow!) it is time for the preparation of holiday gatherings full of family, friends and fun. Nothing sets the stage better than a beautifully adorned table. Fine china and crystal are the norm here, but it is the special touches that elevate the setting.
Whether you are hosting a dinner party of close friends, a cocktail hour for the office staff or the family dinner on Christmas, you can add little touches here and there that will make entertaining a breeze.
At our house, we break out the fine china and that is a nice setting in and of itself. But you can personalize a dinner place setting by adding an individual vase to greet each of your guests. Try putting a rose, carnation or a flower you might believe best represents each guest at their seat. The point is to have fun with the setting and put your guests at ease.
When it is cocktail hour, it’s really important to have everything at hand so you are entertaining more and playing bartender less! You can convert your home into a “wine bar” pretty easily and set up tasting stations around the living room, dining room, kitchen and office. We suggest wine bottle coasters so that you can protect your tables while still highlighting each bottle. When you need to keep a bottle chilled, a must-have is a wine cooler bucket. Make sure your wine cooler bucket has handles and is deep enough that you can fill it with enough ice to cool your favorite sauvignon blanc and not have ice all over your new credenza.
We like to use candlelight to enhance our dinner parties. Our guests migrate from the dining room to the living room and curl up on a chair next to a roaring fire. We use candles to help keep the mood light and it is up to you whether to use scented or non-scented, pillar or taper. Just use a quality candle with a long burn-time and a sturdy candleholder to protect your furnishings.
One final point for a “perfect” holiday setting is to be sure to include flowers. As we move through the shortened hours of day-light, matching the darkness outside with a dark and dreary setting inside is not going to set the mood you were hoping for. We suggest a beautiful arrangement of flowers in a few strategic places will really make the season feel right.
This is a great time of the year. Time to be thankful for what we have and grateful for the friends and family in our lives. We hope you have a great holiday season and have the best dinner parties ever!