Monday, November 19, 2012

Ten Tabletop Tips for the Holidays

This week is Thanksgiving?! Craziness!  And, of course, loads of holidays follow right behind...Hanukkah, Christmas, New Year's...

But, no need for panic if you are playing host this season.  We have prepared the following Ten Tabletop Tips to insure your details are perfectly in place before the guests ring the doorbell.

1. Set the "feel".  Think about how you want your guests to feel.  If you want warm and cozy - use colors that exude that.  If you want light and fun - incorporate that into your table scheme through sparkle and brighter tones.

2.  Budget for the food.  Don't let your time get the best of you while you are planning all that pretty decor.  The food is hugely important and needs most of the room in your budget.  Plan a menu that will be remembered for one reason or another.  This includes yummy beverages.

3.  Mix old & new.  The holiday's are filled with deep history and memories for everyone.  So, be sure to tie in some old with the new - do it through recipes, table settings or other traditions.  

4.  Give gifts.  Nothing huge is necessary here.  But, everyone loves a gift this time of year - and giving is just as fun.  So, perhaps placing a beautifully wrapped (small) gift at each table setting is the way to go - or handing guests something as they leave your home.  Candies, candles, soaps or other tiny tokens are great ways to make everyone feel special.

5.  Add some festive flare.  A few surprises for guests always leaves a great impression.  So, add some special festive touches.  Tiny details like rimming your cocktail glasses with colored sugar, suspended ornaments in the entry way, beaded swag on the table linen or a colorful banister display will do the trick!

6.  Timeline it.  Don't try to do everything on the day of the party.  Set the table the day before (because, like me, you might see something you want to change the next morning), prepare any food you can and store it in the fridge and always recruit help.

7.  Beautify that Buffet.  If you are planning to serve the delicious meal buffet-style, don't forget to make the display easy to serve but still stunning.  Different heights, containers and serving pieces will make a huge difference.  Incorporate fun place mats, candles and other things you already own (and rarely get to use!) to, again, set the feel you are seeking.

8.  Plan for extras.  Just in case...because you just never know...plan for a few extra guests.  Whether your aunt asks to bring her good friend or your sister decided to come after all, being prepared is better than being caught off guard.  Have plenty of chairs on call and a few extra servings of the entrees and sides.

9.  Place Set with Care.  Don't dare forget to assign seats if you are hosting a holiday meal.  We believe that doing this is critical at a family and close-friend affair.  It leaves no question for guests and helps to eliminate any awkwardness when they are looking for a seat.  In addition, you can use it as another opportunity to add flare and fun - use pine cones, napkin rings and more to make the name cards look beautiful.

10.  Toast!  Something that is often forgotten at holiday get-togethers is a simple toast.  Nothing fancy here, but a host truly should raise their glass, call for attention and toast to his/her wonderful company.  To add a special touch, bring out a beautiful tray of sparkling wine or champagne for each guest to raise and enjoy.

The 11th, unlisted tip, as always is....RELAX! ENJOY!  The holidays fly by every year and they should be special each time - even for the host!

Boldly Yours,
Lori








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