“Don’t stress, it’s just a dinner!” are my husband’s famous words as I frantically run around putting the last pieces of our party together. Excuse me buddy, but have you SEEN the holiday issue of House and Home magazine? Do you even know what it takes to put this table together or how tedious it can be to make a creme brulee (at least for me)? Well not this year people! I have vowed to perfect the art of hosting a Holiday dinner party and after some careful research and a few successful attempts, I have come up with some tips that I hope you will find useful whether you’re Susie Homemaker or just someone that wants to impress their friends and mother-in-law with their awesome party skills.
1. DITCH THE CENTERPIECE. I love my giant dining table centrepiece (and you probably love yours too) but your guests likely won’t be eating it, so swap the elaborate candelabra for your food network inspired dishes! If you’re lucky enough to have room for both, be sure that your centerpiece doesn’t block your guests from seeing each other.
2. GET SERVING PIECES THAT WORK. I have often made the mistake of buying for looks more than functionality but that doesn’t mean you can’t have both! Invest in some good serving dishes that are multi functional (Dinnerware Sets) and wont eat up tons of space on your dining table.
3. TRY SOMETHING NEW. If new dinnerware is in your budget and you’d like to try something different, consider buying square or rectangular dinner plates and don’t be afraid to combine them with what you already have to create an interesting and eclectic look. Take my word for it, your already delicious risotto will taste twice as good!
4. PLAN AHEAD. Once you know what you’re serving, lay out all the dishes on the table so you know just how much space you have. This way you won’t have any unpleasant surprises on the day of your party. Now how is that for being organized!
5. LIGHTING IS KEY. I firmly believe that lighting can make or break the mood at any shindig, so dim the lights and whip out some taper candles or tealights and scatter them throughout your space. Remember to use the unscented kind.
6. SET UP A BAR. Using a sideboard or console table, create a bar area to help get your guests relaxed and in the mood to celebrate! For an added bit of awesomeness, create a drink menu and have your spouse or close friend bartend but remember to have alcohol free beverages available as well.
7. ADD SOME HOLIDAY CHEER. You don’t need to break the bank to make your table festive and ready for Christmas entertaining. Adding some simple accents such as holly, evergreen branches or red accents will quickly transform your setting from average to holiday-ready.
8. FAVOURS AREN’T JUST FOR WEDDINGS. I do love a good party favour, especially if I can eat it or actually use it, so spread some holiday cheer by adorning your place settings with an ornament that fits your décor. Your table will look better and your guests will leave happier. Everyone wins!
7. HAVE FUN. At the end of the day its not the food or decorations that matter, it’s the company! So once all the cooking is done, sit back and enjoy it!