This past weekend I had the pleasure of styling a Christmas dinner at K’s parents home. It was so fun using my Circuit machine and customizing the evening. I went with an untraditional color scheme but with pops of holiday spirit such as gold, hunter green, and red. I customized drink tags, place-setting and made a wintery garland for the centerpiece paired with pine, berries, roses, and white flowers. Lastly for a romantic touch, I intertwined white and gold candles on top of pine stumps of all sizes.
Whenever you are entertaining for a large group, you might want to keep the following in mind for a seamless, yet fun evening.
My Five Tips for Hosting A Holiday Dinner
- Place-setting tags. Customizing your guests place at the dinner table is not only fun and festive, but you also want to be sure people don’t just sit with who they are comfortable with and create “clicks.” As silly as it sounds, you want everyone to be mingling and meeting new people they don’t usually spend time with. For example, seating a very outgoing person next to a quiet individual is a great trick for engaging everyone.
- Drink tags. This is pretty self explanatory, but dressing up your glasses with personalized tags, or fun categories, add to the whole theme of your dinner. Guests will love the extra touch! Have fun with it. For example, instead of putting names on the glasses, use the names of reindeer– who wouldn’t love being Rudolph for the night?
- Activities. Having an agenda for a large dinner party is important. You want to unofficially have several activities to participate in, such as appetizers, main course, cracking open “crackers” or gifts, a white elephant exchange or an interactive game and dessert. You want the night to keep moving and for people to be entertained.
- Put em’ to work. Having a large dinner party can be overwhelming. With the cooking, cleaning, setting the table… it is a lot for one person. Split up the responsibilities and/or put the early guests to work to take the load off. What I mean by this is, have someone bring appetizers or drinks. And anyone who arrives early, make them the official “bartender” so that everyone that walks in the door has a drink and a warm welcome.
- Have fun! Don’t let the little things stress you out. Sometimes the veggies get brunt, glasses break, someone doesn’t show, or the unknown happens. But, don’t sweat the small stuff. Enjoy your evening with good friends and family (and remember to smile) !