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Posts Tagged ‘Holiday Entertaining’

Boxing Day Buffet Lunch Christmas Tree and Log Fire

If you’re the one Ho-Ho-Hosting Christmas festivities this year, here are a few tips to help you be prepared for your guests.

There is nothing that can send a host into a tailspin faster than running out of some basic necessities right before or during a party. Make a list of what you need well before hand, stock up and then relax.

Preparation makes entertaining so much more simple and enjoyable!

Some things to be sure you are well stocked on:

Napkins

Paper Towels

Toilet Paper

Facial Tissues

Aluminum Foil

Plastic Wrap

Garbage Bags

Baking Soda (works well for so many things from neutralizing orders to shining the stainless faucets)

Bleach Wipes (you know someone is going to show up sick and these are a quick and handy way to keep things wiped down and as clean as possible)

Milk and Eggs

Ice

Club Soda (mix it with any type of juice for automatic punch! It is also great for removing stains, polishing jewelry and glass, and settling upset stomachs!)

Munchies (people arrive hungry and get hungrier with all the great smells coming from the kitchen. Have an ample supply of munchies like veggie trays, crackers and cheese on hand.)

Games (if children are in the mix, have a few easy to play games ready. Coloring books and crayons are also a great diversion.)

Last-minute Gifts (keep a few generic gifts on hand wrapped and ready for giving. You never know when you are going to need one. It can be something simple like candles or lotion sets for women and candy, a book or a car-related item – think furry mitt with ice scraper attached – for the guys.)

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If you are looking for a stunning centerpiece and are short on time or money, sometimes simple really is best.

Try one single beautiful poinsettia plant surrounded by white tea lights. Go for a plant that looks healthy with lots of flowers. If you are feeling adventurous, choose one of the funky new colors rather than traditional red.

Use a wicker basket and fill of pincones. Tie a tartan plaid bow on the handle of the basket and this says “country christmas” loud and clear.

Fill a pretty footed glass bowl with Christmas balls. Choose silver and gold for an elegant statement or go with colors that tie into your decorating theme like red and white or silver and blue.

If you have two or three cake pedestals of varying heights, stack them together and put either a selection of edible treats on them or place a nice candle on top and wrap holly garland around the other sections.

Wrap three to five boxes of various sizes and pile them casually in the center of the table. Again, stick to silver or gold for elegant, plaid for traditional or go with something that ties in to your decorating scheme.

Whatever you do, have fun with it and remember to focus on your guests a enjoy your time together!

She Who Loves Holiday Parties

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Now is a fantastic time to take stock of what table linens you have and what you might need for holiday entertaining.

Does your tablecloth need pressed? Are there stains that need removed? Do you need to replace it with a new cloth?

If you fall into that last category, there are a lot of great choices for affordable prices. This one is from Bed, Bath  & Beyond.

Another fun idea would be to purchase a plain white or cream flat sheet and have markers scattered across the table. Ask your guests to write a message, sign their name or draw a picture.  That would most definitely be a keepsake for years to come.

Think about what table or tables you will be using. Do you need tablecloths for side tables or card tables? Do you have plenty of napkins, dish towels and pot holders. Take stock of what you’ve got, replenish as needed now and be prepared for your upcoming company.

She Who Needs to Follow Her Own Advice

 

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Traditional Green Wreath

Yesterday’s blog was about welcome mats and how they set the tone of greeting for your holiday guests. Another way to say welcome at your door without saying a word is a wreath. These come in literally all shapes, sizes and colors, so find something that matches your unique personality, your home, or the type of welcome you want to extend.

My recommendation is to have fun with this!

If you don’t have a wreath hanger on your door, you can buy inexpensive hangers that hook over the top of your door.  Just make sure your door will close with one on. I like the metal hangers because they are relatively flat and work with most doors.

Traditioanl Fresh Green Wreath with Berries

This time of year a lot of service organizations and clubs also sell fresh green wreaths to raise funds. You can get a very nice wreath and contribute to a good cause at the same time.

Boxwood Wreath

Boxwood Wreaths are fun and can come in some interesting shapes and styles. The greens are always vibrant and look great with nothing more than a simple red or plaid bow.

Cedar Wreath

Cedar Wreaths are another fun, fresh alternative that runs toward the classic holiday look. The best thing about these wreaths are the fragrance. If you’ve never smelled fresh cedar – you must sniff some this holiday season. It is divine.

If you are concerned about getting sap on your door, I’d steer away from fresh greens and go toward something a bit more out-of-the-box.

Pinecone Wreath

A pinecone wreath is a fun, woodsy way to say welcome. Just gather an assortment of pinecones and glue to a styrofoam form or wire to a wire form. You can get creative and add in different accents like nuts, twigs, cinnamon sticks, etc. If you wanted to stretch your effort to last a bit longer, you could use this wreath for Thanksgiving and right on through the holiday season.

Red Berry Wreath

Red Berry Wreaths are guaranteed to grab some attention with their bright red pop of color. You can purchase these wreaths pre-made or make one yourself by hot-gluing berries onto a grapevine or evergreen wreath form.

Candy Wreath

Candy wreaths are super easy (just time consuming) and make a whimsical splash at your entry. Don’t be surprised if you find a few missing as people pass by and can’t stop themselves from grabbing one. You simply hot glue the candy onto a styrofoam wreath form and finish with a bow.

My niece and I decided to make one years ago. After multiple burns, much grumbling, several pieces of eaten candy and possibly a few tears along with an annoying whiny-pants who kept asking “can’t we quit now?” she finished up the wreath while I ate another piece of candy and we hung it on the front door. Neither one of us has been up to the challenge of repeating the process. But it did look great!

Traditional Green Wreath

I think my favorite wreath, though, is one of traditional mixed greens finished with a plaid bow. Boring? Maybe. But to me that circle of green with the bright plaid bow says “holidays” like few things can.

You can decorate your wreaths as elaborate or as plain as you like. Most wreaths look nice finished with a bow – how much easier can it be than that?

So go hang a wreath, pat yourself on the back for adding some holiday cheer outside your door and go eat a sugar cookie for me.

Happy Holiday Entertaining!

The Traditionalist

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