Dec 17, 2012

Entertain with ease!

I love ideas that are quick and easy but create a festive space. My top 5 - since I use them all the time - can be for any holiday!

1) Set the stage.  Lighting and scent create festive atmosphere.  Use room sprays or scented candles to fragrance your home. Dim the lights, add strings of mini-lights where possible, and use real or flame-less candles on tables, in wall sconces, and throughout the rooms. Add some music!

2) Serve buffet style.  A buffet makes it easier to offer multiple dishes.  You can make most in advance. It's great to set up stations for main dishes, cheeses, desserts and lighter fare. I love to place dishes at varying heights and use cake stands, glass bowls and footed trays to do it. Need some recipes?  Check out Cooking Light.  

3) Use simple decor. Place bowls filled with floating candles around your buffet and wind in live or faux greenery or plants; add garland or ornaments for sparkle. It's easy to place small mirrors around your tables and then top with candles for bright and festive lighting. 

4) Create a self-serve bar.  If you have a bar space you are fortunate, if not, set one up! With a table runner, place mats or decorative tray as the base,  position ice bowls or buckets, serve ware, shakers and stirrers. Set out glassware and add some decorative elements.

5) Show them where... Set aside wicker baskets or large planters for throw away and recyclable items.  Make them festive and guide your guests to use them. Have trays for glassware and encourage empties to be placed there.  Makes it easy for you and neat during the party.