’Tis the season to be jolly. ’Tis also the season to take your decorating and hosting up a notch. If you’re keen to create a holiday table that’ll get all your guests talking (for the right reasons), read on…
Keep it consistent
When it comes to table settings, you’ve gotta go one way… or the other. Don’t try and combine a traditional scheme with a new flair, or you could end up with a mishmash result that doesn’t sit well with your guests. Colour-coding is always good practice, but you don’t have stick to red and green. If your theme is gold and purple, ensure it echoes across the table – from napkins and nametags to flowers and candles. If you prefer a quirky table that’s a little less traditional, own it. The same rule applies when it comes to being consistent, if your napkins feature flamingos and cocktails instead of reindeer and elves, that’s fine, but repeat those colours and themes elsewhere on the table for your best presentation.
Consider your lighting
Whether you’re hosting a mid-morning brunch or an elegant sit-down dinner, lighting can make all the difference. While seated, your guests don’t want to be squinting into the sunlight or struggling to read your hand-written menu. Ensure that you consider lighting from all perspectives. For evening, candles at varying heights on the table make a stylish statement while creating a lovely ambience. Add to the mood with strings of delicate fairy lights wound through the decor on your table or strung across a sideboard or cabinet in your dining room.
3. Think about thoughtful party favours
Yes, Christmas crackers are fun, but have you ever gotten a little something that you really liked or found useful? If you have the time (and energy) why not create your own crackers for your guests? Use tubes (discarded toilet roll inners totally work), cover them with wrapping paper and decorate them with stickers and ribbon or other cheerful embellishments you can find at your local craft store. Enclose a small meaningful item in each cracker, like a few home-baked biscuits, a nice pen, a lip balm or a small multi-tool. Not up for making crackers? Why not just place a little gift at each setting that will appeal to all of your guests (did someone say a trio of hand-made truffles?).
Make it personal
This time of the year brings friends and family together with love, to connect with each other and reflect. Add a touch of nostalgia to your table (and dinner banter) by printing a Polaroid-style photo of each of your guests from a time gone by and adding it to their place setting. It’s a great way to get the conversation started: ‘Hey Jim, whatever happened to that Vespa of yours?’. Here’s a handy tip: if you don’t have key photos saved on your own phone or in an album, dig up a few good pics from their social media pages.
Words by: Lynette Botha