Getting together with friends and family is one of the best ways to celebrate the season.
For some, the holidays wouldn’t be the same without an elaborate, multi-course dinner, complete with the good china, the crystal and the champagne. But you can make your guests feel welcome without spending a fortune.
Several local experts offer tips to set the stage for a successful gathering — whether it’s formal or casual.
The experts say:
- Emailed invitations. Phone calls or in-person invites are also fine.
- Drinks and appetizers. Mingling is the goal for hosts and guests. Attendees can nibble a variety of dishes as they socialize.
- Party central. Well-placed decorations define the focal point of your gathering, whether it’s the bar or the kitchen table.
A signature drink or holiday punch can be a great conversation starter. This punch bowl takes center stage along with decorative LED lights, mirrors and sparkling glassware.
- Seasonal paper napkins. Even for a casual event, paper napkins printed with seasonal sayings such as “Merry Christmas” or “Cheers!” can add a festive touch.
- Use what you have! Don’t be afraid to break out the crystal for a casual party, says designer Paige Dick. It makes your guests feel special, and you don’t have to buy plastic.
- Borrow what you don’t! You may not have a punch bowl, but one of your friends might.
“A big part of any holiday décor is fresh garlands. So much of creating that environment is the smell of the holiday.”
— Paige Dick, Paige Designs For AnyHoliday Party
- Use lighting to set the mood.
- Bring in greenery, pine cones and other natural items.
- Ring in the bling! Add sparkle wherever you can, and don’t be afraid to mix silver and gold.
— Paige Dick
“Use candles or even LED lights. You can get lights in different colors, and arrange them so the lights shine through the greenery.”
— Christin Hilliard, Every Bloomin’ Thing, Cary
“We’re really focusing on canapés this year, these little bite-size things. One bite might be collard greens, cornbread and the cranberry relish. It’s one bite, but it still invokes the sense of the holidays. A decade ago we were doing a lot of family-style sit-down dinners or buffets, but now everyone just wants to chat and catch up.”
— Daniel Whittaker, Green Planet Catering, CaryAn elegantly decorated bar can be the focal point of a cocktail party. While Dick says she prefers a more pared down approach for the rest of the year, the holidays are a great time to amp up the glitter and shine. Garden Supply Co. in Cary provided our elegant wreath and festive evergreen garland.
Read more: http://www.carymagazine.com/features/tale-two-parties#ixzz3uQ4HB6MM