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  • Writer's pictureDASHA HERVEY

The Holidays, as simple as ABC

For most the holidays are about celebrating with the people you love and should be as simple as following the ABCs.

A: The Absolute Guest list. If your past guest list didn't serve you well, meaning your guests took more energy than they gave, consider redefining who you really want at your table this season. Happy hosts enjoy their guests, and your servitude will be reflected in the joy of entertaining.

Guest Gifts Image Shutterstock

What do you want your environment to say? Is it filled with soft flannel and big hugs or jazzy cocktails and poppy music? Your hospitality is a venue to create a connecting experience for you and your guests.

B: Be intentional and decide on a theme that reflects your traditions, your zaniness, and the meaning you graciously want to convey. Initiate engaging conversation by providing blank cards and inviting your guests to write their favorite memory or greatest gratitude to share over dessert. 

C: Craft a thoughtful centerpiece. This key visual element will tie your table setting together. Simple black and white buffalo checks, mini logs, stacked old books, fresh greenery with cranberries floating in clear votives evoke a homey cabin theme.

Low Height Centerpiece allows for an improved community experience Image Shutterstock

White linens, blue china and small kumquat trees with bases wrapped in burlap and orange ribbon can provide a simple yet elegant setting.

Going buffet style? Create drama with a centerpiece that sits well above the height of the food for added interest, color, and texture. This type of placement creates more real estate by allowing your food options to be placed vertically and horizontally. Stacking trays, and sturdy boxes tucked under linens can support appetizers of varying heights and help to

maximize your food presentation. Ensure your tablecloth reaches the floor in this type of layout to create visual balance and scale.

Dessert Table with Dazzling Centerpiece

For a more intimate experience consider dining at the table where eye-to-eye contact and personal interaction will be important. I recommend a low height centerpiece that doesn’t exceed 6-8” from the tabletop. This allows everyone to see each other, eases transference of food and helps to navigate the table setting with ease.

Colorful and Simple Low Height Centerpiece Image Shutterstock

If you need inspiration, Pinterest and Etsy have a plethora of visual delights to suit your personal taste and decor, shopping links included. In a pinch, shop locally at TaDah on Cedros in San Diego or better yet you can purchase a tablescape kit from Table Terrain online. Just pick, click, and ship.

Tablescape Kit from Table Terrain

Designer Tips

  • Make one collective purchase that you can repurpose for other occasions. Anchor colors like red and white will compliment every major holiday

  • Set your table a day or two prior to your event. This will keep your mood festive and reduce your workload on the day of your event

  • Purchase flowers two days ahead of your special day. Trim the ends and place in fresh water, add a little sugar to the water to nudge blooms to their full potential

  • Plan. Our supply chain is improving, but not yet perfect. This will ensure you have everything you need for your special day

  • Stay calm and carry on

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