Setting a Holiday Table
Whether you are having a large friends and family gathering or an intimate party of two here are a few hints and ideas for setting a beautiful table.
First how are you going to present your meal? Do you put all of your dishes/platers on the table to be passed around? Do you present everything buffet style? Or do you plate everything in the kitchen and serve each guest? Knowing this ahead of time will determine how much you can do with your table setting.
If all of your dishes will be on the table start with a table cloth and/or table runner. Better yet layer both! You can have fun here with color, texture and prints. Don't have a table cloth or runner? You can put placemats side by side down the length of your table. Letting the natural wood of your table show through is also beautiful.
With buffet style you can add items in the center of your table like candles, flowers, and adornments. The key here is to not make it too large where you block the view of you and your guests. Another important point is do not use candles with a fragrance! Since our sense of smell is important in how the food tastes it may clash with your meal.
Start with the larger pieces like candles and/or small plants etc. Try different groupings to see what you like best. Then add flowers and greenery. To keep things low you can trim flower stems short and use things like shot glasses or small bowls. Greenery can be placed underneath candles or woven in between. Make sure your the candles are not wobbly or the greenery is not near the flame.
The place setting should be in the same style as your presentation. If you have a more casual approach, keep it casual! Being too formal can make guests uncomfortable and too fussy for you. The main thing here again is what you are serving. If you are having hors devours or soup put a smaller plate or bowl on top of the main plate. Also make sure you have all the utensils needed. There are many examples of this on-line for placement. Have fun with the napkins. There are many paper and cloth napkins for the Holidays.
And most importantly, enjoy yourself! This a time to focus on good friends, family, and loved ones.