Thursday, December 21, 2006

holiday entertaining...

The holidays offer many opportunities for entertaining-- whether it be festive holiday dinners, dessert parties, cookie exchanges, cocktail parties, or other gatherings. Decorating your home and table for the celebration makes an important first and lasting impression on your guests and visitors.

Decorations can be simple, but effective. Well placed Christmas crackers can brighten a table. A favorite centerpiece of ours is a collection of fresh fruits and nuts displayed in attractive containers. Here, we have fresh pomegranates, clementines, figs, seckel pears, and chestnuts arranged with fresh pine greens in depression-era ruby glassware bowls. Accompanied by antique brass candlesticks, the fruit centerpiece is simple, yet beautiful.

Another fun and easy way to brighten your holiday table is to "scent" your own candles. Here, we combined dried fruit peels, whole cloves, star anise, cinnamon sticks, and nutmeg seeds in a clear hurricane with a vanilla candle. After sealing the top with plastic wrap, and leaving the candle for a week (or more, if you plan far ahead!), the candle takes on the scent of the spices. Upon burning, not only is it beautiful, but also fragrant!

Happy holidays... and even happier entertaining!

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