Friday, December 6, 2013

Foto Friday--Holiday Dinner Tradition

I just discovered something about myself.  That sounds weird, and when I actually tell you what I discovered, you'll probably think


But in all honesty, I didn't consciously realize this until Tuesday of this week as I was preparing for dinner party I host every December for a group of older ladies in our neighborhood.

What is this deeply held and recently acknowledged fact about myself?

I love throwing dinner parties.

I know.  I'm slow. 
I love pulling out the beautiful silver-rimmed china we got for our wedding and mixing in something different, like these polka-dotted plates.
I love deciding on a centerpiece and table linens. I love folding napkins and using stemmed glasses. 

I love thinking about my guests and finding the perfect nametag to mark each place. This time I wrapped mercury glass votive holders and tagged them with premade Christmas tree tags from Target.  When the dinner was over, each lady had a small gift to remind them of our night together.
A few fun tidbits from this party:
That enormous glass vase in the center?  I surrounded it with a fresh pine garland, filled it 1/4 of the way with pomegranates from our tree, then topped it with a plate of more fresh greenery and a decapitated poinsettia.  Poinsettias are great to work with as centerpieces because they're way cheaper than a professional arrangement, and they last a long time.  The flowers and greens for this arrangement cost less than $10 (plus $6 for the pine wreath).  Because the vase was clear and the arrangement was so high, I could easily make eye contact with the people across from me. 

I have two tables that I usually place end-to-end, but this time I decided to make a square so we would all be a little closer together.  Since I didn't have the right tablecloths to cover a square, I used three white cloths as the base, then layered my two red cloths on a diagonal.  Before the table was set, the red seemed a little wonky, but once the table was full, I liked the layered look a lot.

I'm not a great cook, so I relied on my good friend who is a fantastic cook for a main dish recommendation (it wasn't as good as hers, but it was still edible).  I used prepackaged salad from Costco (their kale salad is one of my absolute favorites) and premade breadsticks. 

I did venture out of my comfort zone and made a dessert I'd never made before:  a plum/cherry/cranberry cobbler with cinnamon ice cream--recipe from November's BHG.  Yeah.  It was the best part of the dinner.

And the best idea I had?

I asked a young couple I know to serve the meal for us.  That one small idea allowed me to sit and enjoy the meal with  my guests (plus, they both sing and they sang carols for us as post-dinner entertainment).

Funny that I've thrown a wedding dinner, a homecoming dinner and a holiday dinner all in the last three months, and I just realized how much I enjoy it.

Hope you are keeping warm wherever you are.  It is freeze-warning cold around here this weekend, so I'm sure the rest of you are really cold!  Stay warm!


  1. I think that a dinner party, where I get to sit down with my guests, is my favourite way to entertain too. It's relaxing once all the preparation is done.
    Pomegranates from your own tree? That stunned me and now I am seriously envious of your climate!

  2. I could have told you long ago about this wonderful enjoyment of yours. And you excel at it, too. Beautiful.

  3. Very cold here as well, but it's nice to wear sweaters and Uggs for a change! Your dinner party was just beautiful - great job!

  4. I wish I loved throwing dinner parties. My husband would love it if I did. But being in charge of people's food experience makes me nervous.

    I could do a play or program any day of the week, but a dinner party cows me. Kind of funny, because we were in charge of the entire Christmas dinner for 250 last weekend. Thankfully, I have great friends who helped me with the food part. All I ended up doing was coordinating and the program. Not bad.