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Set the Perfect Holiday Table

(ARA) - We all want our holiday parties to be perfect. We plan a wonderful menu and cook and clean for days in advance. But many people spend all their time and energy on the food, and neglect the other important aspects of a party. Table décor and room arrangement are just as important as good food to the success of a gathering.

Unfortunately, most hosts don't think about these things until the last minute, and often just throw something together. Here are some ideas for creating a functional and attractive environment for your party, with some help from the experts at FoodTV.com.

The best way to avoid stress is to put together a plan in advance. Think about where your guests will sit. Don't try to cram too many people around a small dining room table. If necessary, add another table and cover them both with one long cloth. The point of a party is to provide a fun opportunity to socialize and that won't happen if guests are squeezed uncomfortably together. If your chairs won't fit, try using a bench on one side of your table.

Another way to make more space is to place all the food on a buffet table. Set up one room as the buffet area, and once guests have been seated, move a few dishes to the table so people don't have to get up for seconds. You can also set up a separate dessert table in advance, so you don't have to worry about it after dinner.

Setting a festive holiday table begins with the right china. Holiday Ribbons by Waterford is a fine bone china with an elegant red ribbon and mistletoe design that will complement any decorating scheme. Add some edibles as table arrangements such as apples, cinnamon sticks, pears, gourds and even dried corn nuts. Another idea is to fill interesting jars or containers with flowers, cranberries or dried fruit. Throw in some candles arranged among little heaps of apples and nuts.

Keep centerpieces and decorations low so they don't interfere with conversation or with the food. Boughs of fresh pine or cedar are an easy and fragrant decoration that won't get in the way. To complete the holiday look use fabric remnants to make holiday table runners or simply wrap your table in holiday paper. Gold or silver paper makes a dramatic statement and will set off decorative china well.

Finally, make sure you have all the serving pieces and utensils you need and that they are washed and ready to go. A variety of accessories vital for entertaining are available in Waterford's Holiday Ribbons design such as a large turkey platter, an elegant cake plate and server, a chip and dip tray and even a decorative trivet.

So when you start thinking about your next party, don't just focus on the menu. Think about your decorations and arrange your rooms in advance, and you'll be able to enjoy your gathering as much as your guests.

Courtesy of ARA Content

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