Hosting holiday parties is stressful — there’s just no way around it. Between the guest list, the menu and the drinks, itâ€™s easy to completely overlook one of the most critical elements: dÃ©cor. Nothing can deflate my festive mood faster than looking around my house and realizing itâ€™s as utterly unimpressive as a holiday scene can be.
Fortunately, Iâ€™ve figured out a few tricks to make my next holiday dinner party fun, festive and — most importantly — frugal. The key for me was to splurge on one piece thatâ€™s a classic, and then supplement with dressed-up grocery finds. So, I nabbed a gorgeous Marimekko tablecloth Iâ€™m utterly in love with, and will use for years to come (plain white from your favorite bargain store will work just as well). Add some colorful napkins (mixed colors and patterns are especially good), and then hit the grocery store.
For the setting in this photo, I bought a dozen pears in different colors, a pile of fresh thyme, sage and rosemary, and a bag of unshelled nuts. I think my total at the register was about $17. Arrange the pears in a bowl, clear vase, or in a straight line along the table. Scatter nuts on the table, and accent each place setting with a little bundle of mixed herbs, tied with raffia or twine. If itâ€™s not a sit-down affair, take the herb bundles and pop them into shot glasses or tea light holders for instant doses of green that also happen to smell amazing.Â Presto — your inner Martha is smiling, and your holiday spirit should be in full swing. –Becki S.