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The holidays are a time for gathering and spreading good cheer! Hosting family for a meal? Having friends over for a “Secret Santa” gift exchange? Whether you’re planning a formal sit-down dinner, or a casual appetizer & cocktail type of night, getting the setting right with coordinating dishes, specialty glassware and matching linens can really bring it all together, taking your celebration to the next level.

Setting a Formal Table

When it comes time to sit down and enjoy a holiday meal, creating a table that is welcoming, joyful and aesthetically pleasing can really tie everything together. Choose a colour palette and a “theme” you would like to go with. Be it traditional, modern, rustic or even a combination of each, consider this when selecting everything from your charger plates, dishes and flatware to your centerpiece and table décor. Get creative and play around with different options and place settings so you have a firm plan well in advance. Give yourself time to be sure you have enough of each piece of tableware and rent or purchase anything you need to complete your look. Plan out your meal to ensure you have the proper plates and flatware for instance to accommodate each course. As with all event planning, being prepared is key.

Linens Upon Linens

Once you’ve decided on your colours and theme, carry that through from your tableware and place settings to your tablecloths, napkins and tableskirting. Napkin and tablecloth selection will be a part of planning out your dinner table should you be hosting a sit-down meal, but even if you’re hosting a cocktail style event or an open house, linens are still a big part of your look. Will you go traditional with reds and greens, or even blues and silvers? Or do you prefer a more neutral look with ivories and golds or whites and greys? Once again, it’s helpful to plan ahead and play around with some different combinations. Consider the existing colours in your home or venue to ensure your selections don’t clash with what’s already there. Make a list of the table sizes you’ll need to cover, the number of napkins you’ll need and any serving tables that may need skirting. If you’re making use of some bistro style cocktail tables, do you want a fitted sleek tablecloth or do you prefer a loose-fitting cloth? Bring that list with you when you go to reserve your linens to be sure nothing is missed.

Specialty Glassware

A fun way to get into the holiday spirit and really bring home your theme, is to add a little flair with a specialty drink or a hot beverage bar. If you’ve created a “Winter Wonderland”, add a “Snowflake Martini” or to compliment a “Santa’s Village” themed event think “Candy Cane Cocktails”. The possibilities are endless for alcoholic and non-alcoholic holiday drinks! Keep guests warm and cozy with the addition of a hot cocoa station or a flavoured coffee bar, sure to please kids and adults alike. When planning your specialty drinks, don’t forget to think about your glassware and what you will need to accommodate the drink menu. You’ll need martini glasses for those snowflake martinis, of course, and Irish coffee mugs for that tasty hot chocolate. From wine glasses to champagne flutes, highball glasses and cups and saucers, compiling a list of everything you will need in the glassware department will serve you well when renting or purchasing for your party. Once again, have a list with you when you are ready to place your order.

The importance of planning ahead and being prepared this holiday season cannot be overstated. Decide on the type of event you plan to host and let your creativity guide you. Play around with different ideas and when you’ve settled on your vibe, make your list, check it twice, and get organized with what you’ll need for your place settings, table décor, linens and of course specialty glassware. Need some advice? Choosing a rental company you can trust to assist with these decisions also comes in very handy.

It’s time to spread some joy! Let’s get to hosting the holidays in style!