Light the sparklers, pour the bubbly, and welcome your guests – these bright ideas will impress your holiday company.
The overscale chandelier hanging inches above the table puts a twist on the typical centerpiece and fosters a sense of intimacy among guests. The look can easily be re-created by hanging garland or flowers from an existing chandelier or overhead light.
Tie One On
Don't neglect side tables from your party decorating plans. Try a different tabletop look, and wrap the linens into an oversized bow rather than the typical skirted table. Sprinkle it with treats to extend the gift giving theme.
Repurpose your wine glass collection into decorative party lights by placing tea lights in the bowl of the glass and adding wired garland to the stems. Arrange in clusters of three for effect, and be sure to put out of reach of jutting elbows.
Take guests' pictures with a Polaroid camera as they enter the party. Then, enlist a friend to help clothespin the pictures to napkins for a retro take on the place card. Take more Polaroids throughout the night so you can have a scrapbook of your guest party.
Restrict yourself to a monochromatic palette, and then abandon all other rules. Choose the spiciest shades of your chosen color for a bold and dramatic look.
Relax the Back
Rather than crowding guests around a formal table, opt to host a laid-back, intimate get together. Set out plush pillows, low side tables, and easy-to-eat food for a Moroccan-themed party.
Ignore the entrée, and get right down to the best part: drinks and dessert. Invite friends over for a cool cocktail party with a menu limited to only the holiday season's guiltiest pleasures.
Follow the advice given to Mr. Gladstone in the iconic film The Graduate, and go for plastic when you're entertaining this year. The glasslike stemware has improved so much your guests will never know the difference -- until they drop one.