Hosting an elegant Christmas dinner party doesn’t have to be difficult. Here are a few shimmering, colorful, delicious and jolly ideas that will impress any Christmas dinner guest.
This year, I covered my apartment in dry flowers, eucalyptus and naturally aromatic touches to make my Christmas decor bright and inviting. And for my dinner menu, I kept things nice and easy… but that doesn’t mean I served meals with little care.
The appetizers, 3 courses and cocktail were all given plenty of love, but they were all made ahead of time so my dinner party went nice, smooth and easy. No mixing cocktails in the kitchen, no basting, no garnishing was done after guests arrived.
Here are a few ways to make your Christmas dinner party nice and simple this year.
1. Create an Organically Merry Atmosphere with Simple, Natural Touches
If you want to decorate your tree in a colorfully original way, simply create flower ornaments with dry roses and lavender. It’s so easy and looks absolutely gorgeous.
I also created simple, dry orange and star anise ornaments by slicing oranges nice and thin, baking them and needling a little thread through them. They look like little stained glass windows when hung in front of Christmas lights on your tree! All you need are 5 oranges, a container of star anise and a little bit of time.
For my mantle, I used Eucalyptus, dry roses and a little baby’s breath “snow.” I also made these simple, soft yarn trees with just a little bit of glue, yarn, pompoms and paper mâché cones that I found at the craft store. They take only a few minutes to make and look so sweet on a mantle or on a Christmas window sill!
2. Make a Simple, Yuletide Flower Arrangement for Your Table
I always pick a seasonal flower or leaf to place in my napkins, then a matching centerpiece. With a few candles, your table looks so precious. No need for expensive Christmas napkins, placemats, chargers or seasonal dish-ware. It only takes a few natural touches to make a Christmas dinner table so elegant.
I used holly and snowy baby’s breath for my centerpiece and napkins this year. It’s easy to create a bouffant arrangement like this in a small vase. Simply make a little grid with masking tape, and place your baby’s breath, then a few holly leaves into the grid. Simple as pie!
3. Go Light on the Hors d’oeuvres, but Make Them Special
For a small dinner party, there’s no need to go overboard (and break the bank) with lots of appetizers. If you make a nice, filling diner, a little cheese, crackers and 2 or 3 specially made snacks should tide folks over nicely till dinner time.
I also made the deviled egg filling the day before and simply stored it in a pastry piping bag with the ends sealed. All I had to do was fill my egg-halves and place my pretty pink pepper corn garnish on them about a half-hour before guests arrived.
4. Serve a Dinner, Dessert and Cocktail That Can (Mostly) Be Made Ahead of Time
It can be very tricky and a bit unnerving to have to waft between the living room and kitchen to check on your recipes while your friends are enjoying their cocktails. It’s best to have everything ready to go right in the oven or heated on the stove when your friends arrive.
I made a beautiful French onion soup for the first course that I simply heated on the stove – and when it was time to serve, I just popped some gruyere right on top, broiled them and served.
And for the second course, I made these incredibly simple (and delicious) sage and garlic Cornish game hens. I stuffed them with an Anjou pear, mushroom and red onion stuffing that I made the day before, and simply heated up the extra stuffing right before serving.
For dessert, I made this incredibly smooth and creamy Grand Marnier flan! It’s best when made the day before anyway, so after dinner, all you have to do is flip and serve. It doesn’t take long to make and it looks so dreamy and pretty when topped with a little whipped cream.
I made this divine spiced currant and sake “Silent Night” cocktail for my party. It’s a perfectly original, and perfectly simple Christmas signature cocktail!
That’s all there is to throwing an elegantly simple Christmas dinner party! A lovely tree, lovely table, lovely appetizers, dinner, cocktails and dessert with a little holly, jolly flair doesn’t have to be tricky. Just keep things simple, colorful and tasty.