(StatePoint) Want to be the host with the most this holiday season? Holiday entertaining can be particularly tricky, as everything has to be just right. But you don’t have to let it stress you out, say experts.
“From setting the table, to creating a scrumptious dessert station, you can better impress your guests if you are prepared,” says Jessica Joyce, spokeswoman for Bed Bath & Beyond.
As you make your plans, consider these helpful tips from Joyce for putting together the perfect holiday meal and creating an inviting atmosphere all season long:
Remove the Guess Work
The key to reducing stress around holiday entertaining is to plan. Start putting together a guest list and menu ahead of time. Determine the hors d'ourves, drinks, main course, side dishes, coffee bar and desserts.
Once the menu is selected, make sure you have the right kitchenware to prepare the meal -- especially the turkey. Turkey essentials include a roasting pan, meat thermometer and gravy separator. Keep in mind that every turkey is different, so your roaster should be able to handle even a 25-pound holiday bird.
Your serving plate will need to be large enough to accommodate your turkey, and there should be enough additional room on the plate to surround it with garnish.
Mix and Match Dinnerware
When it comes to serving guests, it’s helpful to get assorted dinnerware in both white and clear so you can mix and match as needed. Be sure that you have enough of the right glassware for serving cocktails when guests first arrive. Have a water and wine glass on the table for each guest to use during the meal.
Consider how you’d like to present your meal to your guests. Whether it’s a sit-down dinner or buffet style, your food will be the main focus. A triple slow cooker is great for a buffet. It will let you cook, keep your food warm and allow your guests to help themselves all at once.
Create a ‘Tablescape’
You can make a great impression before your guests even sit down to eat by crafting a beautiful setting. Create ambience by adorning the holiday dinner table and buffet area with seasonally inspired décor and infusing pops of color with the tablecloth, metallic chargers, napkins and fresh flowers.
For a finishing touch, set the mood with candles by using a mix of tea lights and candlesticks on the table at varying heights.
For more entertaining tips, recipes, gift ideas and other holiday inspiration, visit, www.BedBathandBeyond.com/holiday.
With some special touches to your menu and décor, you can make this holiday a memorable one.