Holiday dinners are just around the corner. If you are hosting dinner this holiday season, and it is your first time or you want to do better than ever before, now is the time to prepare while exploring new ideas.

Pre-event planning can help you save a lot of time and not rushing around at the last minute.  You can provide tasty foods that are prepared ahead of time so you are not slaving in the kitchen while guests eat and socialize.  You will avoid any unnecessary stress during the holidays and you will get to experience the festive gatherings too.

Start with A LOT of Relishes and Spreads

Relishes And SpreadsIt is always a good idea to have a lot of relishes and spreads. They go well with bread or crackers, and they do not go bad as long as they are presented properly. Storage is easy so you can start preparing them early on.

With the right mix of relishes and spreads, your guests will start to fill up and be satisfied. Keep extra crackers in the cupboard so you can easily bring them out for your guests to enjoy with the spreads and relish.

If you need more time to cook the main dish, having crackers and spread will keep your guests happy. Of course, a loaf of good sourdough bread and soup also goes a long way for starters. You can set the tone for the guests and know that they will not be hungry while waiting for the main dish and chatting with each other.

Serving starters also means the main dishes will go further and may even result in leftovers for you and your family to enjoy.

Try out Food Carving and Food Presentation

As the saying goes, “We eat with our eyes,” and the holidays offer a great opportunity to make food pleasing to look at and fun to eat. You can learn simple food carving techniques that can easily be enjoyed by a lot of people and are pleasing to the eyes.

Try to arrange platters of food in a creative way that will show you put some creativity into the presentation. Your guests will feel special for the extra effort put into making food visually pleasing.

Using fruits and vegetables also gives you the chance to reflect on what the Bible shares in Genesis 1:29, 3:18 “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you, it shall be for food. And you shall eat the herb of the field.”

Using pineapple chunks, grapes, and the right fruit cutter, you can make a festive food presentation.  Get creative.  A great idea would be to decorate some toothpicks with holiday themes.  These can be used for sticking into cut-up fruit or vegetables.

Go Crazy With the Place Settings

Dinner table settingThe way you set your table for a holiday meal can make each guest feel special. Choose your finest tableware or your everyday dishes. It’s the small touches that make the difference. Search for new ways to fold the napkins, or find an old photo of each guest instead of place names. Be creative and make it memorable.

If you are not yet well-versed in the place settings, you can search for Youtube videos that would teach you about the basics. If you do not have the budget to go fancy, you can always choose place settings that are unique for your taste and the party.

It is amazing if you can make your settings match the meals and not the other way around. Do you have a soup course? You can get some inexpensive soup bowls that fit your theme.  Make sure that you always match the settings with the crowd.

There is no need to spend a lot of money on tableware, especially when you have a lot of children for your dinner party.  Using disposable tableware may be a more practical choice to use.

Spend Time With Centerpieces, Not Money

You need to spend time with centerpieces, but you are not required to spend a lot of money on them. Some centerpieces can be assembled from things you have around the house like baskets, candles, bows, dried flowers, colorful leaves or greenery from the trees outdoors, etc.

For example, at one party, we saw some pine cones placed as centerpieces together with some decorations that the host’s children made. It was not fancy at all but it was surely a conversation starter and something that we can all do in our own special way.

Some hosts might use the typical floral bouquet, but we believe it is important to find something that relates to the specific holiday to decorate the center of your table. Some old photos of the family may also fit the decoration requirement.

Try Out Tutorials and Cookbooks

Hearty Holiday Pleasers eCookbookThere are a lot of tutorials out there that cover hosting holiday feasts. There are also some cookbooks where you can learn a thing or two about food and table presentations such as the Hearty Holiday Pleasers eCookbook. This publication from Creation Illustrated has 56 pages of delicious mouth-watering vegan recipes that are sure to become crowd-pleasers. They also have some tips on how you can set the table, what you need for every recipe and even some wonderful Bible verses that would remind you of the holiday spirit and what it is all about.