The Every Hostess blogger, Kaitlin Lea, is here to share how you can easily fulfill your dreams of hosting the perfect Christmas celebration! Get her party-planning shortcuts and recipes below.
My ultimate goal with this intimate Christmas affair was to create a traditional table setting that made you feel immediately in the holiday spirit. We used colorful hand-painted Christmas-themed plates and holiday crackers, as well as bountiful green, red and white floral arrangements handmade by Prema Style. I certainly may be biased, but I think that this table setting is filled with Christmas spirit!
The entire look was actually inspired by a collection of hand-painted plates from Anthropologie. They are currently unavailable, but these similarly festive plates make just as bold and happy of a statement! I loved the pattern so much that I decided to create a traditional Christmas dinner around them. It helped that Frances of Prema Style had the most gorgeous Victorian-esque dining room to bring my vision to life. Can we please talk about her lovely lavender velvet chairs?
Simple details can go a long way when setting a holiday table. Sometimes all you need to include are a few well-planned details and a beautiful holiday arrangement or two to infuse your dinner party with personality. The plates, of course, spoke for themselves, but adding crackers to each place setting made for a delightful surprise as guests sat down to the meal.
One large arrangement and two smaller ones filled the center of the table, completing the entire holiday-themed look. As for the flavors of the fête, a dessert table heaped high with delicious treats and a signature holiday cocktail served as the perfect complements to our Christmasy evening. Read on for a breakdown of our holiday recipes to enjoy at your own year-end celebration!
*Makes 1 bowl
For The Orange Reduction
- 2 1/4 cups fresh orange juice
- Strips of zest from 2 navel oranges
- 3 3-inch cinnamon sticks, broken into pieces
For The Punch
- 3 cups fresh orange juice
- 2 cups fresh red grapefruit juice
- 1 tablespoon grenadine syrup
- 2 1/2 cups cold grapefruit soda (20 ounces)
- Orange slices and ground cinnamon, for garnish
- In a saucepan, boil the orange juice, zest and cinnamon sticks over moderately-high heat until reduced to 1 cup (about 8 minutes). Strain and let cool.
- In a large glass pitcher, combine the orange reduction with the orange and grapefruit juices and the grenadine. Stir well and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour.
- Just before serving, pour in the grapefruit soda.
- Dust the orange slices with cinnamon and serve in the punch.
Lemon Almond Cookies
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature (use Earth Balance for vegan cookies)
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup white whole wheat flour
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
- Add the almond extract, lemon zest and juice, chia seeds and baking powder, and mix until combined.
- Add the flour and mix until dough comes together.
- Spoon dough (about 1 teaspoon per cookie) onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Leave about 1 inch of space between each cookie.
- Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the bottom is light brown but the cookies are still soft.
- Remove from baking sheet and cool on a wire rack.