Holiday Celebrating and Decorating — Favors and Silk Flowers Included

Late spring and early summer may be the most popular time to get hitched in a big and splashy manner, with wedding favors and personalized ribbons galore, but autumn and winter have their own ceremonious extravaganzas and even decked-out church outings — Christmas Mass, anyone? Even stalwart atheists have been known to wander into the catholic castle-like structures come Christmas around midnight to peek at the throng of people glimmering in sequins by the light of a thousand candles. And who could really turn away from the fiery and lustrous reflection of a gold encrusted alter? Hardly a soul.

So, although it may be terribly chilly out, make your dorm-room upgrade of a studio or hard-won McMansion shine with a fantastic bash during Thanksgiving, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Christmas, and New Year’s. Besides decorations made with abundant and life-like silk flowers, you can also decorate your home with fruit arrangements, nut and legume displays, and real potted plants — even your prickly pears can take a place at your table setting. Of course, one of your biggest aids in the decorating and ambiance department will be the food you cook — it will fill, and gladden your home, with incredible savory, tart, and sweet scents.

During these special occasions, when people are more likely to make, ungrudgingly, cross-country treks to visit one another, be prepared to make an indelible impression. Your forethought can make the difference — set the mood, and everyone is likely to leave with a happy memory of their stay at your fab pad. Think about the details. How will you go about selecting the right tablecloths and wintery wreaths? Do you have enough table settings? Will you need to invest in extra chairs? The holidays are not weddings, but gifts are exchanged. Will you create goodie containers of homemade cookies, jams, or ornaments? Your guests will surely be grateful for these all.

Remember that each object or detail you settle on will require varying degrees of planning and preparation — hosting is an all-consuming activity that’s entirely separate from cooking and decorating, though these latter activities usually precede it. After it’s all done, feel free to create a personalized ribbon of hosting and merrymaking merit to hang on your wall.

Sam Walters is a writer living in Los Angeles. Her writing appears in print and online.

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