Set the Scene: Easy Holiday Table Centerpieces by Maria Russo in Holidays, December 18th, 2012
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Often when hosting holiday parties, so much thought goes into ensuring that the food for each and every course is as perfect as it can be that other aspects of entertaining, like home decoration, fall by the wayside, trumped by other, seemingly more-pressing concerns. This year, no matter how casual or elegant your get-together is, set the scene with seasonal centerpieces made from accessible, everyday products, like candles, flowers and fresh fruit. Food Network’s collection of easy holiday centerpieces features 11 must-see designs that aren’t just easy to recreate in your home, but also classic ideas that can be adapted or added upon, depending on your personal taste. Check out a few of our favorite settings below, then browse the entire centerpiece guide to find welcoming scenes to complete your sit-down dinner table, plus kitchen island countertop, buffet and coffee table.
Let seasonal herbs star in more than just your holiday roast by using fragrant varieties as the focal point of your table. The rosemary trees pictured above are light, inexpensive, and add a pop of freshness to the warm indoors. For the containers, use any small pots you have on hand. The metal vessels pictured above are quite elegant, but if you happen to have terra-cotta pots left over from spring and summer planting, put them to work here.
To bring an air of rustic charm to your table, look to the woodland-inspired centerpiece (pictured right) to complete your scene. These rounds of birch are simple to find, and coupled with winter-white candles, they look comfortable yet sophisticated. Intersperse the centerpiece with pinecones, nuts and green herbs to add to the outdoor-inspired feel of the setting. If you know that you’ll be serving or eating food on a table with candles, try to use unscented votives so that their perhaps pungent scents don’t overwhelm your meal.
If you’re entertaining kids — or kids at heart — this holiday, consider setting up a candy centerpiece (pictured left) on the children’s table. Just pick up bright, seasonal treats like peppermint sticks, cinnamon candies and rock-sugar suckers and display them in glasses or bowls you already have to create an edible runner of colorful confections. Deliciously playful and whimsical, this presentation does encourage effortless munching, but after all it is the holidays and a little indulgence is called for. If you’d prefer that the children not dig into candy before dinner, however, create this same display with mini carrots, slices of cucumber, balls of melon or cubes of cheese to promote smart snacking; the vibrant colors and bite-size nature of these eats will be especially alluring to little ones.
Visit Food Network’s Holiday Central for more entertaining ideas and recipes.