Party Pointers: Introducing Easy Elegance to Your Next Holiday Dinner Party

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It’s easy to get stuck in a daze during the holidays, especially when you’re hosting a dinner party. But overwhelmed, overworked, and overstressed don’t need to be your preparty norm. This season, bring beauty and creativity into your festivities without the usual preparation freak-out with subtle, rather than overboard, elegance. These stylish solutions for making your soiree stand out are stress-free but statement making, with the power to take your party from drab to fab.

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1. Place cards
Find a beautiful way to personalize each guest’s place at the dinner table with a posh place card. You can type attendees' names on pretty, festive paper and then cut them down to size, or you can simply write out your guests' names with a nice pen. The older kids can even help with this one. This detail takes less than minutes but makes the entire tablescape look much more refined.

2. Signature cocktail
Come up with a cocktail with a name that’s representative of your party. For an easy cheat, look up a unique drink on the Internet that you can make your own for the night. This extra addition will take your party to a more personal, elegant level.

3. Printed menu
Add the elegance of a fine-dining restaurant to your party with a printed menu at each person’s plate. Type the names of the dishes you plan to serve in a calligraphy-style font and print your work on pretty paper. All done.

4. Stylish centerpieces
A candelabra, a fresh floral bouquet, or a holiday-inspired arrangement are all fantastic additions to the table. Make sure the dinner table looks more dressed up than it does on a usual night, even if this just means lighting some candles.

5. Color scheme or theme
A color palette or overarching theme will bring everything at your soiree, from the place settings to the decor, full circle. Select colors that fit the festivities and are easy to find, then simply decorate in those hues.

Here’s a necessary extra tidbit of party-prep advice: Make sure the family knows who the designated kitchen cook is! Is it just us, or does this scene look oh-too-familiar during the holiday season?