friday’s five minute fix: place settings with panache

The fall issue of Multiplicity magazine has launched!   I am absolutely dying over the adorable homemade Halloween costumes in this issue.  Why, oh why, do all boys want to be Power Rangers??   I’m longing for the days of the cutie patootie costumes they used to wear.

Multiplicity Cover Fall 2013Anyhoo, in the midst of my sniffling over the choice between Super Hero and Skylander, I put together some fun and easy tips for stylish holiday entertaining!   Because if Halloween is around the corner … that means Thanksgiving will sneak up on us before we know it.

Traci Zeller Holiday Place SettingWith one round of planning now, you can enjoy three different looks at Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s!   So let’s make that tablescape a “triple,” shall we?  I promise it’s a lot less work than triplets …      

Entertaining photo by Dustin Peck Photography for Traci Zeller Designs.  

my top easy, stylish tips for holiday entertaining

With Christmas on Tuesday, this is a big party weekend … at least in my world!  We are hosting my husband’s team party on Saturday and — per our tradition — Santa makes an appearance at Christmas Eve day’s breakfast before he sets out on his trip across the world.  Have I told you Santa lives on our street?  It’s totally true.  I mean, would you want to live in the North Pole year-round?  Exactly.  Don’t tell your kids.  Of course, Saturday is adults-only (although two rowdy twins are sure to make an appearance) and Monday is kiddos running around non-stop.  Even parents without twins get a little taste of “life with multiples” … because of all the same-age friends!

With that in mind, I created a holiday entertaining set-up that — making only a few adjustments — would work for both parties.  Yep, it’s a two-fer.  I always suggest picking a color scheme and sticking to it … so I carried the same red and aqua color scheme through to my party planning.  Why not pick a color scheme for next year now … and then you can pick up coordinating items throughout the year?

I bought these polka-dot candles from One Kings Lane a while ago, and I was delighted to pull them out for Saturday’s festivities.  I already owned the red and white Pottery Barn plates — I prefer “real” plates to plastic for all but the smallest of children — and I picked up aqua napkins to coordinate.  If you don’t already have the color you need, Pier One is a great spot to get napkins in all colors.  For local readers, Blackhawk Hardware has a super selection!

Everyone loves a candy buffet … and I love using color-coordinated candies!  I get so much use out of my glass jars in various sizes.  You can find these jars everywhere — and at all price points — but my favorite spots to find them are Michaels and Hobby Lobby.  Hopefully, guests are enjoying our yummy food and desserts, so I always provide take-home containers.  That way they can save a little something for later!  Oh, and look at the Container Store for the stainless steel candy scoops …

A self-serve drink station is a must-have, so that — when I get busy — guests are free to help themselves.  These aqua glasses look like vintage hobnail but are instead non-breakable polycarbonate.  Have you noticed the different ways that I use ribbon?  I love, love, love ribbon.  You see it tied to the tray handles — for a touch of aqua — and to the tops of the candy jars.  I didn’t own aqua or red vases, so I simply wrapped satin ribbon around ordinary glass cubes.   When the party is over, I’ll just take the ribbon off … and be ready for my next party’s color scheme!

Are you entertaining this weekend?

P.S.  Oops.  First things first.  Twin A tested the beard.

Photos by Katharine Fuchs for traci zeller designs.  Family photos by moi.  

traci zeller