I have a special place in my heart for moms who sacrifice style for the love of their kids. I get it. We run errands sans makeup because we're too busy loading kids in the SUV and making sure they don't wander off at the grocery store (which has happened to me more often than not when my kids were young).
Hosting a dinner party turns into throwing a Frozen birthday party for your little girl and five of her messy, I-can-count-to-ten friends.
A fancy table setting becomes a series of toddler-proof Tupperware and food that never stays on the plate.
A table center piece becomes a joke, because aren't you just happy to get FOOD set on the table?
Been there! But I'm here to say that I've figured out a way to have a fashion-esque (let's not push it) home without sending your kids to live with rich relatives.
There are a few reasons why you should dress up the table this holiday season:
- It makes YOU proud of your home.
- It makes the food taste and smell better. (It's true!)
- It makes everyone at the table behave with just a smidge more decorum. (Ahem, manners, anyone?)
- Your kid-proof place settings and center pieces can withstand any random tantrum or excited squirm.
Ladies, may I present....
How to Host Dinner like a Maven
The place setting
Choose linens that are machine washable and preferably a darker color. Dark colors go with the season and hide stains and spills remarkably well. Stay away from wipeable tablecloths, paper napkins, and plastic placemats--even for the kids. While functional, they need to go in the cupboard during dinner parties.
Don't use your grandma's fine china. Ever. (Okay, just kidding.) If your kids are age eight or older, they might be old enough to handle breakable objects with your supervision. Not only does it make them feel incredibly grown up and proud, you also get to school them in proper etiquette (discretely) during dinner. Dinner etiquette is something everyone should know.
It doesn't need to be real silver, but it does need to be real (no plasticware, please). Even the kids can try their hand at using regular forks and spoons. If they aren't old enough for this, they should probably sit at the little kids' table or in a high chair. Let's be real!
Don't use plastic. Eww. Opt for glassware that won't break too easily. Even the adults will thank you.
Greenery, gourds, candles, and pinecones make beautiful, affordable centerpiece arrangements. Make sure the adults can see over it and that it doesn't hinder the passing of the salt. ;)