‘Twas a month before Christmas

‘Twas a month before Christmas and all through the house, there was scrubbing and dusting and vacuuming the couch.

(Not a perfect rhyme, I know).

Despite my earlier anxieties about hosting a big Christmas dinner before we were finished with renovations, everything came together–new carpet included–and the house was pretty presentable by the time Matt’s family arrived for the party last Saturday.

My main focus was on just having everything clean, so decor was mostly limited to the tables (and with 17 people for dinner, we needed two tables and lots of extra chairs).

Table set for Christmas dinner

I kept things simple with my go-to cream table cloths, a burlap runner down the middle, khaki napkins, a single candle centrepiece, some greenery, pine cones and our wedding china and crystal

The inspiration for the theme came from Mrs. Limestone’s woodsy place cards. Stefanie’s engravings are beautiful, and the animals were perfect for our rural setting.

I adjusted them slightly for our party, eliminating the tag portion and adding people’s names in George Gibson, a cool handwriting font I found via The Art of Doing Stuff. Then I tucked them into pine cones I picked up from behind the house and slipped them between the cutlery on everyone’s napkins.

Placecard

I love the attitude this porcupine has!

The other adjustment I made was on the back of the cards, where I printed little bits of trivia about each person’s animal.

Trivia place card

It might be a little cheesy, but people did enjoy reading about their animals. Little known fact: the porcupine with the largest quills (nearly a foot long) lives in Africa.

Of course, the decor is only one small part of a successful dinner party. The most important part–the food!–was a hit as well. While I was running around in the freshly fallen snow, gathering tree boughs and searching for similarly-sized pine cones, Matt took charge of our 20 pound turkey.

The best part of this shot is he’s not mugging for the camera. This was his actual facial expression as he was getting intimate with the turkey.

The fruits of Matt’s labour: a perfectly cooked turkey, a pile of dirty dishes, a bowl of stuffing and a sink full of vegetable peelings. (And yes, he did the clean-up as well as the cooking).

Before, during and after at the Christmas party.

According to the camera’s memory card, I spent the party doing things other than taking pictures, so I don’t have much documentation from the rest of the day. By all reports a good time was had by all. To return to where we started:

“We heard them exclaim ‘ere they drove out of sight, happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

I hope everyone has a great weekend. Do you have a Christmas party to attend or host? A major meal to cook? A big cleaning blitz to complete? What’s your go-to decor for a dinner party? Anyone have any interesting porcupine facts or experiences to share?

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