holiday entertaining tips

Holiday Entertaining Tips & Printable Place Cards

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The holidays are especially exciting for our family this year. My daughter is going to be 4 months old in just over a week. It’s exciting to celebrate a holiday season of baby’s firsts, but it’s also chaotic. In this post I’m going to share how you can quickly get your dining room or kitchen table holiday ready in a matter of minutes with these easy holiday entertaining tips.

holiday entertaining tips

If you have children, you likely know how crazy a house can get with a new baby. Our house is extra chaotic at the moment because I also have a 7.5 year old son, two dogs, and three cats living peacefully together under one roof. Here’s a glimpse of what our dining room really looked like before I started to prep for the holidays.

Our dining table is a “catch-all” for everything, including naughty cats who don’t belong there. You may have to look twice to see Freckles; her “cat-mouflage” helps her blend into her surroundings.

I started by relocating everything to where it was supposed to be. I took my diaper bag to the nursery and sorted through all of the papers. The cats were banished to the basement.

The next step was to clean all the mirrors and table.

I like to use tablecloths when we entertain for two reasons, the first is that it’s easier to clean the table up afterward, but they’re also a lifesaver if anyone accidentally spills something.

holiday entertaining tips

Our home has a farmhouse vibe, so I tend to keep our holiday decorations in line with that. Instead of investing in a bunch of table runners, I love to use large scarves to anchor the center of my table. I already have 20 or more hanging in my closet, and I can just throw them in the washer when dinner is over.

I thought I would love my rattan place mats but they’re actually quite a pain. I think they shed and they’re hard to wash off if something is dropped or spilled. I love how they look, but they aren’t as practical as I had hoped when I purchased them.

The large wooden tray on the center of the table makes it easy to relocate items and to clean up. I use it to move extra things like salt, pepper, napkins, and even our Kikkoman® Soy Sauce to pair with our Thanksgiving dinner. I decided to forego the usual turkey and make a Honey Orange glazed chicken this year. Our family isn’t crazy over turkey, and I like to create a special meal. Surprisingly, Kikkoman® Soy Sauce can be a key ingredient for your Holiday recipes this season.

Our Thanksgiving dinner will consist of:

  • Honey Orange Glazed Chicken
  • Cranberry and Pecan Stuffing
  • Green Bean Casserole
  • Maple Glazed Sweet Potatoes
  • Split Rolls
  • Pumpkin Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

holiday entertaining tips

honey orange glaze chicken

Tomorrow I’m going to share the recipe for the Honey Orange Glaze Roast Chicken with Kikkoman® Soy Sauce and my kid-friendly homemade chicken nuggets using Kikkoman® Panko Bread Crumbs. I’ll link back here when the post goes live in case you want to try it out.

honey orange glazed chicken

honey orange glazed chicken

honey orange glazed chicken

Another good tip for creating a stylish holiday table is to keep a stash of solid white ceramic plates for a uniform look. Solid white plates are easier to match and replace if one becomes broken or damaged. I especially love the white buffet plates that you can purchase in bundles of 10. They’re inexpensive and you can store enough to entertain a small gathering. Often they’re sold in small boxes that can be tucked away easily in a pantry or closet when they aren’t in use.

I have a fun wooden cake stand that will hold my Pumpkin Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting.

wooden cake stand

Flowers can add a beautiful touch to the table, but you should take care not to use fragrant flowers. We can taste what we smell, and you wouldn’t want fragrant flowers affecting the taste of your dinner. And we recently discovered that members of our family have a host of allergies that can make the choice of flowers much more significant to their enjoyment. I opted to use dried hydrangeas from my garden to add a fall touch to my tablescape.

Adding place cards creates a more formal looking table. I designed some printable place cards that you can download and print to use during your own Thanksgiving Feast. You can upload the design back into Canva.com  to add in the names of your guests, or you can write them in yourself.

 

You can right click to save the image below or download the pdf file here.

Check out KikkomanUSA.com that offers easy “gateway” recipes so that home-cooks can enjoy flavor and flair any night of the week. They also offer a lower sodium variety for those with special dietary needs. Check out these two Ibotta® offers for savings on your favorite Kikkoman® products.

The Kikkoman® Panko Bread Crumbs are located breading aisle and not in the Asian aisle.

Do you cook a main dish other than turkey during the holidays? I’d love to know what you’re making to eat this holiday season. Please share with me some of your favorite holiday entertaining tips.

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