Best Holiday Decorating Tips For A Glorious Table

It may be your first time hosting a holiday meal, so you may have a tiny budget or an unlimited one. Whatever your experience or resources, it's important to create a festive holiday table. Nothing says holiday spirit or makes people feel that they're participating in a truly special occasion like a beautifully decorated table. And it's easier to create than you may think!

Bring Some Sparkle to Your Table

A little sparkle is all you need to create a glorious table. We love the idea of a table teeming with tiny twinkling lights tucked into vases or clear, empty bottles, or twisted around sliver bowls filled with seasonal treats. Pour flutes full of sparkling wine so that they're fizzing away as guests are called to the table. The twinkling lights will play off the sparkling wine to create an effect that's nothing short of magical. We like the excellent offerings from Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards in California's Sonoma County, such as the VA di VI, which is fresh and lively, satiny smooth, but not too dry. For extra fun, place a couple magnums of Gloria Ferrer's Sonoma Brut in a gleaming ice bucket right in the middle of the table and watch your guests' eyes start twinkling as well. The magnums are perfect for high-impact entertaining.

Candlelight is a Bright Idea

If twinkling holiday lights are not your thing, candles are the way to go. Soft, soothing, and magical, candlelight makes everyone and everything looks glorious. We love the idea of mixing tall candelabras and long white or ivory tapers with little votive candles and tea lights. Whatever food you're serving (see our suggestions at Holiday Dining Favorites and What to Drink with Them) is sure to look more appetizing in candlelight. The flickering light does wonders for both the golden hues of a Sonoma County Chardonnay and the ruby tones of the Sonoma County Pinot Noir.

Make Everyone Feel Like the Guest of Honor

One way to make sure everyone at your holiday table feels special is to create a handwritten name card. We love the idea us using sparkling wine corks to hold the cards. Gold ink and big loopy script lettering add to the sparkly fun. Another special touch, as mentioned above, is to have a flute full of sparkling wine waiting for each guest at his or her place. It's also nice to set menu cards at each place. List all the courses and all the wines. The menus can serve as party favors and are a lovely way for guests to remember the night.

This article was originally published on November 5, 2014.