Family & Education

Holiday Hosting: Tips for Decorating a Buffet Table and Serving Your Guests With Style

TIMEDecember 18, 2021

Don’t stress about holiday hosting; this no-fuss guide will help you plan a festive gathering.

Create a Buffet Centerpiece

Add to the holiday cheer of your party table with a creative display. Choose a festive tin or basket. Place some greenery in the center, then fill the container with apples, oranges, or other fruits, top with pinecones, and use the decoration to mark the start of your buffet line.

Use Height to Arrange a Large Buffet

For large food spreads, set dishes at different levels so the table feels less crowded and guests can easily see every dish. Raise a salad bowl on a shallow, footed compote dish, or turn over a cake stand to serve bread and butter.

Set Out Choose-Your-Own Drink Markers

Keep everyone’s drinks straight by letting guests personalize their beverages with wine charms and colorful drink umbrellas. Store the fun drink markers in a mini loaf pan.

Serve Appetizers With Ease

Make serving hors d’oeuvres a breeze by keeping serving items on a tray. Keep the tray fully stocked with toothpicks, napkins, and small dishes so you don’t have to do any extra work when guests arrive, aside from adding food and serving.

Add Festive Greenery to a Buffet Spread

Get party guests into the holiday spirit with a decked-out buffet table. Cover the table with a richly colored tablecloth and line the edge with a leafy garland strung with ribbon or ornaments. To get the garland to hang from the edge of the table, attach plastic clips to the table and wire the garland to the clips.

Serve Cocktails on a Fancy Tray

Use a vintage metal tray to serve colorful cocktails, and surround the glasses with silver and gold ribbon or confetti for the perfect festive touch.

Show Off Pretty Holiday Napkins

Purchase different patterns and colors of holiday napkins as they go on sale, and keep the top package unwrapped so they can be easily accessed. A wide-mouthed glass canister can be used for both storing and dispensing cocktail napkins.

Better Homes and Gardens is a magazine and website devoted to ideas and improvement projects for your home and garden, plus recipes and entertaining ideas. Online at BHG.com. Copyright 2021 Meredith Corporation. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Holly D'Anna