Earlier this week I got to spend the afternoon with Sadie of Sadie Fitz Events and learn from her about decorating for a Christmas dinner party! If you are looking for ideas and tips for hosting Christmas dinner, we have put together some inspiration with an simple yet elegant gold theme. I couldn’t believe it when she told me that the adorable little Christmas trees on each plate were from the DOLLAR TREE! I did a fun little Q&A with her and am excited to share her tips with you today!
Where should you start when planning a Christmas dinner party? When planning any party, it’s important to first decide on three key elements: a date, the number of guests, and a theme/feel for your party. Ask yourself a few questions: Do you want it to be a full sit-down dinner or heavy appetizers? Do you want the mood to be formal and elegant or laid-back and casual? Deciding how you want your guests to feel when they walk into your event will act as a guide for you as you plan all of your party details. I would say you should start planning your party 4-6 weeks before the event, especially if you are sending out formal invitations in the mail. Make a list of items you will need and separate them into categories. This will ensure you have everything for each facet of your event like decor, food, beverages, and entertainment. This is the helpful timeline I use when planning parties at my home.
What are some of your go-to tablescape pieces? I love creating a festive table, and chargers are my favorite way to add a little pizazz to every look. They make any plates you are using stand out, and don’t cost a lot to purchase. They instantly elevate the look of your table. I am a huge believer in mixing high and low pieces such as heirloom china with inexpensive glassware from Goodwill. You definitely don’t have to spend a fortune in order to make your table look like a million bucks! I also love a fun centerpiece such as gorgeous flowers or inexpensive Christmas ornaments piled high in hurricane vases as seen here. Anything can be made into a centerpiece, and I believe they are a great conversation starter!
What is your favorite store to shop for decor? Oh my goodness, I don’t think I can name just one! For unexpected decor items to use for centerpieces and the like, I love picking through antique and thrift stores such as The White Elephant in downtown Ocala. Hobby Lobby has great chargers in a variety of colors and textures for amazing prices, and Pier One never disappoints when it comes to flatware and napkins. If you want to give your dishwasher a rest, Tuesday Morning sells gorgeous disposable plates and flatware that look exactly like the real thing! And, if we’re being honest, I’ve been known to “shop” in my mom’s silver, crystal and china cabinets.
Suggestions for appetizers guests will love? Any appetizer where a guest doesn’t have to use utensils is a favorite in my book! I love a good dip (Spinach Artichoke dip gets me every time) as well as anything involving cheese such as a Cranberry Brie tartlet (the red color is particularly festive for this time of year). This time of year is great for warm, savory appetizers, but if you really want to keep your stress level down, serve appetizers that don’t need to be eaten hot so you don’t have to worry about things getting cold or needing to be re-heated. My go-to resource for appetizer recipes is always Southern Living—there’s always some scrumptious treat within their pages.
Best Christmas Party entertaining ideas? I love a good holiday party, especially if it has a theme associated with it such as Ugly Christmas Sweater or Hawaiian Christmas. I love seeing people’s creativity in their costumes! Any activity that has a mild degree of competition is always fun, so I like to have cookie decorating or gingerbread house-making competitions amongst guests. If you pair guests into teams, it’s a great way for people to mingle with others they may not know very well all while contributing to the Christmas spirit, and you have delicious treats to eat after! This can be done with children as well as adults. Another activity I would suggest, which may be more fun for a girls-only Christmas event would be creating holiday flower arrangements together. Each guest brings a bouquet or two of flowers and you spend the night creating your own beautiful Christmas arrangement. Wine and appetizers contribute to the festive atmosphere!
What is your favorite thing about planning a party? There are so many things I love about planning a party, but my favorite aspect of the process is taking a vision I, or a client, had and turning it into reality. It’s so fun and gratifying to see all of the little details come together to make a party happen. I also love seeing the look on guests’ faces when they are enjoying themselves. It’s fun to know that I helped contribute to allowing someone to have a fun evening!
Sadie recently got a white golden retriever puppy and I just had to include him in our photoshoot! How adorable is he with his little Santa hat?! I could not get over the cuteness!
Tell us a little more about what you do and how you can help with planning! I’ve always loved entertaining and hosting events, and realized I should turn my passion for parties into a business. As a full-service event planning company, I work with both individual and corporate clients, aiding them in everything from securing an event space to creating the design scheme for their event. It is my goal to allow the host of the party to breathe easy and not worry about anything except having a good time at their event. Life is a party, and should be celebrated accordingly!
If you are in the Central Florida area and have an upcoming event, Sadie does a wonderful job and will make your vision a reality! You can find her at: