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How to set up your home for entertaining this holiday season

By Ewelina Cimring

27 Nov 2020

Few things in life are more enjoyable than walking into a festive, warm and welcoming home over the holiday season. The comforting smell of cooking wafting through the home together with the inviting smell of a real fir tree. Christmas is many people’s favourite time of the year, and with the smells, the lights, the colours, the food and time spent with loved ones, it’s easy to understand why!

A smorgasbord for all the senses, the holidays are the perfect opportunity to get creative and even adventurous with home décor.

Mom and child reading Christmas book
Ewe and her daughter in N201 at The Residences at Seafire

The home is the heart of the holidays – waking up on Christmas morning together, curling up for mugs of hot cocoa and holiday movies at night and, in particular, hosting friends and family for a Christmas meal. Here are some tips on how to host a welcoming festive Christmas get-together:

Decor

  • As messy and tricky as it can be, it’s worth it to get a real tree! If you already own an artificial tree and don’t wish to contribute to waste, why not go big and put up both? This season, the more, the merrier.
  • Garden lights – these can be painstaking to put up but create a magical and inviting atmosphere.
  • Ornamental decorations: Baubles, elves, snowmen, reindeer and more all add festive touches to every part of the home.
  • Fresh flowers, fresh flowers and more fresh flowers – whether a traditional Christmas poinsettia, potted plants or lush greenery, bring nature indoors as much as possible.
Christmas tree

The table

  • The heart of the holidays – Christmas meals! Nothing beats a beautifully set table, so whip out that special tablecloth, placemats, flower arrangements, fine cutlery and crystal glassware. Take out all the serving platters and dishes that gather dust in kitchen cupboards and put them to use.
  • Play around with napkins, name cards and Christmas crackers. This is a fun opportunity to involve little ones with helping and letting their creativity shine.
  • Have a well set-up and stocked drinks serving area that is separate to the dining table so that guests can feel comfortable topping themselves up. This also serves to remove some of the hosting pressure while finishing up the meal and engaging with guests.
Christmas table

The home

  • Try to get creative with all areas of the home that guests may visit, with small flower arrangements in bathrooms, and scented diffusers in soft scents such as vanilla and citrus, or festive scents including cranberry, cinnamon and pine.
  • Interesting holiday décor around the home creates talking points and are a visual delight – don’t limit décor to the lounge and dining room only.
  • Candles add soft and welcoming lighting. Avoid too many strongly scented candles that may interfere with the delicious aromas wafting out of the kitchen.
  • Make sure the garden service pays a visit just before hosting so that the garden is neat and presentable. A little bit of mulch in the flower beds goes a really long way to improving the lush feel of a home garden.
  • Maestro, music please! This is the one time of year that offers free license to play those Christmas favourites over and over again. Festive Christmas music can make even the grinchiest of guests feel jolly.
Christmas present and tree

The food

  • Nothing beats the smell of cooking and baking during the holidays, so whip out that recipe book and apron.
  • If the weight of the traditional meal is daunting, try something new! Living in the Cayman Islands means access to the freshest seafood, which is very simple to prepare. Make a few well-practiced dishes to relieve some of the pressure.
  • Keep it simple. The most successful meals are often made up of the freshest ingredients which only need to be cooked delicately and simply.
  • Be sure to always have an assortment of snacks and treats around the house. Christmas is all about the joy of eating and delighting the senses.
  • Try to prepare as much as possible in the preceding days, which will help free up the day of the party for any last-minute urgencies that pop up. Simple things like washing and chopping veggies, preparing table decorations, making frozen desserts which can easily be stored in the freezer in advance, cleaning and polishing crockery and cutlery, making floral arrangements and so on can make a big difference to the schedule on the day of the event.

Just add a sprinkling of good friends and family and the perfect holiday party is just an invitation away.

blonde headshot

About the author

Having joined Provenance Properties in 2019, Sales Specialist Ewelina Cimring prides herself on her commitment to delivering a high level of client and customer service. Ewelina has an intimate knowledge of the island, having moved to the Cayman Islands in 2015.

Born in Poland and raised in South Africa, she joins the real estate industry with over 15 years of experience in marketing, studying hotel management and receiving honours in marketing for the hospitality industry. Ewelina is a dedicated mother and friend; she is an embodiment of the Provenance Properties mission of allowing people to live their best lives in the Cayman Islands.

To get to know Ewe better, click to read our Q&A with her on all things Cayman Islands, client service and, of course, luxury real estate.