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Party Tips for the Holiday Season

By Beth Valle

The holiday season brings lots of exciting and eye catching decorations! But how do you know what’s tasteful and what’s tacky? When it comes to catered events and café and food operations across campus, Chartwells Dining Services follows a few simple rules which can be applied to any function, and we would like to pass them on for personal use at your holiday parties.

1. Simplicity is key. A few simple, well placed decorations can make more of an impact than displaying everything you own. Less really can be more! When it comes to food stations or table arrangements, remember to let the food speak for itself. Find décor that will accent but not overpower. Vases filled with holiday ornaments can add nice color while keeping things contained; they also add height to a table or display. You can also give a great look to a buffet station by adding boxes under the table cloth and then placing platters and trays on the boxes, giving a flat table a whole new look! Try to avoid sparkly garland and tinsel. Although very festive, it can give an inexpensive feel – leave that for the tree!

2. Holiday flowers are another great merchandising décor. They are plentiful, usually packaged in a pretty foil cover, and provide rich coloring. Remember that poinsettias are poisonous – so keep them away from the food!

3. The use of basic colors versus what’s trendy this year can allow you to reuse decorations year after year, which is always easy on your pocketbook! Keep in mind that winter is a full season, so choose colors that can carry you throughout the entire season and not just a holiday. Depending on your audience, it might be wise to stay away from religious theme décor, and stick with more universal items instead. For example, a ‘winter wonderland’ theme instead of a Christmas theme is almost always appropriate.

4. Functionality is always something to consider. Especially in the food service and catering business, we want to be sure we decorate in a way that still allows us to perform our jobs, which include setup, serve, refill stations, etc. Keep this in mind if you need to clean around your décor.

Hopefully this article provided you with a few tricks that you will keep in mind when decorating this season, and we hope all your parties are a success! If you find you need a rest, please visit our locations and enjoy our festive décor and holiday themed food and beverage specials. May your holidays – and decorations – be merry and bright!

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