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Set a Beautiful Holiday Table

Hosting the holidays can be stressful, but with a beautiful table setting, good cheer and a few life hacks, you’ve got this!

Professional party planners live by a list, and using one will make your holiday celebration go more smoothly. Plan ahead, and don't be afraid to delegate.

"Know what you're capable and comfortable doing and give other people things to do," says Kathy Gunst, culinary expert and author of “Relax, Company's Coming!” and co-author of “Stonewall Kitchen Harvest.” Asking guests to help with a party-related task makes them feel more involved, so never be afraid to ask 

Set the mood with a playlist of holiday songs. Remember to keep the music low — conversation is what counts at any celebration. And try to avoid musical selections with lyrics during the dinner hour — lyrics will compete with dinner conversation going on at the table, and you don’t want to make people strain to hear their neighbors.

And while family traditions can impart a sense of comfort, but sometimes breaking with old traditions can save your sanity. Living up to your grandmother’s years of holiday handiwork is hard work, so keep the best of your family’s traditions and ditch the rest. Going around the room and sharing favorite holiday memories can be just as meaningful as singing every song in the holiday songbook if piano time has grown tedious over the years. 

Every holiday season offers a new chance to start your own traditions, so be creative. 

Place settings and accessories available at J. Banks Design Group on Hilton Head Island. For more information go to www.jbanksdesign.com.