The table can be the centerpiece of conversation -- make yours special (without the stress) with simple embellishments.
Stumped for a holiday centerpiece? Don't be. Red carnations are the answer. They're cheap, festive for Christmas, and practically foolproof. Buy two or three dozen at the grocery store, cut the stems short, and bunch a few together in sugar bowls placed all around the dinner table. Or mass up 24 of them in a vase. They're inexpensive and last longer than roses. Just remember to change the water every couple of days and give the stems a fresh cut.
For an easy, inexpensive table decoration, use spools of ribbon. Good-quality, wide satin ribbon can transform even a white tablecloth and white dishes into something festive and fun. Run several strands down the center of the table, tie ribbons around napkins or glass cylinders full of flowers, or make simple bows for the backs of chairs.
Rosanna's Tip: When the party is over, iron the ribbon and roll the pieces back onto a spool so you can reuse them.
Continued on page 3: Party Basics