So your traditional holiday get-togethers probably aren’t happening as planned (can there be an office Christmas party if you haven’t been in the office since March?). Still, there are some easy ways to pull off a joyful and memorable event with just a few modifications.
For starters, moving your small gathering outdoors is a great way to take advantage of both the fresh air and Tampa’s reliably gorgeous December weather. Heather Omoike, owner of Brown Sugar Event Co., specializes in outdoor events and created this glittery, festive table exclusively as inspiration for Tampa Magazines readers. “To us, the table is like an art piece,” she says. “I really wanted to kind of step away from your traditional Christmas table and make it more bright and colorful. It’s 2020, and who couldn’t use some more color in their lives to cheer up their day?”
Omoike used traditional holiday motifs like ornaments, reindeer and gift boxes, but in non-traditional colors like jade, magenta and teal to give the table an unconventional look. No matter what you’re celebrating, she suggests setting the table with unique plates and flatware. “Everyone notices the plates,” Omoike says. “They’re holding it, they’re putting food on it. I think if your plates have personality, it makes people smile.”
Even more important than creating a “wow” factor for your guests is ensuring their comfort. Instead of sharing charcuterie or desserts in a family style, Omoike recommends having mini versions prepared for each guest to enjoy individually. If your party is going to be larger and your backyard is compact, consider moving to a space like the beach, where you can have a more open area to spread out. Omoike’s parties are usually picnics, so she considers the age and physical abilities of the guests and adapts her pillow selections accordingly (choosing a flatter throw pillow or a more chair-like pouf).
The biggest piece of advice Omoike has is to not stress out about creating the perfect event. Make your table, play some good music, invite your friends over and just relax. “Being outdoors supplies that element of relaxing and letting the day melt away,” she says. “People sit down, and before you know it, you’re hanging out and forgetting about everything else going on.”
See more images of the tablescape below.