We gather around the table to rekindle the spirit of the holidays, created by love, laughter and wholesome food. If you're looking for a entertainment theme for that holiday table, here are a few to consider,,,,

1. An All-Silver Theme to dress the table, asking each dinner guest to bring their favorite silver item with them.

  • Invitations: wrapped inside small confection "ornaments" to be cracked open to retrieve party info and RSVP.
  • Place Settings Small silver frames holding name cards. A party favor to take home.

2. An Ornament Theme. Each guest brings a special ornament, wrapped as a gift.

  • Invitations: A colorful image of an ornament printed on card stock that has been cut jigsaw puzzle style. Guests find the matching piece and exchange gifts.
  • Place Settings Wine bottle or wine glass with an ornament sand-etched on it and guest initials below. A folded name card could be placed in the wine glass as an alternative.
3. Christmas Movie Theme Each guest must RSVP with the name of their favorite Christmas movie.
  • Invitations: A paper cube with a stills from a classic Christmas movie printed on each side of the cube. The box opens to reveal party and RSVP info printed on the interior.
  • Place Settings Popcorn buckets printed with the name of each guest and their favorite movie. Fill the bucket with colorful confetti and a VHS or DVD of each guests favorite movie.

Breakfast Menu Ideas

With family over for the holidays, casual breakfasts are a real treat

Menu #1:
  • Poached winter fruit
  • coffee rolls
  • Honey Ham
  • Scrambled eggs with onions

Menu #2:
  • Muffins
  • Egg & Ham Casserole (layers of cubed ham,bread, cheese and whipped eggs)
  • Orange, cherry pastries slices

Menu #3:
  • Eggs Benedict
  • White asparagus
  • Apple bread
  • Mimosa's

Brunch Menu Ideas

A casual brunch is a great way to share a moment with friends during the holiday rush

Menu #1:
    Basil & Tomato Bruschetta
    Cheese selection
    Fruit platter

Menu #2:
    Smoked salmon & capers
    Boiled shrimp
    Sliced roast beef
    Cold pasta salad

Open House Ideas

One of the best ways to have a party during the holidays is as an Open House. The style allows for plenty of make-ahead dishes, and allows you to spend more time enjoying your guests. Plus, you don;t have to wait for a Friday or Saturday night. Try a daylight function on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon and avoid competition from other evening parties.

To help maintain a good flow of people and food, create food and drink islands around the house that allow you to easily monitor contents while promoting mingling. For each island have plenty of wine glasses, silverware and napkins on hand.

Group 1: Cheese & Bread Table
See our Cheese & Wine pairing chart for the wine selection.

Group 2: Seafood Table
Iced bowls of Boiled Shrimp, Spicy Srimp, Salmon & sides of capers and suaces. Serve with Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir.

Group 3: Meats Table
Grape meat balls, Cubes of Grilled Steak, Sliced Roast Beef, horseradish cream. Serve with Zinfandel, Merlot, Sangiovese.

Group 4: Desserts Table
An assortment of small desserts. Serve with Champagne, Riesling, Port

Dinner Ideas

Christmas By The Fire
    Chicken Soup w/ Rice
    Rosemary & garlic crisps
    Pepper Steak Medallions
    Broccoli & Cauliflower in butter sauce
    Apple Pie

Hill Country Christmas
    Apple/cranberry sauce
    Spinach & grape salad
    Pinwheel Beef
    Steamed green beans w/ almonds

New Years Pre-Theatre Cocktails
    Spicy wings w/ avacado sauce
    Beef & Chicken Nachos
    Green & Red Dips w/ tortilla chips
    Chili con queso

Tips For Giving Wine
This Holiday Season

TIP #1:
If you don't know much about wine, ask a good wine merchant for advice. Don't worry about being ripped off, folks at good wine shops want to make you look good so you'll be a return customer. Give them a firm price range and anythiing you might know about the recipients wine preferences as a guide.

TIP #2:
If your budget is a little tight this year, stay away from the pricey, heavy guns such as Napa Valley Cabernet's or French Bordeaux. You can find some terrific Texas or California wines for under $20. If you don't know the individuals wine preference there's a good selection of Merlot, Zinfandel, Chardonnay or Riesling in this price range.

TIP #3:
Nothing compliments the fun and festive nature of the holidays like Champagne. The good news -- sparkling wines and champagnes are available in all prices ranging from $8 to over $100. Many manufacturers use attractive packaging this time of year for an eye pleasing gift.

TIP #4:
You might want to consider bringing a sweet wine such as Gewurztraminer, Riesling or a Late Harvest Muscat Canelli. These wines compliment many holidays dishes, which are often made on the sweet side. Many wineries offer half-bottle sizes, which helps if you're attending a small dinner party.

TIP #5:
Consider buying a large format bottle like a magnum, which is the equivalent of two bottles of wine. There's something about magnums and even larger bottles that folks find riveting and impressive.