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Details Make A Difference


In Keeping With Days Merry And Bright

Ah! The thought of breakfast in bed—it’s an extravagant idea. Maybe if you are cruising a luxury liner it wouldn’t be too much to ask! But this time of year many of us are caught up in the rush of holiday preparations. Breakfast in bed, on a silver tray (or any other way) is one of those details that makes a difference, but it simply is not going to happen!

That’s not to say other details can’t shine with all the wonder of Christmastime! Decorating and delivering details that make a difference is a way of celebrating a joyous occasion. It is, after all, the season of wonder and amazement. Jesus Christ was born!

O, Star of wonder, star of night
Star of royal beauty bright
Westward leading, still proceeding,
Guide us to thy perfect light.

That is the familiar and evocative chorus from the Christmas carol, “We Three Kings of Orient Are.” It points us to what seems to be the only universal biblical symbol during the Christmas season, the star of Bethlehem.

This Christmas, as you ponder the Christmas cards in the stores or enjoy those received from family and friends, you’ll see one very constant element. Whether the scene depicts the nativity, a Christmas tree, or just Santa making deliveries, if the nighttime sky is included, somewhere in the picture, conjuring up warm and happy feelings, is a star. And what a glorious detail is that dominates the sky!

And Have I Mentioned Details?

I particularly like the crown atop this dish caddy. A decorative display piece similar to this one can be an anytimeway to showcase your dinner or dessert dishes. It’s even more festive when tied up with a sprig of greenery and ribbon with a holiday paper-round from Hester and Cook decorative table decorations (made in Nashville, Tennessee).

I like stacking various dishes to add a variation of heights. It’s a good way to introduce rhythm to a buffet so that all the food is not just flat on the surface. It simply looks more inviting! With different heights, you can place dishes closer together—and that’s a good thing when “added space” on the buffet is extremely helpful. Here I’ve used the idea on a side table to make hors-d’oeuvres and cocktail napkins available to guests in more remote areas of the room.

Welcoming Ways That Make A Difference

What have you found that makes a person feel welcome in your home? For me, over the years, it seems to have been the individualized details—a small gift to take home with them after the visit, flowers in their bedroom if they are overnight guests, or their name in a special setting at the table. Instead of a place card, consider wrapping a candle with a supple magnolia leaf, overlap at the back and secure with a straight pin. The name is beautifully written in gold metallic pen (by Sharpie). This is a good way to identify your buffet casseroles and concoctions, too! 

Just in case you find a holiday morning between now and Christmas to surprise an overnight guest, try this: a canned pear stuffed with cream cheese, chopped pecans, and chopped olives. Using your fingertip to “paint” just a blush of color with water-diluted red food coloring. Okay, yes, grapes dipped in powdered sugar. And the follow-up is Eggs Benedict. That’s what you call bewilderment, wonder, and amazement! 


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