Whether you're hosting a full-blown party this holiday season or just an intimate family dinner, chances are you want your table to feel festive and your home to be welcoming. Well, no need to panic, because we went straight to our go-to source, designer and Target's home style expert, Emily Henderson, for her thoughts on pulling together easy decorations, centerpieces and even last-minute presents.
1. Select a palette. Henderson recommends picking three to four colors to feature and sticking with them. Weave them in and out of your holiday decor, starting with things like napkins on your table and ornaments for the tree to the wrapping paper you use on gifts. And some good news: Red, a traditional Christmas color, is trending for 2017. So if you choose to use this hue, Henderson says you'll even get more mileage out of your decorations and furnishings next year. Same is true for traditional greens; Pantone just named "Greenery" the color of the year.
2. Go low with your centerpiece. Guests should be able to converse easily, so try a garland with flowers and pine cones instead of big bouquets, which can eclipse the view across a table. Henderson says fake greenery is totally okay, especially on the dinner table, where you don't want fragrant smells competing with your food.
3. Use toys to decorate. Jumbo teddy bears, retro games and dolls are pretty cute and have that nostalgic feel. So leave a few things unwrapped. It's less work for you. Or choose decorations that look like toys. The playful, whimsical wonderland look is in.
4. Stock your bar cart. Henderson loves a party with a self-serve beverage station, all styled out on a bar cart with stirrers, mixers, spirits and garnishes. That way, guests can easily pour themselves drinks. For a family-friendly version, try a hot cocoa bar with fun, festive flavors like Archer Farm's Sea Salt Caramel, Candy Cane and Malted Chocolate.