The Guides

A festive hosting guide


Here is your one-stop shop guide to hosting a festive party at home.

Words by Aneesha Rai in The Guides · Dec 16th, 2020

If there's anything this year has taught us, it's the importance of human connection. With the new guidelines in place, you might have a smaller guest list than before, making the party more intimate by nature. Here's how you can create an inviting and sociable atmosphere as a host - from table arrangements to cocktails:

Festive Decor

Irony home

For feative table arrangements and wreaths, you can reach out to local homegrown florist Florette that will do scheduled deliveries for Christmas floral arrangements so you can have them nice and fresh at your table. 

If you're looking for someone to help you with your tree and any festive ornaments, hit up Irony Home by Rima Dardenne, which has everything classic traditional to stylish and modern decorations to boost your festive spirit. Here are some of Rima's tips for decorating a Christmas tree and your home for the festive period: 

1. Decide on a color palette that is consistent throughout your home, starting from the entrance all the way to the dining room. The objective that all the decorations must flow and feel harmonious. 

2. Lights are very important for your tree and the home's ambience in general. Always keep a warm and inviting light throughout your home. Use a 100 lights per vertical foot for your tree and opt for warm LED lights. I also love to use real candles to create a warm, inviting atmosphere.

3. For the baubles and Christmas ornaments for the tree, use all the things you love - from small to large baubles and even some handmade ornaments by the kids. Don't hesitate to use last year's decorations if they fit well to your theme. Make sure you cover and fill the tree throughout. Start with the filler ornaments first before decorating the tree. Go from big to small. Remember that your tree doesn't need to be perfect, but it does need to have symmetry.

4. If your Christmas tree is anything above 12 feet, you should be using a 6-inch size ribbon, for anything below that height, you can use a 4-inch ribbon. Hang the ribbon loose. 

5. Always take a step back from the tree and your wreath to make sure the design is evened out. The wreath should always be on scale with the door.

6. At your door, you can also choose to hang an elegant silk bow as opposed to a wreath. 

7. If you have a fireplace, you can add a garland, for example if your theme is white, you can add a nice green garland with white baubles. 

Still Looking For Inspiration?

Have a look at this Al Barari villa and Palm Jumeirah villa dressed in their festive best ahead of their sale:

Living room
Xmas tree

At The Dining Table


Kelly Smith, Head of Visual Merchandising at aura living shares her tips for creating a festive table: 

1. Stay centre

The failsafe centrepiece for any dining table is always flowers. Floral arrangements are one of the best (and easiest) ways to brighten up your surroundings. Luckily, with the array of different vases and accessories available at aura, taking the time to arrange a bouquet doesn’t need to be an overwhelming task. Choose festive florals such as poinsettia, red berries and winter foliage or your favorite flowers in reds, whites and greens. Place in an elegant gold and glass vase to create a striking accent against the natural beauty of the blooms.

2. Play with color 

It is always important to choose a theme when creating your festive dining table. Decide on two or three prominent colors and ensure to stick to this scheme. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Black and gold can create a uniquely festive feel without deferring to a standard red and green design. Or how about trying aqua blues and whites to provide a similar aesthetic to ice and snow?

3.Create flow and depth 

You want to create levels when designing your festive table so it flows beautifully to the eye as your guests enter the room. To achieve this, try placing three vases of different heights along the length of the table with gold accented candle holders and lavish glass or metallic dining ware to complete the look. Match the pieces with similar colored glassware, napkins and holders to wrap the whole look together. 


4. Showcasing metallics 

 If you’re a lover of metallics, why not mix and match golds, silvers, and bronze for a bold and unique festive aesthetic. Choose geometrically designed vases in gold and match with vintage silver cutlery and metallic rimmed plates for a stunning showcase on the table. Utilize candles and lanterns to exude a cosy ambiance. 

5. Adding accessories 

 Accessories are a crucial addition to the final look of the dining table and can often dictate the overall aesthetic, providing those much needed "finishing touches" that beautifully tie a room together. With an abundance of options to choose from, it is all about taking the time to mix and match, finding the perfect combinations to showcase the table with your own personal flair.

The Main Event

Truffle turkey

This year, there are multiple options for you to entertain at home, from booking a private vegan dinner to Turkey takeaways. One that particularly piqued our interest is truffled Turkey takeaway from Atlantis The Palm starting from AED 1,000 that includes a succulent  black truffle butter turkey by one of the world’s best chefs, Ossiano’s Gregoire Berger along with condiments like  pommes dauphines, chestnut jam, foie gras brioche, sunchoke tatin, green beans, brussels sprouts, chipolata and truffle sausage and bread sauce and giblet gravy. 

They also offer a 'surf and turf' option including a Black Onyx prime rib and baked Boston lobster thermidor with condiments and sauces by Chef Raymond Wong from AED 1,800. Condiments include roasted potatoes, , lobster mac and cheese, truffle mash, honey glazed carrots, roast parsnips, green beans, Brussel sprouts, veal bacon wrapped chipolatas, winter truffle gift box with shaver, beef gravy. Add on specialty dishes include foie gras terrine , Scottish cold smoked salmon, 30g Imperial Caviar de Sologne, black truffle turkey stuffing, and 12 Kelly oysters. To make your order please call +971 44 261454 or email [email protected]