Dinner Party with a Winter Forest Theme

Did you all have a fun New Year’s Eve?  This year I hosted dinners with friends two nights in a row.  You might ask, how did I manage?  I served the same menu both nights, that’s how!

I’ll get to the menu – but first, let’s talk tablescaping.  Here’s an easy trick for a winter centerpiece:  First I took a winter wreath with lots of leaves and pinecones and the pedestal bottom of a cake stand.

Then I inverted the pedestal and rested the winter wreath atop it so the stand of the pedestal sticks up through the middle.

At this point, you can insert a cake dome upside down to sit in the inverted pedestal stand.  I filled my upside down cake dome with silver and white Christmas ornaments.

Since I wanted a winter forest theme, I topped the ornaments with another Christmas ornament – an owl made of natural-looking material.

My colors were white and blue, with some greens from the leaves and fake trees.   I wanted it to feel like a snowy winter forest, but not like a Christmas table.  I hung white Martha Stewart pompoms available at Michaels to give the impression of snow falling.    


Crystal, silver, and snowy Christmas garland were added to suggest ice and snow.


I wanted the menu to be low-stress and fairly light.  I decided on Strawberry, Turkey, and Brie Paninis.  My guests helped me assemble the paninis:  White Mountain Bread from Publix, sliced strawberries, sliced turkey, fresh basil leaves, a slice of Brie, and red pepper jelly.  Sandwiches were brushed with butter and grilled on my George Foreman Grill.  Simply delicious!



We also had squash soup and croutons ready-made from Trader Joe’s and a side salad.  For dessert, I baked homemade butter cookies and my Romanian friend, Diana, made a lovely English Trifle.  Very multi-cultural, haha! 🙂







This dinner party and tablescape would work for any wintertime meal with friends.  A little imagination and inspiration can make an ordinary dinner extraordinary!




  1. Pam Barnett

    You are amazing. I’m so glad your are in our family.
    Luv ya daughter in love, Pam

  2. Michelle L.

    Love that centerpiece. What a beautiful idea. I think even I could do that! Except for the owl… can’t do birds on the table.

  3. Kristie Barnett

    Why no birds on the table, Michelle? Are you afraid they’ll poop on the table? Hahaha! Couldn’t resist! 🙂

  4. Emily A. Clark

    Just wanted to stop by to tell you how lovely your home is (found you on Apartment Therapy). Your dining room is my favorite! Happy New Year.


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