Christmas Progressive Dinner

Each Christmas season Ramon and I team up with our cul-de-sac buddies for a much-anticipated Progressive Dinner. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, it’s when several households progress from one home to the next for several dinner courses. This year the Alsups did the fabulous cocktails and hors d’ouevres which included bacon-wrapped water chestnuts, homemade cheese straws, crab-stuffed mushroom caps, and a very sneaky cranberry/vodka/sparkling wine drink. (Click on photos to enlarge.)

It was one of those drinks that will creep up and whack you over the head if you’re not careful! Delicious!!! Next, to the Jenisons for a tasty but healthy salad with heavenly home-baked wheat bread.

Salad course at the Jenisons’. Ramon is taking the picture.

We then moved on to our home for the entrée before hopping across the street to the Rutherfords’ for a variety of sinful desserts, coffee and after-dinner drinks. I went to the doctor the day after for a routine check-up. I had gained 2 pounds from the previous week, and my blood pressure was up. Uh….duh!!!

I wanted to do a really dramatic, special, over-the-top tablescape to thank my neighbors for their kindness, generosity and goodness of heart throughout the year. Two 6-ft. tables placed together horizontally are covered with full-length white linens in our family room.

I love the double charger treatment, so a sparkly red 13″ charger (Target 2008) is topped with a goldtone 12″ (Hobby Lobby). The dishes are Pfaltzgraff’s  wonderfully traditional “Winterberry” which is one of my favorite Christmas designs.

I like to use our initialed linen dinner napkins whenever possible. For this night I dressed them up with a red berry napkin ring. I just used a standard berry stem from Hobby Lobby that I twisted to encircle the easy, classic napkin fold. LOTS of color and dimension, and it adds a little more height to the place setting!!!

I am SO happy to have finally jumped on the Dollar Tree train! This soft green stemware that I picked up there is coming in handy for so many table settings! (Click here to see it used in a very contemporary table setting.)

I bought these rockin’ gold metal reindeer wholesale many years ago when I owned my fine rentals business. They measure 36″H without the antlers, so they’re perfect for the “go big or go home” look I love so much. I covered the center of the table with a couple of clear plastic trash bags to keep the linens underneath clean. I dressed each for the evening with a collar of berries with a red velvet bow. (To see last year’s cul-de-sac progressive dinner – dressed up with different reindeer decor – click HERE and scroll down to “Noel Progressive Dinner“.

I painstakingly placed each branch of this flocked pine cone greenery to create a sort of wreath to cover the reindeer stands. Red berry picks and shiny red Christmas ornaments finish off the fun yet sophisticated reindeer centerpiece.

We were dining in the family room, so I dressed the top of the television armoire to complement the table with this small reindeer and lots of lighted greenery punctuated with red berries, ribbon, and ornaments.

The grapevine wreath in the window is covered with a profusion of red berries and finished off with a few flocked faux branches, pinecones, oversized Christmas balls and red velvet ribbon. I kept the mantel simple with two smaller grapevine & berry wreaths.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering about the menu…Cornish hens basted in a garlic butter sauce, wild rice and green beans. Our neighbors, Carla and Jim, were unable to attend this year’s dinner but sent over homemade cinnamon sugar-dusted Parker rolls.

So another year, another wonderful Progressive Dinner with fine friends who we love and cherish. God is good! From our homes to yours, have a very Merry Christmas!!!

Please join me again this week for Tablescape Thursday over at Susan’s Between Naps on the Porch!

65 thoughts on “Christmas Progressive Dinner

  1. Alycia- This turned out wonderful! Those rockin’ gold deer are awesome! You did a beautiful job on the flocked branches…they are laid in there perfectly (I know I measured!! LOL j/k)
    That progressive dinner sounds like a lot of fun. Love your winterberry dishes too-I’ve always admired those!
    Your cornish hens, rice and beans look so darn good! I haven’t made cornish hens in years! I was wondering how a progressive dinner works! Thanks for explaining! I live off a county road and not in a subdivision.
    Love the wreath in the window with the cascading ornaments! Looks like you’ve gotten your mojo for Christmas!!
    I see plenty of room for a tree in here!! LOL!! 🙂 Hugs…Liz

  2. Wowser girl! What fun you and the neighbors all must have getting together. Your rockin’ reindeer are awesome. What a statement they make on your beautifully decorated table. I’ve purchased a couple of sets of new dishes this year, and still haven’t done a tablescape with them. I am so far behind in my play time.. I would love to be a guest at one of your parties. hugs ~lynne~

  3. You were the obvious choice for the entree with those amazing reindeer and marvelous tablescape. Progressive dinners are always such fun…especially with the neighbors…not to far to travel between courses. Thanks for inviting us to your table. Cherry Kay

  4. Those reindeer are really making a statement! Your attention to detail is evident in everything you do. It must be a blast being your neighbor. Merry Christmas!!!!

  5. Beautiful job! Isn’t is wonderful to have great friends to share a meal with?
    I haven’t done a progressive dinner in years, I think I might have to zoo if I can put o e together!
    Theresa

  6. I love the simplicity of the berries and greens. And the reindeer…HUGE! Like very much. A happy, lovely and inviting Christmas table.
    P.S. You wear the headband well. 🙂
    xx

  7. Oh my!! Those reindeer are too cool for words!! They look awesome on your table, I would never have thought to do that, but darn girl, that’s quite amazing!! We used to do a progressive dinner in our old neighborhood, it was always so fun!! I know your guests love coming to your house, with all those beautiful decorations, I know I would. The branches alone look gorgeous, but paired up with the reindeer, your lovely dishes, and napkins, and it definitely has the “wow” factor!! Love it!!! Personally, those cranberry cocktails are right up my alley lol!! ~~Betsy

  8. How beautiful! I love the reindeer and your plates are lovely. I saw blue stemware at Dollar Tree last week! Thanks for your comment, I had a 25% off total purchase coupon, so that’s how the flatware was on sale:) Have a great week!!

  9. BRAVO! Love the Reindeer. They way to cool. Dollar tree is a surprise and a nice one at that! You’ve got me checking on things in there now! Beautiful and inviting table. Merry Christmas Alycia!

  10. Alycia, you did fabulous! The Reindeer are fantabulous! Just love them. I love your dishes too. and the meal, well that is making me hungry and I just ate. Your sense of style and artistic talent are enviable! Great job!!! Merry Christmas, xo marlis

  11. Now, that is a centerpiece! Holy Molly. Love the Reindeer…Progressive dinners are so much fun with friends and neighbors. The dinner looks yummy and the dishware is lovely. Isn’t the Dollar store wonderful?
    It’s always a pleasure to see what you do Alycia. No worries about gaining weight around the holidays. I have gained some too. With all of the parties, baking, how can one not? Happy Holidays….

  12. Wow! Those are reindeer with attitudes> LOL. They really make a statement…a good one. What fun to have neighbors who love to entertain. Your tablescape looks so pretty and the wreaths on hanging stands is a great idea for the mantel.
    Yummy, yummy cornish game hens. Thanks for the “invitation”.

  13. Beautiful table, Alycia. Those reindeer are so cool…and huge! You have a knack for doing centerpieces that are memorable. (I mean that in the nicest way)
    Merry Christmas to you and yours.

  14. What a fun dinner and such a beautiful table. Those reindeer are showstoppers and certainly let everyone know how much you love them. We just did a progressive luncheon today and it was so much fun to see how everyone has learned from reading my blog and tablescaping! Today they wanted to learn how to photograph their tablescapes. I showed them how and we had a great time.

  15. What a wonderful Christmas tradition and every course looked wonderful (but where are the desserts????). I LOVE your Christmas dishes. Your whole table was wonderful. Thank you for sharing your party!!

  16. Alycia, What a great way to celebrate with good friends. I love your square table. I am going to have to figure out how to do that with my long rectangular table. The deer make quite a holiday statement. Dianne

  17. Now I am hungry — I really have to stop looking at food late at night.

    The raindeer are showstoppers!

    We used to have progressive dinner parties in our old neighborhood — I miss it.

    Ellen

  18. What a nice way to celebrate the beautiful holiday season! I must say that I also love the soft green stemware from the Dollar Tree. I use mine several times a year, and they are a perfect color green.

  19. For me, these kind of gatherings are what make the holidays special. Thinking about your year, it seems right for you to be where you are rather than in Savannah. Life has a way of working out

  20. What a festive table!! I love the reindeer centerpiece and the berries on the plates is a wonderful touch. Thank you for visiting my blog and for your kind comments. You live not too far from me…

  21. Hi , thanks for visiting me ! Love your center piece . Don’t ya just love Dollar tree for bargains . Love the reindeer too . I have always wanted to do a progressive dinner. Sounds like lots of fun.

  22. Alycia, I have to award you (no money, just acknowledgement) the most dramatic centerpiece of the season! Those deer are fabulous! The double chargers look great (I never thought of that) and your Dollar Tree glasses are awesome! Both my sister and I used them this week, too! I just love the shade of green and the pretty shape, and how can you beat that price! The berries are a lovely addition, and I like the understated but elegant linens. And, your entree looks wonderful! I’m sure your neighbors were delighted with all of it!

    Elaine
    Creating Wonderful Spaces

  23. That looks lovely! ( so do you in your antlers!). 🙂
    I love that set up, nice and roomy, and the setting is so pretty! Go big, or go home, lol! You are funny!
    Have a great weekend, stay out of trouble if you can, watch out for reindeer!

  24. Your tablescape looks very beautiful and I love the centerpiece. For 12 years, my husband and I belonged to a dinner group. It was so much fun and we had such delicious meals. Thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving such nice comment. Have a wonderful Christmas!

  25. What a festive table! Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment …comments warm my heart anytime of the year so please do come again. Happy Holidays to you as well.

  26. This sounds like such fun! I have never been to a progressive dinner but I think it would be fun to participate in. Your table is gorgeous! I think I’ve got that same garland on top of my breakfast hutch. The reindeer are so cute.

    I was browsing some of your posts and LOVE the pink birthday post and table you did for your friend…I think her name was Shelly…oh I loved that table and the food looked wonderful too!

    Hope you have a very Merry Christmas!

    Nancy

  27. What a great night. I love progressive dinners.
    LOL at your comment on my burlap runner. Boxing Day is a throwback from Australia’s English colonial heritage. Basically servents worked hard on Christmas Day for their masters and then the day after (Boxing Day) they were given a box of money/gifts and the day off. In modern times Boxing day is really just a public holiday so you can recover from Christmas and the first day of The Boxing Day cricket test in Melbourne (another English pastime!) It’s also the first day of the Christmas sales.
    Merry Christmas (and happy Boxing Day – we don’t really say this),
    Kylie

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  29. My Dear Alcai,

    Thank you so much for your both comments to my posts.

    I gave my mom your message and she was trilled and she sends her loves to you.

    Have a belated Merry Christmas and Happy New Year with your loved ones.

    As you know I am Christian and I celebrate xmas as well we had a family dinner at my moms and celerated both her b-day and xmas at the same time.

    On New Years all family and friends will be at our house for a dinner party and its my husbands b-day 31st so we again celebrate New Years and a b-day at the same time.

    Your dinner partys looks beautiful again.

    See you in the new year

    Lots of Love,

    Karin Şen Cankan
    karinsfairytale.blogspot

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