How to create the perfect mood for any festival or holiday
Diwali is my festival! What I mean by that is that it's the one Indian festival that I try to do big. Over the years I've figured out that if I want to create memorable moments, I've got to put the effort to making them so and so I've committed to Diwali, the festival of lights, one of the most widely celebrated festivals in India and also in my own home.
In 2020, thanks to the pandemic, we barely celebrated at all. My boys and I dressed up, lit a few candles and got out of our festive garb in a hurry. It felt like Diwali came and went and there were no memories made. This year though, with everyone feeling a little more comfortable socializing in smaller settings, I invited three families over for an Indian meal over 3 days extending our own celebration.
I started prepping a few days in advance, working on the table scape first. Having just one family over at a time allowed for all of us to be seated while eating. Our main table seats 8 so I even set up a separate kids table. I had the main table in our open dining area and the kids table set up in the sun room giving the kids their own private dining room!
Whenever I've hosted dinner parties before, I've always had the food laid out buffet style and my guests grabbled their plates, served their own food and then sat wherever a seat was open to eat. This time, with a smaller crowd, I really wanted to make the table feel special. I had to purchase most of the things to create this table scape since really this was my first time doing it.
I started with a clean white table cloth to create my blank canvas. My dining table is a deep red wood so the white felt light and bright making the rest of the décor pop. I then layered on a table runner that coordinated with the rest of my living space - in my case something with a navy blue base. Down the table runner I sprinkled in the most beautiful lotus tealight holders from World Market and placed a large gold bowl in the center as an anchoring piece. This was all just the initial setup a few days in advance. Check out the pictures at the end of this post to see how I completed the look just before my guests arrived. For the place settings, I just placed decorative plates with a napkin, fork and spoon and a wine glass with a water tumbler.
DIY Craft Decor
Holidays and festivals are all about traditions and creating memories with my kids. This year I did a craft with them so they felt like they had a hand in decorating for the festival. I bought mini wooden crates from Michaels, cut some scrap wood to create the solid back for the mini crate and had the kids paint them in 3 different colors. I then stenciled a gold pattern on top to create that festive look. I used 3M picture strips to mount them to the wall for damage free hanging and placed battery operated tea lights in each one to create the perfect lighted display.
Fresh Flowers and Candles:
While over the last year or so I have added a considerable amount of faux plants and stems to my home décor, for Diwali I went the extra mile to include fresh flowers. It not only provided that perfect pop of color but added such freshness and of course brought back memories of celebrations in Dubai and India. I bought small roses in orange and pink, sold at our local Vivek Flowers store in Ziploc bags and picked apart the petals on some and left others whole. I then filled up the gold centerpiece bowl with water, added a combination of flowers and petals and used floating candles to create that perfect glow.
Since Diwali is all about creating beautifully lit spaces, the final touch was to use cylindrical glass vases on the table with twinkle lights in them. You can see how everything came together when our guests came over. The décor sure helped set the mood for the festival but no festival is complete without friends and family to spend it with. While these past couple of years have certainly changed our social landscape, we were all determined to make the most of Diwali 2021 and had a fabulous time celebrating with our near and dear ones.
I hope you find this post inspiring to create your own special memories with your loved ones during the holiday season!
As always, thank you for reading. Until next time!