Table of Contents:
- Cabin Holiday Decor
- Rustic Table Decor
- Cooking for a Crowd
- Turkey Know-How
- Hosting Overnight Guests at the Cabin
Light It Up With CandlesA few well-placed candles go a long way in creating ambiance for your holiday event. Flameless wax candles are an easy and safe solution for adding soft candlelight to your festivities.
Ask Guests to Bring OrnamentsInstead of toting boxes of ornaments to your cabin, ask your guests to bring an ornament in lieu of other gifts and watch the tree grow more beautiful as the celebration progresses.
Quick and Easy Wall ArtFor quick and easy holiday artwork, purchase inexpensive picture frames and fill them with holiday-themed scrapbook paper. Or, cut scrapbook paper to fill your current frames for some fun temporary holiday décor.
Make a Photo WreathRefashion snapshots from past holiday events into artwork that will enhance your décor and serve as a conversation piece. Hot-glue a selection of black-and-white photos (use copies if you don’t want to damage the originals) to a wire wreath form or affix snapshots to lengths of ribbon and adorn the room and mantle.
Cover Doors in Wrapping PaperCover strategically placed doors (such as your front door or the doors to the kitchen or guest bedrooms) with bright and cheery wrapping paper, complete with bow.
Nature's CenterpieceFor show-stopping centerpieces, bring in nature from your surroundings. Artfully arrange driftwood, seashells, leaves, branches, pinecones, berries or acorns to create beautiful centerpieces.
Float Your Floral ArrangementsFor a fresh twist on floral arrangements, fill glass vases or bowls with water and add a few drops of food coloring. Snip the buds off a few flowers like mums, carnations or roses and float them in the water. Or line up a group of similar vessels and float a single large bloom in each.
Creative Wrapping Paper Ideas
Think Beyond the Dinner TableIf your dinner table won’t accommodate all your holiday guests, improvise. Throw together a few folding card tables, lay wooden planks across two sawhorses or bring in the picnic table from the backyard. Once you cover your makeshift table with a festive tablecloth, it won’t matter what lies underneath. Or banish the table altogether and serve your meal buffet-style and let your guests dine anywhere they please.
Seating for Large GroupsTo entertain large groups, purchase inexpensive folding chairs. For a festive touch, drape the chair with fabric and wrap a ribbon around the base of the backrest, fashioning it into a bow at the back. For more casual celebrations, long benches and floor pillows are easy and economical ways to provide seating for large groups.
Fun for the Little OnesIf your event includes small children, plan an activity to keep them occupied. Spread a sheet of butcher’s paper across the table and supply plenty of crayons; decorate sugar cookies with sprinkles, candy and frosting; or create birdfeeders by spreading peanut butter on pinecones and rolling them in bird seed.
Pretty Place CardsFor a twist on place cards, incorporate the natural elements outside your cabin. Apply spray adhesive to pinecones, gourds or other natural objects and roll them in glitter. Make a clean cut at the top of the object and insert a card bearing the guest’s name. Tie a ribbon around its circumference for embellishment.
Placemats that Pack a PunchCreate one-of-kind place mats by layering two sheets of construction paper in contrasting colors. Punch holes in the top layer with a themed paper punch – think snowflakes for cold-weather celebrations (or stars for the Fourth of July) – to expose the layer underneath. These mats are inexpensive, disposable and a snap to create.
Gift Wrap Table RunnerTo add flair to plain table linens, use stylish, high-quality gift wrap to create a decorative table runner or table topper. To dress up the edges, use craft scissors with a scalloped or decorative blade.
Get Creative With Scrapbook Paper
Plan AheadPlanning menus in advance can help relieve the stress of holiday entertaining at the cabin. If possible, make dishes in advance (either at the cabin or at home) and freeze them until serving day. When packing for the cabin, you can save space by only bringing the amount of ingredients and spices you’ll need.
Use Tableware CreativelyIf your cabin lacks the bells and whistles of your home kitchen, get creative and let your dishware pull double duty. For example, use martini glasses to serve dessert or shot glasses to serve appetizers like shrimp cocktails. Your slow cooker can substitute for a chafing dish to keep foods warm on the serving table. To add height to centerpieces or food tables, flip small bowls upside down and use as pedestals for larger bowls.
Put Guests to Work With Kaper ChartsA kaper is a short-term job or activity to be accomplished by an individual or a small group. If you have guests eager to roll up their sleeves and pitch in, kaper charts can help you distribute tasks equally and are a great way to get the kids involved in meal preparation and clean up. In the chart, you can outline and assign tasks for each meal – setting the table, chopping the vegetables, loading the dishwasher, etc. – or assign meals to each family for the entire weekend.
Punch It UpPunch is a fun, tasty way to serve beverages to a crowd with minimal effort. For a crowd-pleasing, non-alcoholic party punch, combine two 12 ounce cans of thawed frozen lemonade, two liters of ginger ale, one 64-ounce jug of Hawaiian Punch, one bag of frozen strawberries (optional) and plenty of ice and stir it all together in a large punch bowl.
Get Creative With a Crock PotCrock pots can simplify meals at the cabin, especially if you will be away all day. For a super-easy, delicious meal, mix ²/³-cup maple syrup with ½-cup Dijon mustard and spread evenly over 3 pounds of country-style pork ribs. Place the ribs in the crock pot over a large, sliced onion, cover and cook on low for about eight hours. Your slow cooker can also double as a warm punch bowl for hot apple cider, mulled wine, hot cocoa or your favorite toddies.