Party Planner: Christmas Dinner

Christmas, Dinner Parties, Entertain, Holidays, Menus, On the Table

Party Planner: Christmas Dinner

Welcome family and friends to the Christmas table with a showstopping feast that captures the magic of the season. Here, we share an inspired menu that’s made for a special occasion, plus our best tips for pulling off a memorable meal.




Nothing marks the beginning of a celebration quite like raw oysters. Our Oysters on the Half Shell with Tarragon Mignonette are served on crushed ice with a zesty, herbal accompaniment. For another elegant hors d’oeuvre, serve these refreshing Crab and Cucumber Canapes.


Party Planner: Christmas DinnerBring color and freshness to the meal with a hearty salad that’s perfect for crisp winter evenings. This Endive Salad with Persimmon and Pomegranate stars some of the season’s best ingredients: pleasantly bitter greens, sweet persimmon and bright pomegranate seeds.


A special occasion calls for an impressive centerpiece, and an Herb-Crusted Prime Rib Roast is as awe-inspiring as it is delicious. On the side, serve an Herbed Potato and Celery Root Puree — the addition of celery root gives the smooth potatoes a fresh, interesting flavor. A dish of Sauteed Spinach with Currants and Pine Nuts offers a range of tastes and textures but comes together quickly.


Dessert showcases another of the season’s best ingredients: pears. This Winter Pear Trifle combines the rich, deep flavors of chocolate cake, vanilla-poached pears and decadent whipped mascarpone. Plus, it creates a dramatic ending to an unforgettable night.


Party Planner: Christmas Dinner


Party Planner


  • 1 to 2 days ahead: Make the mignonette sauce for the oysters. Season the prime rib with the herb mixture, cover and refrigerate. Make the cake and poach the pears for the trifle.
  • Day of: Finish the dessert; cover and refrigerate. Make the potato-celery root puree; reheat before serving.
  • Before serving: Roast the prime rib. Assemble the canapes. Make the salad and the sauteed spinach. Shuck and prepare the oysters.


Party Planner: Christmas DinnerNot sure what wines to serve with the meal? See our Holiday Wine Guide for ideas — this Chateau d’Agel Caudios, a French Syrah, shows dark black fruits and a herbaceous richness that complement prime rib to perfection.



To create a lively and festive table, mix and match patterns, but keep it cohesive by staying in the same color family. Here, we layer berry-printed plates and napkins over larger tartan plates and a tartan tablecloth. Etched highball glasses with wintry scenes add even more cheer.


Special touches are what bring holidays to life and give them a permanent place in our memories. Bells tied on ribbons or Christmas crackers — choose something that speaks to your own family traditions.


A warm and inviting table is full of natural elements that make us feel at home. Instead of a grand centerpiece, arrange painted pine cones down the length of the table, or place a sprig of holly at each place setting. Combine antler candle holders with regular taper candles for a variety of heights and shapes. It’s the perfect time of year to be a bit playful and whimsical with your decor.


Merry Christmas!

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