|Photo Credit: Elle Decor|
Tip #1: Set the scene Set the mood by decorating with fresh, colorful flowers, candles and paper lanterns. One of my favorite flowers for decorating during the holidays is poinsettias. Indigenous to Mexico and Central America, they are widely used in Christmas floral displays and can be found pretty much anywhere. If you’re looking to add some Christmas spirit to your décor you can also consider decorating with a nativity scene (pesebre). This is very popular in many South American countries, such as Colombia.
Tip #2: Set the table If you have more than eight guests, I always recommend using place card holders for your table. Nobody likes playing musical chairs, and place cards make things a lot easier. You can use fruits, such pomegranates, the symbol of abundance, as place card holders for your guests. I also really like these Christmas tree place card holders like this one from Crate&Barrel.
Tip #3: Make the food festive but easy You don’t want to be a slave to the kitchen, so instead consider serving your guests tapas-style dishes. These are ideal for entertaining because your guests will have a variety of small dishes that are full of flavor. Some of my favorites include chorizo, croquetas, prosciutto-wrapped dates, olives and a variety of cheeses. Especially popular in Argentina, empanadas are always a favorite appetizer. If you don’t want to make them yourself, look for a caterer that specializes in Latin food or ask your favorite Latin restaurant if they cater.
Tip #4: Latin-inspired drinks I love to make an alcohol-free mojito shake, which is always a huge hit at the Ordonez house. It basically includes vanilla ice cream, milk, lime juice, sugar and torn mint leaves. You mix it in a blender and, voilà, you’ve got yourself the perfect drink that’s light and delicious. For non-alcoholic drinks you can also serve Latin American sodas. For example, in Colombia we have a cola called Colombianas and an apple-flavored soda called Manzana Postobón, both of which are amazing! If you’d like an alcoholic beverage, consider sangria, a wine punch typical of Spain, Portugal and Argentina. Normally consisting of wine, chopped fruit and a small amount of brandy, it’s easy to create several at once. It can be served in a bowl, making it easy for your guests to help themselves. For some Peruvian flair, try a Pisco sour.
To read this post in Spanish, you can also check out my guest posts on RetailMeNot's blog called "Cupones Para Ti."