Set the perfect holiday table... wow your guests and offer them good taste in food AND atmosphere!
Whether vegetable gardeners or not, food is a feature topic when trowelers get into the holiday spirit. And no matter your holiday of celebration, food is the foundation for gatherings of friends and family. Either a cozy dinner for 2 or chaotic consumption for 20 can be highlight for your holiday season, but be sure to plan and reduce the stress of preparation for the most enjoyable occasion. A simple checklist will ensure the pieces for your feast are present.

1. grocery shopping list
Yes, many think they are better than that. But why take a chance? Remember we are reducing incidental stresses...
2. protection for important surfaces
Are younger folks coming? Hot plates? Antique table that you'd prefer without beverage rings? Tablecloths, place mats and chargers, as well as coasters are all very handy when available at a moment's notice. Collect these beforehand.
3. serving containers to suit your dishes - both food and table setting...
White always works to flatter the food, but color will add drama. What is your priority in serving up an ideal ambience?
4. accents of color to enhance your preparations
Definitely, do not shy away from color! But be deliberate about where it is used. Napkins and mats are a great opportunity for adding some zest. A lovely arrangement at the entryway is also a fun opportunity without constraints to really jazz things up. If doing a buffet style presentation, colored pillars on candleholders will add a simple but elegant touch. Your creativity is what matters here: don't be shy and take a few risks.
5. candles without fragrance and no scented centerpieces.
Be sure that there are no unexpected fragrances scenting your table. Pull out your candles to double check for ANY scent -- it will fight with the food. At entryways and gathering spots away from food, it is a good thing to use arrangements with rosemary for clearing and freshening the air. Use other aromatic edibles to fragrance and enhance the mood: cinnamon, clove, orange rind, etc. for your very own potpourri. Pine cones, collected free from Mother Nature, can be easily used in either table decor or in an entry arrangement. This is a great opportunity to put those wire ornament hangers to use for assembly, but leave sufficient time for creative projects. Don't plan to do it on the day!!
And lastly, but most important, #6. enough chairs to seat your guests.
This may seem an obvious one, but it is also the most nerve-wracking if forgotten.

The member special helps to...
Fill in missing pieces, this week the supply shop has a tableware special, including serving pieces, and place settings.
Save the regular 20% on the first piece and double your discount on more of the same item. Save lots! Support GG.

Holiday hours for Gardeners'Guild in the coming weeks of December:

If you like to avoid crowds, remember that Thursday is the Nob Hill SHOP AND STROLL. If you like the chaos (jugglers, carolers, assorted edibles, bands, etc.) join the Nob Hill neighborhood businesses on DECEMBER 6TH, FROM 5-10PM.

Rio Grande Community Farms is searching for new board members. At RGCF, they will play more of an advisory role and assist in "high-level" community relationship building. The next board meeting is December 10, at 6:30pm, with a combo board meeting/pot luck at a member home. If you may be interested, contact Ian Simmons by phone, 917.3488 or by email: They will be looking for 3-5 new board members over the next few months. They do great work out there, and have wonderful support from the city.

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