Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Dessert Gala

I participated in something really fun this Christmas season. Last year I was the guest at one of these, and this year I got to be a hostess. It’s a Dessert Gala, and the idea is for hostesses to decorate a table with their Christmas-themed tablescapes. The hostess provides a dessert for the evening, and the church provides a program with entertainment.

When I first heard about the Dessert Gala at a nearby church where I was taking a Bible study class, I asked my friend Michelle if she would host a table with me. She agreed, and we started discussing our theme and dessert ideas. I told Michelle I wanted to have a table that was kind of counter-cultural to the glitz and glamour of the holiday season, and that I’d like to focus it on the Advent Conspiracy movement. Here’s our table turned out._MDS2146
  • We kept the design of the table simplified and minimalistic, to remind us how our Savior arrived: not in the flash of glitter, crystal and china, but in the quiet, unobtrusive moments. It’s the same way He seeks us today. He reminds us to glow with His love instead of focusing on the glam and glitter of the world around us.
  • The single candle in the center of the table represents His one true light, and the solitary way we are invited to spend eternity with our Maker: by letting His light shine in our souls.
  • A small nativity set in the middle of the table represented His humble arrival in our world.
  • We chose plates made from palm leaves to remind us how Christmas and Easter are intertwined.
There were seven seats at our table. Two of the seats were for me and Michelle. Two more were reserved for women who were assigned to our table by the event planners. The remaining three seats were for guests Michelle and I could invite. We asked three women from our Bible study class. Each place setting had the guest’s name printed on a white paper bag that sat on top of the palm leaf plates. The lady’s name was imbedded in a line from scripture. Inside the gift bag was a mix of party favors for each woman. Here’s what we included:_MDS2147
  • A sampling of Advent Conspiracy gift ideas to encourage the ladies to “give presence, not presents this Christmas.”
  • A blank gift certificate that can be filled out for a loved one and given as a gift of  time and presence.
  • A CD of piano music by a friend who is pianist. Music is one of the best ways I know to worship God and praise His holiness.
  • A vial of water to represent clean water, something we take for granted. So many people in our world do not have clean water, but we can easily give it to them through supporting charities like Living Water International.
  • A Living Water bracelet that can be worn as the ladies finish Christmas shopping. Let it remind you to spend just a little less this year so you can give more to those who have nothing.
  • A booklet listing 25 different names of Jesus. “When the holiday season gets stressful and crazy, open this booklet and find one of Jesus’ names that speaks to you. Meditate on it.”
  • Yahweh Hebrew name cards: God is a personal god, and even goes as far as to invite us into a first-name basis relationship. In the book of Isaiah, God tells us His name is Yahweh. The name Yahweh is both holy and intimate – so holy that we aren’t even sure exactly how to pronounce it. It is as commonplace and revered as the sound it mimics: our very breaths. Scripture tells us that God breathed us into life, so we use that very breath to say His name. Cover your ears and listen to the sound your lungs make as you inhale and then exhale. That’s the closest we can come to knowing the true pronunciation of Yahweh.
  • The stone coasters under the coffee cups were hand-stamped with clocks. They were gifts to the ladies, and reminders to give gifts of time and self this Christmas.
The desserts we served were chosen to reflect delicacies from ancient times: a traditional honey cake made from a Jewish recipe, fig and goat cheese crostini to represent the Mediterranean diet, and chocolate covered strawberries to satisfy our modern sweet tooth._MDS2146 (2)
I’m sure you’re curious to see how some of the other tables were decorated, so here are some more photos to enjoy!_MDS2155 _MDS2160  _MDS2169 _MDS2176 _MDS2178


Gina said...

All the tables were adorable but I liked yours the best by far. What an awesome idea!!

PartyLikePaula said...

Well you know I'm all about the glitz and glam however reading about your table gave me chills! LOVE it E! What a fabulous idea. You and Michelle really did a great job following through with the tableware and dessert choices. Makes you stop and think...

Happy New Year,



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