LED string lights are bright enough to light up a maximum security prison yard. Honestly. They make the dead of night look like high noon.
This picture was taken at midnight.
I used a series of 50 little, round LED G12 string lights.
In an attempt to avoid the above mentioned prison yard lighting, I used warm white bulbs (as opposed to cool white or true white).
Every few feet, 50 bulbs were stuffed into a large Mason jar.
Light plugs are hidden in the jars or under the Santas.
These lights are not harsh, but they definitely light up the table.
Though it may not appear so in this photo, they turn the Mason jars into magical beacons of light.
Christmas Eve Dinner on the patio.
If your interested in how I built the table, visit my earlier post.
Didn't care for the salad bowls on the side.
Thought they looked so-so on the dinner plates.
Eventually, I decided to put the bowls on the buffet and have my guests fill their salad bowls first, then return to the buffet with their dinner plates.
It's a plainer look, no doubt, but more efficient considering the lack of wiggle room.
The burlap tablecloth, which is edged in red and white gingham, is covered with the word "believe". I seamed the fabric down the middle so that the words read right side up on both sides of the table.
A paint pen (especially designed for glass and ceramic) was used to write the word "believe" on Dollar Store wine glasses.
Strips of burlap and gingham wrap around Mason jar mugs.
The coffee station is to the left of the fireplace. The large coffee maker hasn't made it out of the box yet, but will be added shortly.
I spotted the big Santa on Jo-Ann's 60% off table. With the addition of a 50% off coupon, it was mine! I NEVER find deals like that.
At any rate, I love this Santie because his face and beard mimic the faces of the little table Santas.
Far be it from me to let the
Chalkboard Painting Craze pass me by.
Armed with plenty of samples from the internet, I added a sign to lure guests into thinking
there's more options than I'm actually offering.
Burlap stockings await Santa's arrival,
while a burlap ribbon wreath hangs above the mantel.
And on the only wall that has space left,
hangs a jigsaw puzzle my son put together
when he was about 8.
alternating Naughty and Nice at each placesetting.
(I know some of you oldies just said, "With a dollar in my hand.")
Update, December 30, 2012:
This picture was taken by one of the Christmas Eve guests using the panoramic feature on the iPhone.
Red plates: The Dollar Tree
Felt table Santas: The Dollar Tree
Wine glasses: The Dollar Tree
Red flatware: Ginkgo, Overstock.com
Party straws: Sur La Table
Tablecloth, napkins, felt napkin rings, Christmas stockings: fabric from Jo-Ann Fabrics and Crafts
Large felt Santa: Jo-Ann Fabrics and Crafts
N. Pole Beanery sign: Scrap masonite, chalkboard paint (Lowe's), chalk pens (Aaron Bros.)
Large Mason jars: Meaney and Son Ace Hardware, La Jolla, California
Burlap wreath: wire frame and burlap ribbon from Michaels