The littlest dots

Easter is literally just around the corner.  There are only a couple of days left to decide on a menu, dust off your Easter bonnet, and prepare for the family meal.

Most years, my family all goes to a fancy buffet brunch, all dressed in pastels, with styled hair (I have two teenage boys, so this doesn't happen all that often), followed by the annual "waddle to the car", complaining that we have all eaten way too much.

This year, however, is a break from that tradition.  We have decided to all stay at home and celebrate Easter from the comfort of our own dining room.  This means, that not only do I have to ensure that my boys all have clean, NICE clothes to wear, I also have to make sure that we have an amazing meal, set at a stunning table that will hopefully create new Easter traditions and memories for my family.

I love to entertain and host, and a big part of that process includes making sure all the details are set in order to create a stunning setting.  I think of entertaining very similar to the way that George Seurat painted.  George Seurat was a French post-impressionist painter who created some amazing works, including my favorite painting, "A Sunday on La Grande Jatte".  

I lived in the Chicago-area for almost 20 years, and I was lucky enough to see this gigantic (7 ft x 10 ft) canvas in person many times.  George and I have very similar processes to creating - his used actual canvas to create, while I use events and occasions.  Like George, I want my overall project to be beautiful and inspiring, bringing joy to those who are there.  George and I also agree that the many small details can come together harmoniously to create something truly beautiful.  

If you have ever seen a Seurat in person, you will notice that his entire painting is made up of little dots.  He doesn't use sweeping lines with a brush, he uses the smallest of dots to create a magnificent finished project that leaves people wanting more.  

When planning my Easter brunch for this year, I have really tried to think about how the overall environment will play into the family fun that I am hoping to spark.  How does the color of the napkins or flowers affect the guests?  Will the centerpiece spark a conversation or story that will make us all laugh together?

Easter, birthdays, or just a Sunday dinner are all occasions that can leave the greatest impact and impression with our guests.  The key is to begin preparing well in advance.  Plan your menu and get your table set at least 4-5 days before.  Think about the mood you want to create and the conversations you want to spark.  Seat people next to and across from those that they will enjoy celebrating with, and try to remember that those little details all add up to create one beautiful work of art.