Deck the Dining Room With 25 Festive Holiday Tablescapes
‘Tis the season to be jolly… and full. The holiday season brings family and friends gathering around tables to sing carols, drink eggnog and — of course — eat cookies. And, while the moments are what we’re most likely to remember, the setting in which they happen can be pretty darn memorable too. These 25 festive plate settings will transform your table into a winter wonderland, whether you’re throwing a blowout holiday party or serving breakfast after Santa has paid a visit. As if we need any further inspiration to eat, drink and be merry.
1. Ultra Christmas-y: Traditional and fun, this holiday table features downsized-yet-festive Christmas trees at its center. If your dining table is next to your full-sized holiday tree, even better. (via Destination Living)
3. Emerald Moment: We often see green paired with red in December, but this table setting lets the former hue stand all on its own. The designer drew inspiration from Kate Spade, which explains the clean, preppy, fun feel. (via Pizzazzerie)
6. Upscale Feast: A wintry wedding or highbrow dinner party could pull off this classy table. The color palette goes perfectly with the Champagne glasses you’ll be using to cheers. (Photo via Eric Kelley)
7. Gracious Glitz: Just as ice glistens on the trees outside, your table can be both natural and blingy. Gold-dusted pinecones complement the gilded placemats and utensils to give you the best of both worlds. Your guests will love the personalized nameplates too. (via Just Destiny)
8. Present Pink: A few wrapped presents turn an otherwise traditional table into one that’s holiday ready. Match your wrapping paper to your theme and send the little boxes home as favors. (Photo via Charlie Juliet)
9. Gilded Good Tidings: Buy a pack of pretty Christmas cards to inspire your table design and send your guests off with well wishes. For an eclectic take, you could reuse the front halves of cards you’ve received in the mail — like snowflakes, no two will be the same. (Photo via Kelli Murray)
13. Whittled Welcome ($145): Enlist an artisan to laser-cut wooden place cards for each of your guests. Again, if you tie a ribbon through each name, your guest walks out with a fun ornament to keep forever. Or, make it a monogram and keep it yourself. (via Laura Hooper Calligraphy)
16. Reindeer Games: This table was created with kids in mind (as if the glitter, bright red chevron and reindeer statuettes didn’t clue you in), but a fun cocktail party may be just as perfect. (Photo via Jessica Kettle)
17. Lumberjack Chic: Whether you use a true Tartan fabric or tea towels (like the original designer did), plaid makes this table feel warm and cozy. If you want full-on rustic, follow suit with candles in tin cans. (via Poppytalk)
18. Gold and Green: Gold makes an ideal addition to your holiday table’s palette. Add add a few pine branches and you can’t go wrong — plus your table will smell as great as at looks. (Photo via J Wiley Photography)
19. Simple Setting: This setup proves that it doesn’t take much to transform your normal dining table into something extraordinary. A sprinkling of pinecones, a stripe of red in your linens, a small sprig of pine… et voila. (via French Larkspur)
20. Berry Wreath: Here’s a simple way to make your normal formal table settings feel holiday appropriate: Fold napkins on top of your plate and top each with a personalized wreath made of deep red berries. As an added bonus, you can easily make them yourself. (via Say Yes)
23. One Last Rudolph: The third reindeer place card on our list is arguably the cutest. Kids will love it — that and the star-shaped cookies placed carefully on each plate. Yum. (Photo via Love Bucket Photo)
25. All Together Now: A great place to end this list is with a table that combines everything we’ve mentioned: a splash of whimsy, gold and rustic elements plus the classic symbols of Christmas. It’s everything we’ve dreamed of for a holiday celebration. (Photo via Park Road Photography)
When’s your big dinner? We’d love to hear how you’re going to decorate your table and see pictures of the final product. Show us in the comments!
Welcome to Selfmade Finance School, our new money series with Block Advisors to help small business owners with their tax, bookkeeping, and payroll needs year-round. This week, we explore the tax implications of bringing family members into your business.
The question for today is this: Does hiring your family members make sense for your business? Let me be clear. This is not a piece about whether hiring your family members makes sense for your relationships with those family members. As someone who is part of a family business, I could fill up a lot more than 600 words on my opinions about that. For today's purposes, we focus on whether it makes sense from an overall "good business and tax implication" perspective. As it turns out, there is a decent amount of tax nuance when it comes to employing your family. Let's break it down based on relationship to the employee:
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Spouses Who Are In Business Together
Personally, if I had to be in business with my husband, it would not go well. However, many couples build viable, strong businesses together and I say, good for them! Depending on how you have your business entity structured, it will make a big difference on the tax treatment of you and your spouse working as partners. Because a business jointly owned and operated by a married couple is generally treated as a partnership for Federal tax purposes, the spouses must comply with filing and record keeping requirements imposed on partnerships and their partners. The election to file two Schedule C (Form 1040) forms, (one for each spouse) permits certain married co-owners to avoid filing partnership returns, provided that each spouse separately reports a share of all the businesses' items of income, gain, loss, deduction, and credit. Under the election, both spouses will be subject to self-employment tax and on net earnings from self-employment and receive credit for Social Security earnings.
One Spouse Employs Another
If you have a dynamic where your spouse is an employee of your business, then your spouse's wages are subject to income tax withholding, Social Security and Medicare taxes. If you are self-employed (not a corporation or a partnership), your spouse's pay does not have to be included in your federal unemployment tax account (FUTA) contributions and payments. However, if your business is a corporation or a partnership you must include that spouse's pay in your unemployment tax contribution calculation.
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You Employ Your Child
First, let's be clear. I work in my family business, but I am an adult, so I am treated just like a normal employee. However, if you, for example, run a family restaurant and want to hire your children under 18 to work for you, there are some tax benefits. But first, you should check with your state for rules on how many hours minors can work (in non-agricultural jobs) and reference the Fair Labor Standards Act for information on limitations on the kinds of work children can perform.
"This is an often overlooked or under-utilized strategy. Paying your children for true services they provide in your business can be a powerful tax-saving tool," says Cathi Reed, Block Advisors Regional Director. "If you are a sole-proprietorship or single member LLC, and the child is less than 18 years of age, the business is not required to withhold FICA or payroll taxes. The child can use his or her standard deduction against income you pay."
You Hire Your Parent
Oh dear. If you are brave enough to do this, know that you will need to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes on your parent's wages and make the appropriate withholdings, but you don't have to pay unemployment taxes. Now all you have to do is convince your parent that you are the boss. Have fun with that!
Is Hiring Family Members Worth It For The Tax Benefits?
"There are some positive tax advantages to hiring family members. It's important to treat a family member like any other employee. Hiring your children can result in substantial savings for businesses. Make sure your child has real, age-appropriate work to do and a reasonable pay rate, comparable to other employees. Consult with a Block Advisors small business certified tax pro to ensure that you are complying with all requirements," advises Reed. "Block Advisors, a team within H&R Block, is dedicated to meeting the tax, bookkeeping and payroll needs of small business owners year-round. To start working with the tax experts at Block Advisors, visit blockadvisors.com."
In my opinion, you should not hire a family member solely because of the tax benefits. You should always hire based on whether that person is right for the job and keep in mind how this hire could materially impact your relationship with that person and others in your family. Finally, as I mentioned, make sure you have a tax professional on your team when making these determinations. As you can see, things can get a little tricky!
*All details were sourced from IRS.gov and blockadvisors.com