Cultures throughout the world celebrate holidays with special meals that people plan for months in advance. Some dishes take hours or even days to prepare, but what happens when you need to play hostess to the in-laws or long-lost cousin Bessie on short notice? Not to worry: As these holiday brunch ideas suggest, it's all about the presentation. As a popular chef or successful salesperson does, sell the sizzle. In other words, we're all working with the same basic food ingredients, so what takes a meal from good to great is the creativity we bring to the table (no pun intended).
One fail-proof way to set the mood for an unforgettable dining experience is with fresh flowers, fine tableware and pressed linens. Set the table with your fine china to make any brunch seem more special. While you're at it, put on a white dress shirt, tie and apron, like a server in a fine-dining restaurant would wear. Choose music that supports the theme to enhance the ambiance.
We've got 10 holiday brunch themes you'll love. On the next page, learn how to style leftovers into a perfect fusion of breakfast, lunch and good taste.