Plan to serve three to four bite-sized foods that don't require reheating and can be laid out for the entire stretch of the holiday party, like this smoked salmon and cream cheese roll studded with chives.
For a no-commitment approach to jazzing up white plates, cut a patterned piece of craft paper to size, lay it on top of a basic white plate for use as a charger and then layer a clear glass plate on top of it.
Cut sheets of foil leaf into small circles using craft scissors. Next, randomly place them on the white plate until the desired look is achieved. For a layered effect, use a gold metallic paint pen along the edges for a gilded touch that will coordinate with the foil leaf dots.
Make a monochromatic statement in an eating nook--this one abuts the kitchen cabinets--with a curated collection of plates. Designer Jennifer Foster with Eanes Foster Design found these old platters and round plates at an antiques store, and buying some in small sizes also saved money.