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Anton Barretto Shares 8 Entertaining Tips For The Upcoming Holidays

Despite the ongoing pandemic, the Metro Home TV host believes that entertaining for the Christmas season is still a must. Here, he shares some table wisdom for you to practice your entertaining skills with!

Whenever September arrives, every Filipino is automatically in a festive mood. The Ber months have become a symbol of the beginning of the holidays, and even with the COVID-19 pandemic still ongoing, it doesn’t dampen our spirits to put up a memorable and exciting Christmas season celebration at home.

And when merriment is present, so is entertaining! With the current lockdown, holiday parties may look a little bit different from the usual—a more intimate, less crowded gathering with only the closest people to us exchanging chatter and sharing holiday fares for the most wonderful time of the year. But this shift doesn’t mean that you have to settle for less.

“We already have a clear picture of what is to come and what has actually arrived,” entertaining guru and Metro Home TV host Anton Barretto tells Philux’s Stephanie Kienle-Gonzalez during the furniture brand’s recent ‘Let’s talk Home Entertaining’ Instagram live session. “All this time has given us the time to set up our own protocols and rules. So I think entertaining now shouldn't really change.”

The live chat, where Anton and Stephanie shared their favorite spaces they featured from their show, also went over entertaining preparations for the upcoming festivities this year. Anton says, “It’s a good reason to celebrate, whether simple or grand. With Christmas coming along, it’s something to really set your eye on to keep away from all of these fear and anxiety.”

It doesn’t really matter if you go big or small—what matters is to keep your hands busy putting those creative energies into the table, quite literally. He further adds that at the end of the day, life doesn’t stop; it’s the time that we need to feel happy and feel good, and entertaining, even for yourself, is a bridgeway to give you simple pleasures.

To help you get those juices flowing and translate it to your entertaining ways, Stephanie asked the entertaining guru for some tips to prepare for the approaching Christmas season. Anton begins with a reminder, “When you set a theme, it’s all about how you mix the elements and bring them together to create that ambience.”


He adds more do’s and don’ts—eight useful pieces of advice that will turn you from entertaining noob to master in no time. Sure, it takes a lot of experience to perfect your entertaining style. But as the genius muses, it’s about the process. “As you progress, you discover a lot of things. So you have to take from your experiences, and that will make you a very great entertainer.” Read more of his wisdom below!

1. Lighting is key. He stresses the importance of lighting in every kind of setup you create. “If you're entertaining indoors, lighting sets the mood. If it's outdoors, it's a little bit tricky, because you always need to illuminate the table and the surroundings,” he explains. Make sure you have enough illumination in the right places for both ambience and proper glow. An added tip? Try setting magenta lights, as the color makes your guests pretty for photos!

2. Try layering. “I really like layering,” he says, as it gives texture to your table. “I think placemats and napkins are actually key to the setting. Table cloths and linens really provide that backdrop that you needed.”

3. Add layers of height to your table. The only rule here: put pieces that won’t block the view of the other person across your table! Use table decor with lengths that isn’t too close to the head—either go above or go below.

4. If using a table cloth, skip the placemats. “A big don't is if you have a cloth, skip the placemat, ‘cause then it's just fabric and fabric!” Anton shares. Instead, find chargers, plates, bowls, or other pretty containers and get creative!

5. Put scented candles anywhere but your table. Having scented candles on your table competes with the aroma of the food you’re going to serve—and you don’t want to take away the sensory experience brought by your feast from your guests! So, Anton advises, “Use unscented candles so you still have the glow, but you're not obstructed by any scent.”

6. Provide enough cutlery. “As a host, you always have to equip your table with enough cutlery for all the courses of all the food that you’re gonna serve so nobody’s gonna jump around looking for an extra knife or an extra fork.” The Metro Home TV host adds. “Also, if you're serving food on a buffet, make sure that all the viands have their own utensils.”

7. If entertaining outdoors, stay protected. When setting up a garden party, don’t forget the tents, just in case it rains!

8. Place cards and party favors? Always a yes. And finally, add a personal flair to your party with place cards and party favors. “I always put place cards if we’re more than four people,” Anton muses. He also likes to leave his guests with something to remember the celebration with, so giveaways are also a must. Plus, these additions leave your guests feeling extra special.