Southern Accents is another one of my favorite magazines. Its lovlies are usually beyond the reach of my pocketbook, but the nugget of this little article echoes sentiments I've been espousing for years. Several of their tips include cost-saving advice like using candlelight to gloss over any decorating deficiencies you have in your home, relying on simple folds as opposed to complex swans for napkins and mixing partial sets of china or silver by alternating every other seat with different patterns.
This is from the article:
"These days, the pull-out-all-the-stops dinner party at home is reaching the point of extinction, and oh, what a shame that would be. Sure, barbecues are fun and casual. Cocktail parties seem easier (though that's by no means a given if you do them right), and potluck takes almost no effort on your part (where's the hospitality in that?). Nothing, however, is going to make guests feel more special, more festive, more happy to know you than an occasion to sit down to an elegant table, enjoy civilized conversation, and have a decent meal when it isn't even Thanksgiving or Christmas."