Thanks for stopping by for my first Christmas party in honor of the release of my Christmas book, Christmas at Holly Hill. Today the feature is Holiday Entertaining and menu ideas. Hope you will enjoy the article and the pictures.
So many times when asked to host a party, luncheon or other social event, we may cringe and immediately worry that our house isn’t large enough or nice enough, or we may worry that we can’t pull it all together and be a gracious hostess. Whether it is an ice cream or dessert party, a luncheon for class or department at church or home or a fancy dinner for hundreds at church, loving hearts and hands can make the difference.
Holiday entertaining can be the most stressful because of all the other responsibilities associated with Christmas and other holidays. The main problems of a luncheon or open house at Christmas are theme, decorations, and food. Christmas makes it easy to decide on those three elements.
First determine the number you can easily accommodate in the space you have available and make up your guest list. After you have the guest list and the type of party, the menu is selected. Because so many parties are taking place, your guests may be attending more than one open house, brunch, or luncheon. This means simple foods and a simple menu will keep you from spending more time in the kitchen than you do with your guests.
Decorations may be as elaborate or simple as you want to make them. Whatever decorations you use for your own family and holiday decorating will be fine. No need to go to extra trouble to make more elaborate decorations. Here, simple but festive can be as appealing as the other. The Christmas tree, a wreath on the door, a nativity scene or two and a few candles can go a long way to dressing your home for the holiday. One hostess I know always moved out extra furniture from her living room and family room, and stored it in a bedroom. That door was then closed and decorated with a nice sign that indicated the room was for storage. She then used folding chairs to replace the seating now stored away. Dollar type stores carry a plentiful supply of Christmas decorations, ornaments, plates, napkins, and cups or you can use your own Christmas dinnerware.
Now it is time for you schedule your time to get things done before your guests arrive. Think about everything that needs to be done and make a list. Then prioritize the list by what has to be done first and what can be saved to the end. For example, cleaning the bathrooms should be last so that they are at their freshest for the guests. Also, scheduling things far enough in advance will keep you from last minute rushing to be finished.
Even the most laid back personality will benefit from a schedule. Once you have a schedule made, you will find it much easier to do the things that must be done to be ready for your guests without spending all of your time cleaning house and cooking.
A home doesn’t have to elaborate, expensive, or professionally decorated to be warm and inviting for guests. Let the things you enjoy express the warmth of your heart. Leave family photos on display as well as your favorite accessories. Your friends will be relaxed and in good spirits in a home that expresses the personality of its owners.
Here are a few Holiday Menu Ideas along with pictures of two set tables
Menu for Holiday Open House
Fresh Fruit Platter/Dip Banana or Cranberry Bread/Cream Cheese Spread
Vegetable Tray/Ranch Dip or Spinach Dip
Chicken Salad/Tuna Salad Tea Sandwiches
Cranberry Holiday Punch
Trim the Tree Party
Chicken Tortilla Soup
Tossed Vegetable Salad with light dressing
Cheesecake Iced Tea or Coffee
Almond Chicken Salad
Cranberry Relish Jell-O Salad
Layered Salad with Lettuce, Peas
Fresh Fruit Tray
Assorted Crackers Mini-muffins
Coffee Peach Tea
Tell me about your favorite Christmas menu or foods and be entered in a drawing for a special Christmas gift of goodies. Names will be drawn on December 7. Check back for pictures of what the gifts will contain.
This is part of the gift box for this party. If you want an extra entry, follow me on my blog.
Annoying legal disclaimer: drawings void where prohibited; open only to U.S. residents; the odds of winning depend upon the number of participants.