Throwing a holiday party can be fun, but stressful too. With these helpful entertaining tips, your holiday party is sure to be a success.
Start planning early
Keep in mind that most people are invited to several holiday parties in the weeks preceding Christmas. Therefore, you should start planning early and send invitations out three weeks in advance, if possible. Instead of traditional invitations, save paper, money and time by sending out evites through email and/or Facebook.
Copy your menu plan (also noting where recipes can be found) and post it on the refrigerator where you can check and double check that all dishes are made and served.
On your menu plan, write which equipment and serving pieces you'll be using.
Get larger, seasonal serving dishes out of storage; wash and set aside. You can even put a note inside each dish that reminds you what you're going to serve in it. Check off all the items on your menu, so that you don't end up at the last minute without a serving dish ready.
Wash and press table linens ahead of time.
Plan a menu with different colors, textures, flavors and temperatures. Think about how dishes will look next to each other on the plate and how they'll taste together.
If you're seating guests at the table, you may want to serve food from a sideboard to avoid a cluttered table.
Add a few simple garnishes to your dishes for that special touch.
Use decorations you already own
Since it's Christmas time, you'll already have some decorations u,p including lights and wreaths. To make your party festive, incorporate other decorations that you already own. For example, if you have a collection of candle holders, add red candles and spread them around your home. If you have unique holiday dinner plates and serving dishes, use them even if they don't all match. Fill your home with the holiday fragrances by creating simple centerpieces from evergreen boughs, pinecones and scented candles.
Many hors d'oeuvres can be prepared in advance and simply heated (or reheated) in the oven or microwave on the day of your holiday party. Try combining precooked crab meat, cream cheese and a packet of cheese dip mix the day before your party, and all you'll have to do on the big day is bake it for 5-7 minutes until it's golden, bubbly, and so good your guests will never guess your secret.
Adding an unexpected, tasteful touch to store-bought foods and beverages is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to wow your friends and family. For example, just a dash of cinnamon-citrus Tastefully Simple Warm Up! Mulling Spice mixed with your favorite apple cider can turn an ordinary drink into a heartwarming holiday experience.
Be a gracious host
Interior designer James Swan offers these tips for being a successful host:
Start on time. If you call for cocktails as 7:00pm and dinner at 8:00pm, you should begin serving dinner promptly at eight o'clock. This shows respect for your guests who have gathered at the appropriate time.
Have pre-selected music playing when the first guest arrives through to when the last guest departs. It helps to set the ideal mood.
Always seat spouses or significant others apart from each other.
Plan to serve dessert and coffee in the living room. It makes for a lovely transition and a relaxed ending to the evening.
Let the cleanup wait until your guests have left. Nothing will end an evening as fast as a host disappearing into the kitchen to clean.
Holiday party recipe
Betty's party cocktail meatballs recipe
In this video, Betty makes her wonderful Party Cocktail Meatballs. These are little meatballs that are covered with a tangy sauce, and placed in a slow cooker until ready to serve with crackers. They're great for game day!