The holidays are our favorite time of year for so many reasons: delicious food, beautiful décor, and family and friends coming together. As full of fun, excitement, and love the holidays are – hosting can be extremely stressful. But don’t worry – with our experience of hosting thousands of events (from catering to hosting our own family gatherings), we have a few tips to help make the process a breeze.
- Decide on Décor – Decorations are one of our favorite parts of hosting dinners or parties, especially during this time of year! There are so many beautiful options out there from delicate lights, flowers and leaves, and decadent candles. But, when it comes to decorations think small and simple, don’t go overboard. For table décor, save space for food by displaying small flower arrangements in lieu of a giant centerpiece. Add in small accents, like tiny candles, sparkly leaves, or gilded nuts to fill in any empty spots in between. You can find a plethora of fun DIY decoration ideas on Pinterest!
- Choose your Menu – Of course there are your Holiday dinner staple items; oven roasted turkey, baked ham, mashed potatoes, etc., but don’t be afraid to switch things up and get a little creative. We love deep frying our turkey (SO moist and full of flavor!) And don’t forget the side dishes – there are so many different options from vegetable, potatoes, casseroles, and salads. One of our current favorites is a Sweet Potato and maple-balsamic Brussels Sprouts bake – it’s so delicious your guests won’t even realize it’s healthy!
- Start with Apps – Appetizers are a must for a holiday party. To make life easier, we suggest choosing appetizers that can be made in advance to save time and energy on the day of. If you’re doing a veggie and dip tray, you can chop all the veggies and arrange on the platter the day before. One of our all-time favorite appetizers is a baked brie topped with roasted red bell pepper and ancho-chili spread served with sliced French baguette or crackers.
- Have a plan, but know that things happen – At least a day or two before, make a list of everything you need and a schedule of what needs to be made and when. Make sure to leave an hour before your guests arrive for any last minute emergencies or unexpected changes, and to relax!
- Set the Mood with Music – Make sure you create a feel good – upbeat playlist of tunes to play in the background and set the mood. If you don’t feel like going through the work of creating your own playlist, apps like Spotify or Pandora have pre-made playlists or stations to choose from.
- Enjoy the company – Remember, the most important part of the holidays is spending time with your loved ones – you don’t have to do all of the work on your own. You can buy some of the dishes or appetizers pre-made instead of making everything from scratch. A lot of stores these days provide delicious, high-quality pre-made options that no one will even know were store-bought. Another fun options is to have everyone make or bring their own favorite dish – just make sure to keep an organized list of who’s bringing what so all of the main courses and dishes are accounted for. For the option with the least amount of work, you can even hire a caterer to take care of everything for you!
Above all, remember the most important part is being able to spend time and give thanks to you’re loved ones. Happy Holidays!