Stress free holiday entertaining

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Getting ready to host Christmas Eve next week and thought I would share some holiday entertaining ideas from myself and from around the web.  Our big celebration is on Christmas Eve vs. Christmas Day, and is based on heavy appetizers instead of a sit down meal.  Here are some of my tips:

#1 Plan out the menu- obviously!  My sister will laugh that I put this as my first item because she thinks I am always waiting until the last minute.  My mom and sister also bring items (delegate, people!) so it makes it a lot easier!!  On my list is usually:

  • shrimp cocktail Wyttenbach’s meats actually have some B E A utiful shrimp:)
  • bacon wrapped water chestnuts (bro-in-law’s specialty;))
  • variety of cheeses from Carr Valley Cheese…. nummmm!
  • fruit platter
  • spinach artichoke dip in Hawaiian bread
  • cheese/hamburger dip with Tostitos
  • small sandwiches (ham or beef) with various sauces/mustards
  • chocolate covered peanut butter balls (always reminds me of my grandma!)
  • cream cheese tortilla pinwheels and salsa
  • cheesecake variety plate (from the grocery store; cut up into small bites)


#2 Variety of beverages

We usually do a couple different types of beer, a few bottles of red & white wine, and vodka with various mixers.  Rumchata is also a (my) favorite- and great to end the night with- over ice or in some coffee! Set up a separate bar that is away from the food so everyone is not congregating in the same spot:)  Use buckets with ice for cocktails, a separate bucket with beer on ice, some mixers and glasses and you’re set!

Champagne cocktail bar!!

#3 A place for guests to hang coats and purses

Plan this out ahead of time- especially if you are having a large group!  Make extra room (and hangers) in a front closet, or dedicate an office or main floor bedroom to take these items to. A portable coat rack is another item you could purchase (and use in the laundry room too?)

#4 Lighting!

White lights at Christmas are my absolute favorite! Add them to your entry, but also how about on your table around your appetizers? Or, add them to a large jar and set at the back of a buffet table?

Lots of different sources of lighting are key!  Besides the white lights, use your dimmer switches if you have them, and strategically place (nummy smelling) candles around your house (in a safe location). Keep a candle burning in the powder room as well!

#5 Music

We are huge Pandora fans here.  Each family member has lots of stations saved:)  If you want Christmas music, pick your favorite song and make a station out of it, or here are some good classics.

A station I have been listening to a lot lately is Skyfall (based on Adele’s song, and anything that relates to Daniel Craig I like;)).  That list has Adele, Coldplay, Imagine Dragons and some violin/dubstep from Lindsey Stirling.  Kind of mellow, a little modern, but doesn’t put you to sleep! Think about your guests is the best bet.

#6 Stock up on essentials

The worst thing is to run out of essentials when throwing a party.  Toilet paper, Kleenex, paper plates, utensils, paper towels, ice, garbage bags (set up a special recycling bin if needed!).

#7 Make a “goodie” basket for your powder bath.

This is always a nice touch.  Find a cute basket and add some essentials for guests to use: good smelling lotion, hairspray, mouthwash (and disposable cups), personal care products, aspirin and extra toilet paper. Extra hand towels within reach and a great smelling candle (or Scentsy burner) will be the final touches to put in this room.

#8 Keep a record of the party

Take lots of pictures so you can remember how you decorated and of course to record the event with friends and family!  Make notes the next day on what worked and didn’t work and keep in a safe place until next year.

Have a fantabulous holiday season!  Hopefully these tips will help your party go smoothly and let you enjoy your time with friends and family:)


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