I don’t know about you, but one thing I love most about the holidays are the holiday parties with friends, family, and colleagues. Over the years, I have learned a few tips that make holiday entertaining easier and more fun.
Head to Your Local Dollar Store
I love to bake, so I often bring or bake dessert for holiday and year-round entertaining. However, I have a secret trick for making my desserts look their best—the dollar store. Dollar and discount stores always carry holiday-themed and faux-crystal plates and bowls to make your treats stand out. And for just a dollar, you can leave it behind as a hostess gift. Even though I tell my friends, they never believe my decorative plates are only $1!
Bonus Tip: Shop dollar and discount stores early, as the good holiday items go fast. Also, stock up on holiday essentials, like themed cello bags, cupcake wrappers, gift bags, tissue, and simple ornaments and garland that make for perfect present toppers. And don’t forget a few generic options for year-round entertaining.
After Holiday Shopping
I love, love, love the discounted after-holiday shopping! I head out the morning after the holidays I love most to enjoy 50% to 75% off holiday items. This includes cocktail napkins, home décor, decorations, and anything you require for holiday entertaining.
Bonus Tip: Look for versatile “holiday” items. Pumpkins and leaf décor might be categorized as a store’s “Halloween” item, but many can double as general fall decorations. I also keep an eye out for cute gifts for next year, making holiday shopping a breeze!
Potlucks Are Priceless
Whether hosting a cocktail and desserts evening or a full dinner, ask everyone to bring their favorite homemade or store-bought dessert or dish. Potlucks take the pressure off you cooking everything and provide a fun mix of foods and treats.
Bonus Tip: To ensure the options are balanced, delegate food/dessert calories: main course, vegan, chocolate, fruit, gluten-free, NA drinks, etc.
A Signature Drink Makes Holiday Entertaining Fun
Keep your bar easy breezy by making a signature punch or cocktail, with only a handful of alternatives. Mixing a sparkling wine with organic cherry or cranberry juice is easy and delicious. Add lemon or lime for an extra kick. Buy one brand of beer and offer one soda alternative. Also, consider ordering your coffee from Dunkin Donuts or any local restaurant that offers easy-serve bulk brew catered coffee.
Holiday entertaining should be fun, and the tips above will help. Last, but not least, ask a few of your friends or family members to help you keep the party running smoothly or offer to help the host or hostess when you see they are getting overwhelmed, or better yet, before!