I’m back with another edition of The 5 Minute Hostess, and this time I’m talking about holiday parties.
I don’t know if it’s because of blogs and Pinterest but it seems like women these days put a lot of pressure on themselves in the hostess department. Remember when a birthday party was as simple as a cake and balloons and a few of your best pals? Yeah, I’m talking about when you were a kid before etsy shops existed, back when no one ordered water bottle wrappers to coordinate perfectly with the rest of the party decor, when you decorated a cupcake with sprinkles not some cute-sy diy topper. I mean, obviously, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to go all out and really create a fun party atmosphere, but at the end of the day what anyone ever remembers about the party has pretty much nothing to do with the decor. So ladies let’s take the pressure off and just enjoy playing hostess because I promise you it’s super fun and you’ll actually enjoy the party so much you’ll want to entertain more often!
Holiday party hosting can be especially daunting just because it’s such a crazy busy time of year! I mean sure you can scour the web for party ideas and come away with tons of inspiration – cheese cubes shaped into Christmas trees on platters, hot cocoa bars with homemade marshmallows and peppermint martinis complete with crushed candy canes around the rim – and all of those ideas are awesome but they can also make you feel a little overwhelmed before the party has even started! So here are a few tips for easy holiday party entertaining that are totally doable in about 5 minutes – give or take. 😉
1. Pick a color palette a few days before your party.
Don’t stress over having to have all of your serving pieces match. Pick a color palette – red/white – green/red/white – and just go with what you have. Using a runner down the buffet area adds a little life to the food display and will help to tie your mismatched pieces together. And knowing exactly what platters/serving trays/bowls/plates you’re going to use ahead of time will make the day of the party a whole lot less stressful.
2. Don’t serve warm food.
Unless you’re planning to use your crockpot or you have a chaffing dish I’d recommend sticking to cold appetizers and desserts. Having to hover over the stove/oven will suck the fun right out of hosting unless you want to be stuck in the kitchen all night. For our recent holiday party I busted out the fondue pot and had a little dark chocolate going with marshmallows and fruit dippers…..and even potato chips to dip (try it- you’ll like it). Our guests loved the dark chocolate fondue, and I loved that I didn’t have to do any baking!
3. Let rosemary be your friend.
Not great at creating a cheese/charcuterie board? Grab some rosemary and let her work her magic!
Rosemary makes for a great divider on a cheese or meat platter. My friend Courtney is a pro – check out how easy to do yet totally gorgeous her party platter looks!
4. Make something into individual single servings.
There is something special about a mini version of anything, in my opinion. Individual servings of ceviche or strawberry shortcake or little soup shooters totally put me in the party spirit and they are so darn easy to do……………you literally just create individual servings! For our party I made mini shrimp cocktails using inexpensive reusable plastic martini glasses from the party store. They were so fun and so ridiculously easy to put together! They added a festive vibe to the buffet area.
5. Decide on a signature cocktail before the party.
This way if you do want to crush up some candy canes for that peppermint martini you’ll be prepared ahead of time. And you won’t have a bunch of different things going on in the bar area.
6. Rock a theme.
Okay, so this isn’t exactly a must-do but in terms of a holiday party it really does make it that much more fun and festive. Plus when you have a theme party – tacky Christmas, ugly sweater, 80’s Christmas, dress as your favorite holiday character – your guests focus more on what everyone is wearing and less on your holiday decorations…………because the guests become the decorations. 😉
And you don’t need a photo booth or photo props because everyone already looks ridiculous as is!
7. Put your co-host to good use.
I realize you’re not all married, but you don’t have to be married to have a party co-host. You can totally ask one of your friends to help you on the day of the party! My hub, my party co-host, is always in charge of the grocery shopping, and I make sure to leave him a very detailed shopping list – sometimes even with the aisle number. 😉 And I always put him in charge of the signature cocktail and overall bar area – which he loves. Every host needs a good co-host – just ask Kelly Ripa.
Parties aren’t just supposed to be fun for the guests, the hosts should be able to have fun too! So don’t stress! Do you have any easy holiday party entertaining tips to share?
Hosting a sit down dinner? Check out my 5 minute tablescape!