There’s a lot to plan for when you’re hosting over the holidays. Whether it’s a meal for intimate friends, your extended family, or a group of people who are just meeting, I’ve got a few tips that will allow you to keep things low-stress so that you can enjoy all your preparation.
- Make it flow. Set the mood for a casual and inviting meal by allowing guests to help themselves. Set up a serving table that can be accessed from both sides for the best party flow. Put plates at one end and silverware at the other, then stick tongs into the food so guests can serve themselves with their free hand.
- Microwave in a minute. If you’re preparing certain dishes in advance, remember to store them in microwave- or oven-safe containers so they can be quickly reheated and placed on your table.
- Shop your home. Create an appetizer spread on wooden cutting boards…the more sizes, shapes and finishes the better! You can also take baskets from around your house and fill them with your holiday party food.
- Turkey time: If you’ve decided on a turkey this Christmas, remember to allow approximately 24 hours per four to five pounds when thawing in the refrigerator. For larger crowds, buy 2 smaller turkeys instead of 1 large one to keep the meat tender and juicy.
- Jingle jangle tunes: Music is like instant atmosphere that doesn’t cost a dime. Make a playlist from your collection with the seasonal spirit in mind.
- For the kids: Make a cookie decorating station for your next kid friendly holiday party. Set out a tray of plain frosted sugar cookies. Fill various clear containers with chocolate, mints, sprinkles and gel frostings for the kids to decorate the cookies.
Did you break the cork? Run out of gift wrap? Forget about table decor? For answers to these dilemmas and for even more holiday planning tips, check out the Holiday Survival Guide over at Curel US, in partnership with Meals on Wheels.