By Christina Shoup
With the holidays approaching faster than ever and the calender filling with events, here are a few tips for hosting your own holiday extravaganza.
When having people to your house for a party, it is important to make everyone feel at home. Incorporating personal touches from your everyday life is a good place to start. Have a signature drink and make an adult and kids version—for example, a spiked apple cider for the grown-ups and a chilled sparkling cider for the kids.
Planning a meal that will allow for early prepwork and cooking some dishes ahead of time will enable you to spend more time with your guests. Have the full menu in mind, make a detailed grocery list, and work ahead as much as possible. Marinate or brine meat one to two days in advance, and the day before the event, prepare sides that only need reheating. Having a cold or room temperature dessert is an easy way to end a delicious meal.
Featuring local fare (meat, wine, veggies, cheese, etc.) in your holiday meal or party is a great way to add a conversation about the food.
If children will be invited try having an activity just for them. A holiday craft or game, cookie decorating, or a holiday movie are all good ways to keep your younger guests happy.
When the party comes to an end, it is nice to have a small take away gift for your guests. Have baggies prepared with ribbon ties to send a few of the cookies the children decorated home with guests. Or fill mason jars with the dry ingredients for your favorite cookies or brownies and attach the recipe.
Adding a few personal touches to your party will ensure fond memories for both you and your guests.