What holiday homecoming is complete without dressing up at least once for a Christmas party? Many individuals are put off by throwing their own party because, let’s face it, organizing an event on top of work and family can at times seem daunting. As soon as Jack and I knew we would be flying home for Christmas this year, I begged my mom to let me throw a little shindig at their house. These are a few of the set-up pictures.
When planning a holiday get-together, be sure to choose quick, easy and inexpensive treats that can feed a large group. In keeping with this rule, I decided to make bruschetta. This dish requires tomatoes, cucumber, onion, and feta–all fairly inexpensive and best of all, a little goes a long way. Jack even made baguettes to go along with the bruschetta and save a little money. My parents also decided to buy one HoneyBaked Ham to avoid the hassle of baking all day, and lots of wine.
Another way to lower the stress and remain in budget is to simply ask your friends and family to bring something to share. Many people think they are required to provide everything for the party but most guests are more than happy to contribute and don’t even need to be asked. Remember, it is OK to let go of some of the party-planning responsibility…a tip I find myself repeating often.
Simple is better. Cheese, crackers, wine–even three themed ingredients can make a successful party. We had a wine and cheese bar at the party. My aunt and uncle contributed an out-of this-world homemade tomato jam (recipe to come), that we paired with crackers and various cheeses. I filled up on this combination alone.
A few of the contributed foods included: pumpkin dip and gingersnaps (courtesy of my sister), meatballs (mother-in-law), more cheese and cracker plates (you can never have too many), ham, pickle, and cream cheese rolls (sister-in-law), and more wine.
For the non-wine drinkers, we also created a fun little space for a hot chocolate bar. I emptied cocoa and marshmallows into tins from home depot, and filled a teapot with hot water right before the guests arrived. I also filled clear containers with cinnamon sticks for stirring, and pirouettes to pair with their drinks. We set out the mugs ahead of time for easy access and also decorated the cocoa bar with various desserts, Costco truffles on shiny flower cut outs and blackberry pie.
To decorate, we simply used ornaments and candles to add ambiance and sparkle to the decor. Once again, simple and inexpensive is the key to throwing your own party. This should be an enjoyable process, not one that will cause stress. Decide ahead of time your budget, time requirements, and how many people you are willing to host. If you aren’t sure, start small and in time, throwing a party will be as easy as 1-2-3.
Remember it’s not about the party, it’s about the people–Coming together with those you love. I hope you’ve enjoyed the pictures from our little holiday party and I hope your holiday gatherings were as joyful and refreshing as ours was. Happy New Year!