Holiday Entertaining Tips


“The ornaments of your house will be the guests who frequent it.”  ~Author Unknown


 Holiday Entertaining Made Easy

Entertaining can often be stressful; but when you add in holiday festivities, it can really ratchet up those jitters.  I love cooking and preparing for guests, but I have this perfectionist side of me that creeps into the fun.

So, over the years, I have developed organizational ideas to ease the stress.  My favorite quote has become, “KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON” from Winston Churchill.

I hope these ideas bring you more merriment and joy this holiday season.  You deserve to have fun too.

Brunch table setting

This may seem obvious but reminders are good.  Plan your menu as far ahead as is possible without making you crazy; and if you are preparing all the dishes, choose ones that can be prepared ahead.

If you are having a sit down meal, set the table the day before.  Personally, I find that buffets are easier if you are having more than eight people. If you need extra dishes, borrow from friends and family.  They will be delighted to see their pieces on your table.

Stations, or designated locations, help to get people moving and socializing.  They also enable your guests to serve themselves.

I create a coffee/tea station. This includes coffee, brewed tea or hot water with a variety of tea choices, cups, spoons, sweetners and cream.

Coffee/Tea entertaining station

Create a beverage station that includes glassware, mixed drinks, ice and bottled soda and mixers.  If you have a bar sink, fill it with ice and place the bottles in the ice.Pimm's cocktail ingredients

And create a dessert station that includes dessert, small plates, forks and extra napkins.

Dessert Station

If you don’t have a lot of counter space, set up small tables or rolling carts for the beverage and dessert bars.

The hostess at one party I attended used different rooms as stations.  The food was in the dining room, the dessert was in the living room and the beverage and coffee bars were in the kitchen. This was fun because we got to enjoy every room’s holiday decorations.  It also kept people from gathering only in the kitchen.

If you have teenagers, enlist them the be waiters.  They can pass hors d’oeuvres, clean up dirty glassware, dishes and silverware and generally be of assistance.

Soft music playing in the background is always a nice touch.

Finally, before everyone arrives, take in the wonderful atmosphere that you have created.  Share a glass of bubbly with your honey!!.




Patricia Rio
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