How to Host A Christmas Party

I love entertaining. Few things make me as happy as my home filled with people I love. Every year I host a Christmas party that I call “A Mistletoe & Holly Affair” after one if my favorite Rat Pack songs. I insist on cocktail attire because it makes it that much more festive. I play Christmas music, serve eggnog, and thoroughly enjoy myself. Here’s how.
IMG_0100-0.JPG

1 Month Ahead
Send out invitations. December is a busy time so I like to give plenty of notice. My party was on the first Friday of December starting at 6 pm to accommodate my friends with kiddos. I invited about 40 guests.

IMG_0118.JPG

1 Week Ahead
1) Decorate your house and trim your tree. There’s nothing worse than decoration overload so decorate just enough to set the mood. A few Christmas touches in the guest bathroom will make you look like a true entertaining pro. I trimmed some branches from my crepe myrtles, spray painted them silver, and dusted them with glitter for a wintery statement.

IMG_0106.JPG
2) Plan your menu, including when each dish needs to be made. I had four savory and four sweet dishes for which I was responsible. If friends ask what they can bring, take them up on their offer and enlist their help!
My Menu:
Try-And-Beat-It Spinach Dip
IMG_0119.JPG
Meatballs
IMG_0103.JPG
Tortilla Rolls
IMG_0114.JPG
Cranberry Brie Bites
IMG_0104.JPG
White Chocolate Mousse
IMG_0115.JPG
Buche de Noel
IMG_0120.JPG
Melting Mint Brownies
IMG_0105.JPG
White Chocolate Lemon Bars

IMG_0113.JPG
Plus an assortment of olives, nuts, and candies.

Two Days Ahead
1) Buy your groceries and make whatever can be made early. I made the filling for the tortilla rolls and mixed together the meatballs.
2) Set your buffet table. Take heights into consideration. I used a mix of decorative, low plates, and high serving pieces. Unsecured candles add a nice touch. This year I dusted cut branches from my Christmas tree with silver glitter to set under the Buche de Noel, which I thought added a festive touch. I always set out the dishes I plan on using, then pop a note on each with the name of the dish so I don’t forget what it’s for.

IMG_0117.JPG
3) Arrange flowers. I never have tall arrangements for dinner parties so whenever I use my dining table as a buffet, I go big.
IMG_0122.JPG

1 Day Ahead
1) Check baking off your list. I powered through making all four desserts by 3 pm!
2) Make sure music is covered. I have Uverse so I tested out their Christmas channel and found it quite enjoyable.
3) Tidy your house.

Day Of
1) Finish as many tasks in the kitchen as early as you can.
2) Set out cups, plates, napkins.
3) Get yourself party-ready two hours before the start time so you don’t run into that, “That was the doorbell and my hair is in curlers!” panic.
4) Enlist help from a few key people. My parents and best friend came early to assist with prep because no matter how well you plan, you can’t avoid needing to cook – or at least warm – dishes right before the party. Mom and Dad brought shrimp, artichoke squares, and stuffed tomatoes.
IMG_0110.JPG
IMG_0109.JPGNicole brought chocolate crinkle cookies.

IMG_0101.JPG
5) Light candles. I added cut fir branches and cranberries to mason jar, added water, and carefully set floating candles in each.

IMG_0102.JPG
6) Turn on holiday music.
7) Set food out. (Don’t forget to thank past you for the helpful reminder cards all over the table!)
8) Set out ice in ice bucket. (Pro tip: freeze a few cranberries in ice trays for a cheerful holiday surprise.)
IMG_0126.JPG
9) Set out drinks last, since you want them cold. I served red and white wine, Italian soda, sparkling water, and self-spike eggnog.
10) Pop on your heels and have a fabulous time!

IMG_0107.JPG

IMG_0125.JPG

IMG_0124.JPG

IMG_0123.JPG

IMG_0121.JPG
IMG_0108.JPG
IMG_0127.JPG

Happy hosting,
The Rose Table

3 Comments Add yours

  1. These are great tips! (: Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you, Kiley! Are you hosting a holiday party this year?

      1. I won’t be this year, December really snuck up on me! But hopefully next year!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s