Holiday entertaining….can be full of stress, making sure your home is dressed to the nines and clean. The kids, the dog, the tree all perfect. What if there were another way? An easy, and simple way to entertain for the holidays? There is!
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Whether you are entertaining a large group of friends, hosting a small, intimate get together, or having a spontaneous last-minute gathering, having the right supplies on hand creates a stress-free experience for your guests and you. Here are a few simple and quick tips to host any gathering, large or small, planned, or spur of the moment.
The holidays are great for entertaining because your home is already decked out with the tree up for the holidays. No need to worry about decorations and therefore, less stress!
Holiday Entertaining Tips and Tricks
Clean Up Quickly
Don't make yourself crazy trying to spruce up your home for guests. Your house does not have to be immaculate. It does need to be comfortable. Your home should be a place where your guests feel welcomed, and peace, joy, and laughter are felt.
Food and Drink
The main focus when hosting a holiday gathering at home is the food and drink. You want to serve food that looks and tastes good, but you don't want to spend all day in the kitchen slaving over the stove.
Over the years of holiday entertaining, I have discovered that during the holidays people love to show off their favorite dishes. So, a wonderful way to include your guests in the party is to ask them to bring a dish to share. This takes the burden off of you to provide all the food and makes for easy holiday entertaining.
Easy And Quick Food Options for Holiday Entertaining
You can't beat a charcuterie platter as the centerpiece for holiday entertaining! Because of the different cheese textures, and the additions of fruit, nuts, olives, and pickles, your charcuterie platter becomes the centerpiece of your table.
For our entertaining, I love the Complete Cheese Board Set which comes with a cheese knife set, a wine server, cheese markers, and serving forks. The set also includes a slate board that you can use for additional cheeses or fruits.
What Do I Include On A Charcuterie Platter?
When choosing your cheeses, include different textures, flavors, and types. I generally include a soft cheese, such as a goat cheese spread, a creamy cheese like Camembert or Brie. Add a cheddar (I like a sweet cheddar from Ireland) or a pungent cheese like Stilton blue cheese, for a contrasting flavor.
You may also want to include a firmer cheese such as Gruyère or a Gouda. To finish off the cheese selection add a hard cheese like a Parmigiano. Holiday gatherings are a great occasion for you and your guests to try new and interesting cheeses you've never had!
We love the tart sweetness of grapes (use white and red grapes for a holiday picture perfect centerpiece. Sliced apples are also nice, and add a bit of holiday color.
Nuts and Pickles
Adding almonds to your platter is a nice touch. The crunchy almonds add a nice texture contrast and pair nicely with both the fruit and the cheese.
I was pleasantly surprised the other evening when I added pickles to my charcuterie board. They were such a hit, I refilled the dishes 4 times! Bread and butter pickles work really well, and pair nicely with cheese and meat.
Add a selection of meats to your charcuterie board to round it out. Our go-to meat selections include prosciutto, Jamòn (Spanish ham), uncured soppressata, salami, and pepperoni.
Roll the prosciutto and Jamón, and stack on the platter, scatter the rounds of soppressata, pepperoni, and salami in several places on the platter. Add the crackers, and voilá you are ready to serve.
Cold salads like our favorite chicken salad are a go-to party staple for us. We love how easy it is to serve – whether we serve it with crackers or with a selection of artisan bread for a make your own sandwich bar.
Wine Makes Your Holiday Gathering Festive
Create a wine bar on a side table by draping the table with a festive cloth. Then add your wine glasses. For a small gathering, I'll use crystal wine glasses to continue that intimate holiday spirit.
For holiday entertaining on a larger scale, I like to use unbreakable stemless glasses. You are keeping your house safe from breakables, and you can reuse them time and time again. If you are like us and love gatherings that are indoor/outdoor and near a pool or firepit, unbreakable glasses are a necessity.
Choose a selection of both white and red wines to grace your wine bar. It's super difficult for me to run out to the wine shop every time I need more wine. That's why I love wine clubs! You get a selection monthly or quarterly, and it allows you to taste and try different wines, and purchase more of the wines you love.
For those who love wine cocktails, include Sprite or 7-UP and sliced lemons and limes, and let your guests create their own wine spritzers.
Make Holiday Entertaining Cleanup a Breeze
This year has been different, in a lot of ways. Our holiday entertaining is not as extensive. We are all tired. But we want to stay healthy. So, we are hosting our holiday gathering on a much smaller scale, and it's an inside/outside gathering. So that means plastic glasses and plastic plates.
We are choosing to use nice elegant plastic plates, and of course, real cutlery. We are decorating on a smaller and simpler scale as well, making our holiday entertaining easy and simple.
Holiday entertaining does not have to be full of stress, and you don't need to be running around making sure everything is perfect. These easy holiday entertaining tips will allow you to relax, breathe, and enjoy your guests.
Drop a comment below and let us know your favorite holiday entertaining tip!