I love throwing holiday parties at my house! It’s a ton of work, but I find it really enjoyable, even if on the day of I want to cancel and wonder why I ever got myself into it in the first place. There is just something so fun and fulfilling about entertaining for my/my husband’s friends, that I continue to do it even through the complete exhaustion that has enveloped me during this pregnancy.
I thought I’d write up a little bit on my strategy for party planning and execution. My husband and I started talking about the best date for our Christmas party in September. It was too early to invite people, but we narrowed it down to 2 dates we knew would work for us. Of those, one was eliminated a little later since my parents found out they would be visiting. So, in the end there was one possible date, which made things easy because I didn’t feel like I should try to cater to people to make sure they could come. It was either you’re free on this day, or you’re not.
After picking a date, I didn’t think much more about it until October. That’s when I started loosely planning what I might like to serve at the party. Each year I try to serve at least one hot dish that is completely homemade. Last year we made two big batches of chili. This year I thought about doing wings, but eventually decided they’d be way to messy. I also thought about doing a couple kinds of quiche, but eventually ruled that out thinking it’d be way too much work (I make a great pie crust but I hate doing it!!!!). Finally, sometime in November, I settled on sweet and sour meatballs. Fried rice was a last minute addition since I have a vegan co-worker who would be coming and I wanted to make sure he could eat at least some of what I’d be serving.
Starting in November I used weekends to build up my freezer stash of Christmas baked goods. I try to make one thing each weekend. In total I ended up with shortbreads, peanut butter balls, chocolate ball cookies, cupcakes, Fudgeo brownies, and cherry pound cake. I still need to blog most of those recipes, so stay tuned! Hopefully I can get to them before Christmas arrives :)
So, now that all of the food was basically planned, and the sweets were all baked, the next step was to actually invite people to the party. I waited until 3 weeks out and I went with the super easy email invite. I try to make it look a little festive by changing up the text colors and stuff, but it’s pretty basic. I asked everyone to RSVP, just so I could get an idea how much food I needed.
The days leading up to the party are spent tidying the house, and bringing up all of my serving dishes from the basement. Some of the grocery shopping happened the weekend before the party, but a lot of it had to be saved for the morning of, so that things like bread and dip would be fresh. We rolled all of the meatballs the morning of the party. That was a ton of work, I kind of wish we had done this the night before. Anyhow, all of the other prep couldn’t really happen until an hour or so before the party, this is super stressful!!!! I felt extremely tired by the time all of our guests started arriving, but this year I had a great excuse for sitting and not doing too much mingling. I let people come to me!
Here is a list of the food we served this year (homemade food shown with an *):
- Sweet and sour meatballs*
- Vegetable fried rice*
- Baked brie with pear and rosemary preserve
- Pepperoni, cheese, and crackers
- Spinach dip in a pumpernickel bread bowl
- Hummus and pita
- Nacho dip and chips
- Various homemade sweet treats, as mentioned above*!
- Various bowls of nuts
As you can see, I didn’t go too overboard with the homemade food this year. I blame pregnancy. Either way all of it was delicious and everyone had a great time!
I hope this post was even a tiny bit helpful. Maybe next time any of you throw a party you’ll be a little more prepared!
Oh and Leroy was so good! He just chilled out :)