The holidays are wonderful for getting people together… which, as much as we love to host our friends and family, can bring a lot of added stress to our lives. Keep things fun, simple and most importantly, plan ahead so you feel prepared and not overwhelmed. We are sharing some of our favourite holiday entertaining tips here, to help you decorate and host this holiday season. We’ve also included a few links to some fantastic menu inspiration!
1. A simple way to give your holiday decorations a professionally decorated look is to stick to just two or three colors. Deciding on a palette before you shop makes the selection process quick and easy.
2. A lit fireplace is beautiful but can quickly heat up a room filled with guests. To get the look without the warmth, instead fill the hearth with lit pillar candles.
3. Adding a vintage element, such as homemade gingerbread men, hand-strung popcorn or a cranberry garland to your holiday decorations lends a sentimental, old-fashioned feel.
4. Create a warm and inviting fragrance around your home with just cinnamon sticks and water. Before guests arrive, add a cinnamon stick or two in a pot of boiling water, and then let it simmer it for about 30 minutes before taking it off the heat.
5. Fridge space fills up fast, and squeezing in those extra bottles of bubbly, wine, and beer can prove quite the challenge. Take advantage of entertaining during the cold winter months and stash those extra drinks outside. Bonus points if there's snow on the ground.
6. People always have a way of congregating around the food at parties. It doesn't matter where it is, your guests will seek it out and plant themselves firmly around it. To avoid all of your guests settling into one area, spread the snacks and drinks around the party.
7. Don't stress about having all the snacks cooked and ready by the time guests arrive; just have plenty of drinks at the ready, and one or two snacks on the table by the time your first guest rings the doorbell. Then gradually bring out the rest.
8. Parties are supposed to be fun, and not stressful! It's okay if you don't make everything yourself. There are some delicious store-bought appetizer options out there — it's just a matter of finding the right ones.
9. Set everything up the night before, that way, the day of all you need to do is put out the food and drink. Rearrange any furniture or gather extra seating; restock the restroom with toilet paper and clean towels; decide where to put the drinks.
10. Consider serving a pre-mixed drink or cocktail such as sangria, punch or eggnog. Guests can help themselves and it often turns out cheaper than individual drinks. Place glasses on a pretty tray, set out an ice bucket and you’ll hands free!
Great recipe ideas:http://www.marthastewart.com/857731/easy-holiday-menus#183337http://www.marthastewart.com/856503/holiday-parties-and-menus#228090http://www.marthastewart.com/856503/holiday-parties-and-menus#216418http://www.foodnetwork.com/holidays-and-parties/packages/holidays/holiday-central-appetizers/easy-elegant-holiday-appetizer-recipes.htmlhttp://www.foodandwine.com/articles/best-holiday-hors-d-oeuvres