Planning a Christmas Holiday Party
Dec 05, 2011 06:24PM ● Published by Anonymous
In early October, my husband and I decided to host a Christmas party this year. It's our first year married, our first year in our newly purchased home, and it happens that my husband's 28th birthday is on December 18th. Even one of those things would be reason to throw a party, but all three combined -- it's time for a full-fledged shindig.
We sent out save-the-date notices in early November because the weekends in December can get booked up quickly. Apparently we did it just in the nick of time, because people really did save the date! It turns out we have some pretty great friends who are coming from near and far (Delaware, the lower Eastern Shore, and North Carolina will all be represented at the party), making our party a little larger than anticipated.
We mailed out paper invitations in early December, because it's always a treat to get something fun in the mail. I got the design idea from Pinterest, designed them on PhotoShop, and ordered them through Vistaprint.com with a coupon.
It looks a little weird because I blurred out our home address and my personal email address. You understand, don't you?
So now that we've had an incredible response to our party, I've been getting our house decorated and the food and drinks menu planned and prepped. One challenge I've encountered is time: This week, I have holiday parties to attend on both Thursday and Friday nights, cutting down on prep time. I also have three of my husband's friends arriving on Friday afternoon to stay at our house, so there will be a lot of hustle and bustle. For this reason, I've really focused on simplifying the menu to offer elegant hors d'oeurves.
The other challenge is feeding 40+ people. Because I've always lived in apartments, I've never really had such a large get-together. Some people might turn to caterers for help, which is a great option. However, it's not really in our budget. Additionally, because people are tuned into my love of food and cooking, they expect to be eating food that I have made. Intimidating? A little. But I always enjoy a challenge.
So, here's the menu I came up with. I'm still wondering if it's enough for 40 people ... I guess we'll find out! I also tried to have a very wide range of meat, seafood, and vegetarian options, as I have people coming who both don't eat red meat and don't eat meat at all.
Wish me luck!
Beverages (This was the easy part!)
- Signature cocktail: Cranberry margaritas, served in a beverage dispenser bought from Bed, Bath & Beyond
- Red and white wine, as well as beer
- Apple cider, served in the slow cooker with the option to spike it with spiced rum
- Lemonade, sparkling grape juice, and soda for non-drinkers
- Cheese and fruit platter: Brie, goat, harvarti, and cheddar cheeses, served with baguettes and crackers, as well as grapes and apple slices.
- Crudites, served with hummus
- Caprese skewars: Grape tomatoes, mozzarella balls, and basil leaves, speared on a toothpick and drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette
- Bacon-wrapped shrimp
- Crab dip
- Sweet and spicy meatballs (in the slow-cooker)
- Proscuitto-wrapped pear slices
- Buffalo chicken cups (dip in mini phyllo shells)
- Spiced mixed nuts
- Miniature pumpkin cheesecakes
- Miniature cupcakes
- Christmas cookies