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BACK TO Holiday & Entertaining Holiday Party Planning Tips & Ideas

Holiday Party Planning Tips & Ideas

Throwing a party or hosting a celebration dinner is as much of a holiday tradition as gift-giving and decorating. As you plan this year’s festivities, keep a few hints and ideas in mind for your most memorable gathering yet!

Why not host an appetizer “potluck” where invited guests bring a favorite finger food to share (you provide beverages and couple of simple appetizers)? It’s a unique way to sample several things and takes pressure off of you to prepare a variety of foods.

As you sketch out your menu keep make-ahead in mind, incorporating recipes that can be assembled or mixed in advance and chilled or frozen. Dips and spreads are perfect examples, as are entrées like lasagna.

Factor oven space and timing into your menu planning as well, spreading things out between the oven and stove—and don’t forget about your slow cooker! You can keep mashed potatoes warm or even cook stuffing, scalloped potatoes or desserts in it. Decorate and set the table or buffet a day ahead to minimize last minute rushing. Label serving platters and bowls with sticky notes indicating what each will hold to ensure you have everything you need for smooth service. Finally, remember that the party should be fun for you, the host, too! Keep things simple, focus on recipes you know and like, and know that the most important thing is spending time with friends and family.