Friday, December 7, 2012

Holiday Entertaining with Style and Ease

It seems like everyone is either Hosting or Attending a Holiday Party during December.  It's the Holiday Season where we try and spend time with friends, family and even co-workers.   The Holiday Party Season doesn't have to be exhausting if you pace yourself, get organized and simplify.

If you are Hosting a Holiday Party there are ways to make your life a little easier and more fun to spend time with your guests.

I have started a Holiday Tradition Party and this is the third year that I have Hosted an after Christmas Get Together Open House Party.

This year I am making it a lot easier on my time and expenses by having it be a Potluck Party.  To make it even easier I have chosen a theme of a Fondue Potluck Party.  I will supply the Chocolate and Cheese Fondue, my home and all of the tableware and platters and some basic drinks.   I will have a pitcher of flavoured water, a bottle of white wine, a bottle of red wine, a bottle of cranberry juice, a carton of orange juice and some soft drinks.   Setting up a fully self serve bar for people to mix and choose whatever the like to drink.

I have asked my guests to bring the dipping foods or foods that go well with the chocolate and cheese fondue's.

I will set up my Cheese Fondue and plates, platters and skewers ready for my guests to add their offerings for dunking into the decadent cheese fondue.  If guests arrive at different times there will always be new choices for dipping.

I will have the chocolate fondue ready to heat up and serve once the cheese fondue has gotten down to the last crunchy bits at the bottom of the fondue pot.

Then it's time for dessert.  The glorious Chocolate Fondue.  Decadent, delicious and satisfying and guests have fun interacting and selecting what their favourite dippers are.

For the past couple of years I have had little gifts ready for a fun gift exchange where people would choose a gift from a various selection of things and would have 1 opportunity to trade their gift.
This year since I am not working I have requested that my guests bring 1 Eco wrapping paper and also something that they haven't bought but something that they may have gotten as a gift and have no use for or something they may have bought and never used or something they may have received at an we all get) something a lot of my friends get because they attend lots of charity events, film festivals and trade shows.   At the end of the year you end up collecting a whole bunch of things you don't need.   This is a way to clear your house of things you don't need and pass them on to someone that might have a use for it.   What's old is new when you trade something you don't need for something you don't have already.

You end your year by releasing all of the things that become clutter in your space and start your year with only things you like or need.   Hopefully if it all works.

Just to be safe I will add a few things of my own so that people can trade once if they don't like what they have chosen.   The last couple of years I had a mix of stuff I had from Swag, little things I picked up and stuff I didn't need anymore.    I still have things I don't need anymore or have no space for... like a couple of framed pictures that I have taken.  No more wall space, so I will add those to the gifts just in case someone forgets to bring something or people bring things nobody wants.   I will donate any of the left over items to Value Village so it can go for Charity.   Thus cleaning up my space and my friends space and passing it on to people that may need those items.

Will see how it goes this year.   If the Potluck, Eco Swap party works well then maybe I will make it an annual tradition.   Either way it's a good excuse to just have an Easy Get Together with friends.

I have hosted what I look as the in between party...  the days in between Christmas and New Years where most people are exhausted from rushing to parties and working and getting ready to ring in the New Year.   Hosting the in between party is more of a stress free party because a lot of people have time off and are shopped out, exhausted and don't want to rush around but they have nothing to do and don't want to have to impress anyone.   A potluck party where people only have to think about bringing  something like a baguette or fruit and something laying around the house and they don't even have to dress to impress.   You just have to grab a couple of things and go... and just chill out with friends.

Because I have asked for it to be a little more Eco Friendly... Reuse, recycle and skip the gift wrapping by putting it in a reusable container or a reusable bag...  this makes it a whole lot easier because you know everyone else is doing the same thing.   Good for the Environment, good for your stress levels.

Hopefully an event to recharge and get ready to ring in the New Year.

I will post photos and another post after the event to let you know how it turned out.

Some Suggestions for Dippers that guests can bring:

Cherry Tomatoes
Mini bananas
pound cake
Lady Fingers
Dried Apricots

anything that has a low water content...  chocolate will seize when you add water so skip the watermelon.

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