Can you believe how much activity gets packed into the few months surrounding the holidays? I am pretty sure we do not go to this much fuss and bother any other time of year. In retrospect, the only other time in my life I did as much planning, entertaining, hostessing and stressing was when I planned my wedding! The key to a successful holiday get together is to have a few basics in place. Here are a few of my favorites:
Tips For Holiday Entertaining
- Space: Be sure to invite just the right number of guests so you are not on top of each other. The rule of thumb is to take the square footage of the room you plan to host the party and divide it by 5 and this gives you the number of guest you can invite. You can add 20% more people to that number because not everyone you invite will be able to come.
- Drinks: Be sure to serve a variety of drinks for your guest, both non and alcoholic. If this is a holiday party, it is nice to include at least one hot beverage in each category for those chilly nights. Be sure you have plenty of ice and the proper wines and liqueurs are chilled ahead of time.
- Music: There is nothing worse than that awkward silence that will inevitably envelope a room. To avoid this, play some music in the background. You want the volume high enough for your guests to hear but not so loud it drowns out the conversation. Be mindful of the type music you play as well. You do not want to play AC/DC at volume 11 but you do not want to play classical and put the crowd to sleep!
- Food: Plan on hungry guests and shop for your food accordingly. It is better to have too much than too little when it comes to food for a party or dinner. Serve a variety of foods, including vegetarian choices, snacks, appetizers and main courses.
- Serving Dishes: Invest in some good serving dishes for your foods. You want them to be attractive but not too busy to take away from the food itself. Make sure they are large enough to serve large enough portions that you are not running back and forth all night long. I love the serving pieces from Q Squared NYC because they look fantastic, are easy to take care of and are the perfect size for my needs.
Because I am the only one in the family who likes turkey, we do not serve it at Thanksgiving. Instead, I make my famous pot roast in the crock pot and serve it with home made mashed potatoes and gravy. This is one meal my family will eat every last bit of, so it is worth the effort each time I make it. It does not matter if I have just a few people or a large crowd, I like to have pretty serving dishes and platters for the food. I chose 3 pieces from Q Squared NYC I felt looked great together and served the purpose I needed them for. I chose the Twisted Triple Bowl in Kelly Green, which sells for only $13 on the website, for the veggies. My husband and sister will go to town on carrots and celery, so I need to make sure i have plenty of them. At a generous 16″ in length, it has plenty of room for what I need.
For the mashed potato side dish, I chose the Small Rectangular Platter from the Diamond Red Collection. This 14″ platter sells for $24 and has plenty of room for your dies dishes or makes a great tray for drinks or appetizers. For the main course, I chose the Long Platter from the gorgeous Hazelwood Collection, which sells for $50. The platter is a generous 21.5″ in length and 6.5″ in width and is perfect for your entree. It was the hit of my Thanksgiving dinner and received the most compliments. All the pieces are easy to clean up and store and because they are made so well, there is no fear of my breaking them! Be sure to follow Q Squared NYC on Facebook and Twitter to stay current with their latest news and products.
One USA reader will win the Hazelwood Long Platter ($50)