It’s not too late to plan that holiday gathering at your home for your closest friends. Whether your group ranges from three or four couples to 10 or 15, the key is to keep it simple. This fits in perfectly with today’s trends!
Holiday revelers in 2017 are looking for social gatherings that allow for more mingling than sitting, so don’t spend the extra time trying to organize a formal dinner. Your guests will appreciate the freedom to make a plate and cocktail and roam. A buffet of substantial hors d’oeuvres is the perfect addition to your small or medium-sized event.
Since you have already put the planning off a bit longer than you should have, there are a couple of things to consider if you are to make this party possible with the least amount of stress for you, the host.
First, don’t be picky about the date. Sure, we all like to have weekend parties, but that’s the problem. Your guests will already have other obligations on their calendar, including that annual company party that takes a spot on everyone’s December calendar, so choose a date that is less likely to be booked, such as a Monday. If your guest list is small, you may want to take a few minutes to check with them. Believe it or not, Fridays are not as popular for parties as you may think.
Second, hors d’oeuvres may seem simple enough to make yourself, but since time is short, let your favorite caterer do the work. Even gatherings that seem rather large to you are simple for the experts. Your caterer can also recommend selections that fit your casual theme and accommodate any dietary restrictions your guests may have.
Remember to keep that interactive trend in mind as you consider food and drink options for your party. A fondue bar is an excellent centerpiece for your buffet, encouraging guests to gather around and partake. Consider adding something unique to your selections, such as a dish that represents your heritage, or several that reflect the various seasonal celebrations—Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanzaa and others. You may also consider serving food and cocktails on carts, allowing refreshments to roam along with your guests. Your caterer can help with creative ways to do this.
If dinner simply must be part of your celebration, a family style, pass-the-plate format is a much better fit for today’s social trends. Another option is to set your buffet alongside your table seating and incorporate a narrow table for eating rather than the standard dining table. By keeping your candles and table décor low profile, a narrow will table allow for easier conversation over dinner.
Third, let social media get the word out quickly, so that your last-minute gathering makes it to your guests’ calendars as quickly as possible. Electronic invitations are today’s simple, cost effective and environmentally friendly way to reach those most important to you, so there is no need to create more work for yourself with those glitter-covered paper invitations.
Finally, consider attire. The latest trends are toward more dressy celebrations, but no one knows your guests better than you do. You will want to take a moment to determine how the most special people in your life will want to celebrate. Whether you lean toward black tie or ugly Christmas sweater, the best party is the one where you, your family, and your friends can be most at ease.