As the holiday season approaches, your calendar will quickly be filling up with friends-giving celebrations, secret Santa gift exchanges, and get-togethers with extended family. When it comes to preparing for these festivities, every great host knows that the key to a successful holiday gathering is making guests feel welcome. Are you getting ready to open your door to family and friends this year? To help you plan the perfect holiday party, we’re sharing our tips on essentials for holiday entertaining, so you can spend less time worrying and more time with loved ones.
What do you need to do to host family and friends for the holidays?
Stock up early
Whether you’ll be hosting your entire family or are just expecting a few people, start purchasing the things you’ll need early on, especially specialty seasonal items. You’d be surprised by how many people want the exact same brand of chocolates or holiday platter that you do. If you get it early, you don’t have to worry about it running out of stock by the time your party rolls around. There is no better feeling than knowing you already have everything you need to enjoy the holidays before they happen. So, put on your Santa hat and start making a list! We even recommend checking it twice.
Plan your menu and cook ahead
Doing as much ahead of time as possible will help to eliminate stress later. Planning exactly what it is you want to serve will help you stock up on the ingredients you need and prepare a timeline of when everything needs to be done. The courses you’ll want to consider are a main dish, starters, side dishes, and dessert.
The most important thing any host can do to make it through the hustle and bustle of the holidays is to prepare as much food as possible in advance. For instance, you can start cooking your turkey the night before instead of getting up extra early the morning of.
You can also eliminate the stress of preparing a fancy dessert by picking up a cake roll from Dutch Apron® Bakery at your local grocery store. It’s a delicious and unique treat that will effortlessly impress any guest at your holiday parties. Our cake rolls are easy to share and even easier to serve – just thaw and slice!
Plan your seating arrangements
Part of making your guests feel welcome and comfortable is being sure there is enough seating for everyone. For casual parties, don’t feel like you must seat guests around a crowded dinner table. Instead, offer a buffet-style meal that allows visitors to spread out and spend time catching up with everyone in attendance. Proper seating may seem simple, but it goes a long to helping your guests relax and enjoy themselves.
Entertainment for everyone
You don’t have all the essentials for holiday entertaining if you don’t have any entertainment! Planning some fun games or putting on a classic Christmas playlist will help set the mood for your event and get everyone in the holiday spirit. Just be sure you have something for everyone!
Games for Adults
Whether you’re hosting coworkers, neighbors, friends, or family, every party could use a fun game to brighten the mood. We recommend the holiday classic of exchanging “white elephant” gifts. It’s a great way to break the ice, and you often end up with some really funny presents. As a bonus, these gifts are designed to be simple and won’t break the bank. If you want to learn more about white elephant gift exchanges, check out the White Elephant Rules’ website.
If there are going to be a lot of little ones around for your gathering, plan some holiday-themed activities to keep them entertained! This holiday season, why not give the kids their own little treat to decorate? We recommend getting a few extra Dutch Apron Bakery Cake Rolls, cutting them into several 1-inch slices, and setting them up with sprinkles and icing, so the kids can decorate their own cake roll slice. They will spend hours getting covered in icing, eating all the sugary tidbits, and having a great time while the adults have their own fun.
Everyone knows that hosting a holiday get-together can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. The best thing you can do to prepare for the holidays is to take a moment for yourself and relax. With our tips on essentials for holiday entertaining, this will be the holiday season where you can actually enjoy your party as much as your guests.