The ghosts and goblins have been packed away in their boxes for another year, and the mistletoe and ornaments have taken their place in our home. There are only six more weeks until Christmas day and I am filled with anticipation for the holidays and everything that comes with it.
Around our home, the holidays are filled with friends, family, food, music, and taking time out of our regularly scheduled programming to reconnect and recharge. It is reflecting on the year that has passed and looking forward to the one ahead.
My favourite type of event is the casual drop in. While big parties are a lot of fun, I like the intimate atmosphere that comes with a smaller get together that has a more relaxed feel.
Here are my tips for a stress-free casual drop in during the holidays.
Play that holiday music
Nothing screams ‘Ho, Ho, Ho’ like walking into a room with Walking in a Winter Wonderland playing. Have music near your entertaining area, but keep the sound slightly lower than the conversation level.
Plan for kids
If your friends will be bringing their kids, or you have your own kids, a little extra planning will go a long way. Keep snacks easy and light. Nothing with sauce, or that will stain if dropped on carpet. Cookies, pretzels, and crackers can usually be cleaned up easily so your time won’t be spent watching over the young ones as they play.
Keep the food light
If it’s a casual drop in, a big dinner is not expected but you can still wow your guests with fun, festive appetizers like this Holiday Caprese Salad that I made from the Ocean Spray website. This one was a big hit among the adults and the kids loved it too.
Bursting with holiday colours and flavours, this salad can be served individually, or on a platter for guests to serve themselves. The only change I made to this recipe was that I lightly toasted the almond slivers before processing (just my preference).
Having a few different options on hand will please all of your guests. Drinks to consider stocking up on include wine, beer, pop, coffee, tea, eggnog, and a variety of juice to both use as a mix or for kid mocktails. We like to mix Ocean Spray® 100% Cranberry Juice Blend with orange juice, a bit of Grenadine and a splash of soda water for a little fizz. Remember to have ice on hand as well.
So, who wants to drop in for a visit during the holidays?
Thank you to Ocean Spray for sponsoring this post.