Tips to host a casual drop in during the holidays

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.

Tips to host a casual drop in during the holidays

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.

Tip: When packing away your decorations after the holidays, place your holiday music, movies, and cards on the top of your most accessible box. This way you will be able to listen to holiday music while putting up your tree (and you can put the kids Christmas movies on to keep them entertained). You will also have your cards available if you want to get a head start on writing them up.

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.

Tip: Have a couple of backup holiday movies within reach in the event that play time ends and your kids are looking to you to entertain them for the next hour. Dollar store Christmas craft supplies, window decals, and stickers are also great to have on hand and will keep little ones busy so you can chat with your company a little longer.

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.

Holiday Caprese Salad. Recipe from Ocean Spray.

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).

Tip: Having a few snack options available is a good idea in case of any allergies or picky eaters. Your guests should leave a casual get together feeling fed, but not full.

Drink options

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.

Ocean Spray for holiday entertaining
Tip: The great thing about most drink options is that they don’t expire for quite awhile. So stocking up during sales, or long weekend flyer deals is a great money-saver over the holidays.
Mantle decorations for the holidays.

So, who wants to drop in for a visit during the holidays?

Thank you to Ocean Spray for sponsoring this post.

Found in Christmas, House & Home

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  • Merry120 Nov 18, 2015, 10:09 pm

    I never would have thought to add cranberry to a Caprese Salad but it looks delish. I also love your tip about putting holiday music at the top of your Christmas bins. Such a great idea.

    • Sheri Landry Nov 30, 2015, 8:26 pm

      Thanks Merry. I learned the hard way to pack my music where I will find it :)