Shea and I love to have people over to our house, but since our December is filled with official visits, bowl prep and now an early Signing Day, we don’t have as much time to host as we would like. We double booked our holiday parties in the week leading up to Christmas, so we could see as many friends as we could before the holiday. I invited the ladies from work over during the week, and then after official visits ended on Sunday, we had another group of friends and their kids over. Even though I am exhausted right now, I’m so glad we fit these into our week, because we had so much fun having everyone over!
After these two parties plus hosting Thanksgiving for my family last month, I feel like I have found some good tips on how to throw a holiday party complete with the perfect table, stocked bar and even a festive outfit!
CHEESE BOARD | DIPS | SPREADS | APPETIZERS | SWEETS
For some reason, I am in a big “cheese board phase”. I love putting them together for get-togethers, and it makes me feel like I’m #adulting. A perfectly grammable one might look daunting, but trust me, you can make it easy! Make sure you have a board (like this one here and here) and some knives. Pick out a few of your favorite cheeses, a meat or two, fruit and mustard spreads and have plenty of crackers and crostinis on hand. My favorite part of this cheese spread is this brie covered in fig preserves with pears on the side. Delish!
For our parties we also had homemade bruschetta, chicken salad and spinach dip to munch on. And, I mean, who wouldn’t like to eat a Chick-fil-A nugget tray? They are super easy to order and are always one of the first things to get eaten. Also, don’t forget the desserts! An assortment of cookies, candy and other sweet treats are a must!
COCKTAILS | RED & WHITE WINE | NON-ALCOHOLIC OPTIONS
I am no mixologist, but I do know a good cocktail! I love a Moscow Mule and they are very easy to make with little to no bartending experience. Mix up some Tito’s vodka and ginger beer over ice and garnish with a lime wedge. We also always have red and white wine on hand depending on what each guest prefers.
If you aren’t up to playing bartender, have a stocked bar with different types of alcohol and mixers – tonic, soda, Coke, Sprite – where guests can make their own drinks. Guests who prefer non-alcoholic beverages can use these mixers as well as some Topo Chico mineral water (I love the twist of grapefruit!) to make their own mocktails.
SERVEWARE | COCKTAIL NAPKINS | CENTERPIECE
We received so many nice serving dishes and fun kitchenware for our wedding that parties are the best time to bust everything out. I wanted to stick with my Christmas theme on the table, so I used a lot of our white serveware plus some colorful accents. A generic Cheers cocktail napkin can work for almost any party, and these Christmas napkins are ones I purchased last year. One of my brothers didn’t spend Thanksgiving with us this year, so he sent this beautiful centerpiece in his place. It lasts for multiple weeks and is the perfect addition to our holiday table.
This tablescape can work for any party or get-together you are throwing! Swap out the Christmas accessories, colors and types of food for whatever theme you are trying to execute throughout the year.
And, you can’t forget to throw on a festive holiday outfit! I am a huge fan of jumpsuits (see here and here), so I just HAD to buy this velvet one as soon as I saw it. Add some sparkly jewelry and a red lip, and you are ready for any get-together! (Full outfit details below!)
If you are invited to a holiday party and would like to bring the host or hostess a gift, you can see my favorite picks I put together last year here. I always like to show up with a little something for the host and/or hostess at parties or get-togethers. When Anthropologie does one of their 20% off sales, I stock up on candles and reed diffusers to have on hand for things like this.
Also, if you need any other last minute Christmas gifts ideas, I have some right here for you!