Tis the season to be jolly! Tis also the season to be stressed to the max when it comes to holiday entertaining. Here are a couple of tips and some pictures to use as inspiration for setting up your holiday buffet table. Ho, ho, ho!!!!
- Display food at various heights.
- I would love to own a set of acrylic risers to elevate my platters and trays. However, until my ship comes in I use books and boxes that I cover with either fabric or wrapping paper.
- If you don’t have room for a large buffet consider setting up smaller vignettes around the house. Naturally only the rooms that are for the public.
- Don’t be hesitant about using paper or plastic. Most party stores carry some fabulous designs in seasonal colors and patterns. Their selections are also able to handle the heftiest meatballs, salads and loads of cookies.
- Let me remind you again, this isn’t the time to go all Martha on your guests. Stick with tried and true recipes that are easy on the budget and on you. Who wants to be too pooped to pop at their own party?
- Sheets are a suitable alternative for tablecloths. They especially come in handy when you want a cloth that comes down to the floor. Also, the colors and patterns are endless!
If you plan on serving alcohol at your holiday shindig you want to plan ahead. One of your first considerations is where will you set up your bar. If all else fails a counter top or card table will do. If you’re using a card table deck it out in a cloth that coordinates with the rest of your color scheme. Check around for the best prices on alcohol. Big box stores like Sam’s Club have a large alcohol selection and also offer case discounts. Having guests mix and pour their own spirits isn’t the ideal choice for several reasons. Waste and knowing when to say when are two of the biggest. Hiring a professional bartender is ideal, but let’s be realistic how many of us have budgets that will allow that during the holiday season. Is there a close friend or relative that would be willing to be your mixologist for the night? A small gift as a token of appreciation would be a great gesture if so. Another way to save on drinks is to serve an alcohol punch along with several wine selections. The most requested alcoholic beverages are: vodka, rum, tequila, gin, wine (red and white), champagne and beer.
Mixers to have on hand are: cola, tonic, 7-up, orange juice and club soda. A few garnishes would be nice also. Olives, citrus slices, cherries and mint are the most basic. When it comes to drinks there is a glass for almost each one, but again this can seriously inflate your entertaining budget. While you’re at the party store check out their selection of plastic glasses. And whatever you do, don’t forget to search your favorite dollar or thrift store. At fifty cents to a dollar a glass you can’t go wrong. You can rent them also or maybe even borrow some from your friend or family party diva. Keep in mind that if you borrow something and it breaks by all rights you have to replace it. Don’t forget to have an ample supply of beverage napkins on hand also. Heavyweight paper coasters would be great to have on hand also.
The most important part of entertaining is to plan ahead. Make lists and have a dress rehearsal for your table(s) to make sure that what you’ve envisioned can really happen.
Check here for more entertaining tips that are good anytime of the year.