Whether it is the holiday traditions inherited from your family or those practiced in your home, it is the peaceful times spent with family and friends that are the most cherished.Entertaining in your own personal style is entertaining in the manner that is the most comfortable for you. Should you be invited for a beautifully appointed six course dinner at someone’s home, you could certainly return the favor by inviting them to your home for a casual fondue supper around the fire.

Good friends don’t keep score 
The important point is that you do open your home to share with your family and friends. Inviting friends to your home could involve months of planning and preparation or just a few days. With today’s hectic lifestyle, often the later is the case. However, good planning is always the key to a successful party and being able to enjoy your guests.

Choose the type of event that will be manageable 
This party could involve decorating the exterior and the interior of your home, the dining table and the preparation of the food. Unless the host has a lot of help, all of these areas may not be able to be accomplished with the given period of time.Therefore, it becomes necessary to prioritize the basic elements of the party preparation. Decide where you want to devote your time and creativity and cleverly think about how you can “cut corners” in one or more of the areas.

For example, you may decide to spend your time decorating the table with a beautiful center arrangement, place cards, table gifts for the guests and an array of your best silver, china and crystal. This being decided, it becomes necessary to select a “quickie cuisine” which translates into carry-out from your favorite grocery, deli or specialty shop. Herein lies an additional dose of creativity. Remember that it is all in presentation! Transfer these “collected treasures” into your own serving bowls and platters and GARNISH. Sprinkle fresh herbs,all hollowed orange halves with cranberry sauce and place on meat platters, lay magnolia leaves among the serving pieces while artfully tucking in votives with unscented candles, tie a narrow velvet ribbon on handles of ladles, serve the dessert in footed Champagne cups or serve soup in tea cups as the guests arrive.The ideas go on and on once you start thinking outside of the box. Keep in mind to try to use an item in an unexpected way.

As you develop your own personal style in entertaining, you will find a manner that is natural for you. Begin thinking of how you might create a holiday celebration. An inspiration might be a Fondue Supper, a Saturday Brunch or a Neighborhood Open House. Fondue Supper The Fondue Supper is a welcomed choice as it is casual, practically guest-prepared and is wonderful for relaxing with long conversations.Beef, chicken, shrimp or cheese is a simple entrée possibility. Adding a salad, hot crusty bread and a side completes the menu. Only small preparation is necessary. If fondue is not your usual fare, do read the directions that come with the pot. Usually up to six guests can use one pot but with more than six, an additional pot is necessary. Topping of the simplicity list, no centerpiece is needed and an easy, cool ice cream type dessert will be just perfect. 

Holiday Brunch
A second possibility for friend or family entertaining is a Holiday Brunch. It is certainly a controllable type of occasion for such a busy time of the year. This event is most o. en scheduled at a time of day when there is not an abundance of other parties. Brunch food can be simple to prepare and does not require outside help even for a large number of guests. A serve yourself bar and coffee table is certainly acceptable. The menu could consist of one of the many casserole recipes that can be combined the night before, fresh or baked fruit and coffee cakes from a favorite bakery. Then, the hosts are free to enjoy their guests. Neighborhood Open House Thirdly, a Neighborhood Open House brings together those who may not have seen one another for a while. So, the conversations are lively and the guests are happy to have this winter occasion to get together. The success pattern here is simplicity. Maybe a few homemade goodies but buffet offerings from the deli will please the guests in every age group. If there will be a large number of children attending, perhaps entertaining them in a designated area of the house would be more enjoyable for all. A sitter who can keep peace could be a wise investment.

As we approach this glorious, festive time of year, it is important to remember to share your home, your creativity and your welcoming spirit with family and friends while remembering also those less fortunate.

Posted on 2014-11-29 by Sue Ann Truit