On the First Day of Christmas…PARTY!

I made this silly little Christmas train cake for all the kids at the party! I got so much cute candy cargo at Dylan's Candy Bar.

I made this silly little Christmas train cake for all the kids at the party! I got so much cute candy cargo at Dylan’s Candy Bar.

It’s that time of year again and I am SO excited for our upcoming Christmas party in a few weeks.   We usually have anywhere from 40 to 60 people come by our party every year, so this post is mostly about how to feed and water a crowd without going completely insane.  My photos from last year are seriously lacking in number and quality, but hopefully you can get the gist anyway!

I love trying to make cheap grocery store flowers look elegant. This wild, carefree bouquet at the head of the table had some of my Christmas tree clippings in it too!

I love trying to make cheap grocery store flowers look elegant. This wild, carefree bouquet at the head of the table had some of my Christmas tree clippings in it too!

Here are some giant party tips (this is for people who aren’t just using a catering company because, like me, they want to believe they can perform magic):

  • Make some semblance of a meal peppered with nibbles.  It is much easier to make a giant vat of roasted vegetables than 200 mini quiche…I promise!
  • At a large buffet, people tend to scoop smaller amounts of food than you would think.  Don’t go overboard (or underboard).  I generally estimate quantity for a large party using these rules: 1/4-1/2 cup per serving for sides, 1/2-3/4 cup for a green salad, 1/2 cup for soup, and 4-6oz. of meat.   For the nibbles around the main meal, think 3-5 bites per person.

    Don't have a big enough table? Raise some trays up on cake stands to make more room. A lightly damp washcloth between the two will keep it from sliding.

    Don’t have a big enough table? Raise some trays up on cake stands to make more room. A lightly damp dishcloth between the two will keep it from sliding.

  • Make half, buy half.  Don’t have time to make 100 beautiful Christmas cookies?  Buy them and put them on your most beautiful tray.  Then just lie if you want.
  • Cook and prep ahead!  Even large catering companies don’t cook everything from scratch the day of an event.  Make a list and think of everything you can do in the days leading up to your party.   There’s so much you can do before hand, from just chopping and measuring ingredients to fully cooking things that can go back into the oven 45 minutes before your party.

    I didn't make any of these lovely cookies. Not a single one.

    I didn’t make any of these lovely cookies. Not a single one.

  • Pull out all of your serving ware the day before for a cleaning or polish.  You can even set your table and put post-its next to each platter to make sure you have a plate and serving spoon for everything.  That way, all you have to do is heat stuff up and dump it on the platter when the time comes.
  • Limit the booze you are providing and ask guests to bring wine.   It’s probably a faux pas, but seriously…alcohol is very expensive, even when you just do beer, so instead of stocking a full bar like a crazy person, pick two cocktails and provide everything with simple instructions or even pre-mix them in a beverage dispenser if that works.

    Our "Brrrr...bon Cozy" cocktail was delicious! Bourbon, curacao, lillet blanc, lemon and mint. YUM!

    Our “Brrrr…bon Cozy” cocktail was delicious! Bourbon, Curacao, Lillet Blanc, lemon and mint. YUM!

  • Don’t set yourself up for constantly going back and forth to the kitchen all night.  Just put it all out at the beginning, take a nice picture and let it go!  Go enjoy your party and if things run out, they run out!

    You know what's way cooler than wearing an ugly Christmas sweater? Wearing a ridiculously large jeweled necklace! Be festive! Have fun!

    You know what’s way cooler than wearing an ugly Christmas sweater? Wearing a ridiculously large jeweled necklace! Be festive! Have fun!

2 Comments

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2 responses to “On the First Day of Christmas…PARTY!

  1. Great tips! I’m a huge fan of “signature drinks” at my parties. It adds to the theme and saved me a bundle

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