Tips for making holiday gatherings the best ones yet
Posted December 18, 2016 8:34 a.m. EST
Updated November 11, 2017 5:58 p.m. EST
Raleigh, N.C. — As most holiday hosts know, it’s not unheard-of to spend the majority of your party in the kitchen while guests laugh together down the hall -- but preparing in advance can help you reduce stress, have more time to make the moments special and still serve a delicious meal.
Here are a few hosting hints to make this holiday the best yet.
Make sides in a cinch by doing any chopping, slicing or mixing in advance of the day of your party. Certain sides can even be prepped ahead and popped in the oven just before the guests arrive. Or, consider making your party a potluck festivity.
This way, everyone pitches in on the food, which leaves you time to mine Pinterest for simple DIY holiday décor ideas that are sure to draw more than a few wows.
The centerpiece of your celebration, the ham or turkey, shouldn’t involve a ton of work or preparation. When your guests have traveled from all over, why not treat them (and yourself) to a little taste of home that provides the perfect presentation and effortless preparation?
One easy way to serve these home favorites without spending all day near the oven is by picking up a ready-to-serve, premium option locally. Classic options like those from HoneyBaked Ham come spiral sliced so they are effortless to serve. Their handcrafted, premium meats are smoked over blended hardwood chips and finished with a sweet, crunchy glaze, giving flavors that are evocative of happy holiday memories and home cooking.
The brand also offers ready-made sides, like green bean casserole and herb stuffing, as well as cakes, pies and other desserts, which could potentially mean one-stop shopping for you. And, while shopping in-store, you can join HoneyBaked Ham in supporting the Gary Sinise Foundation by donating to help our nation’s first responders.
All too often, hosts get bogged down fixing drinks for guests as they arrive. Avoid this conundrum by setting up a DIY drink station. You may consider making a signature drink in advance and serving it in a beverage dispenser or punch bowl, or giving guests a few cocktail suggestions on a placard.
Don’t forget the little ones. Set up a hot chocolate bar that includes marshmallows, peppermints and whipped cream topping options. Ask adults to help their children serve themselves.
You don’t have to get sidelined in the kitchen at your holiday gathering in order to serve a home style feast. With a few smart strategies, you can be both the host of the party and the life of it.