Back before Sweetie was born, I loved hosting themed parties. I would design a whole menu based on the theme. Then I would research recipes and make authentic, from scratch recipes based on my theme. But, that is pretty much impossible now, and honestly, the best part of hosting a celebration is getting together with your friends and family. Let’s face it, it’s not fun to slave away in the kitchen while everyone else is enjoying the fruits of your labor (or drinking all your booze).
I still love hosting parties, and I host many throughout the year, but they don’t look anything like they used to.
These days, I order most of the food or I host a potluck. Potlucks are great because it allows me to throw parties more frequently while keeping to a reasonable budget.
So, without any further babbling, here are my 3 keys to hosting a holiday brunch.
1. Order / Buy or Make ahead as much as you can
Nobody is going to judge your if your serve store bought croissants instead of freshly baked bread. I still have to tell myself this on occasion, but keeping this in mind if really going to save your sanity. And if they do, oh well, let them host next time and see what happens.
For my holiday brunch, I asked everyone to bring a dish to share, and I made a really simple menu. And by made, I mean bought. I bought croissants & pastries from the grocery store (bagels & cream cheese are also good options here) and I baked mini muffins (from a box mix — primarily because it was about 5% of the cost of buying pre-baked mini muffins from the grocery store, and much tastier). I also put out a bowl of clementines and bananas for the kids to snack on.
One thing to consider when hosting a potluck is that most people will opt to bring sweets, so keep that in mind when planning what you will be making for the party. I usually stick to making a main and one healthy or kid friendly side, just so I can ensure that all my bases are covered. You can also offer suggestions for what people should bring, but only if you are comfortable doing so.
2. Send your invitations out early. Way early.
The holidays are crazy, and people’s schedules fill up quickly. If you are dead set on having your party on a specific day, get your invitations out early. I usually send out my invites Thanksgiving weekend. There are so many ways to send out electronic invitations these days, but lately my go to has been Facebook invites. I can make the invitation in minutes from my phone, which means I don’t have to be tied to my computer and I don’t need to know everyone’s email address or phone number. But the key here is to send these invitations out as early as possible.
3. Decorate Minimally
The best part of hosting a holiday brunch is that you don’t have to invest in any decorations! I love themed paper party supplies (plates, napkins, etc.), but hate it when I have left overs, so usually I will buy 1 or 2 packages of napkins and plates, and then supplement with solid colors. My favorite place to buy part supplies is Target, their prices can’t be beat, but for seasonal items (Christmas, Valentines, Easter, summer, etc.) you need to shop early! There are also good finds at TJ Maxx or Home Goods, so take a peek at party supplies next time you are out shopping.
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