Every year my husband and I throw a dinner party on the official first day of winter. There are so many fun things involved in throwing a holiday party. We are both entertainers at heart and get quite a kick out of working together to plan this annual event. Some friends even start texting us around Halloween to ask if we have a menu put together yet. One of our favorite parts of planning this event is that we purposely invite a variety of our friends and family. We take the time to invite couples that are not likely running in the same social or work circles. We pride ourselves on being individuals and love match making with friends. Of course our closest friends are always invited but we like to swap out the acquaintances just to keep up with folks we don’t see very often. Because we live in northern Indiana it’s not always easy to host an event in the winter. But, most are willing to brave the cold to come out year after year to our home in “the middle of nowhere” (as my oldest son says) to enjoy friendship, fun, and of course food.
Not only do we enjoy changing up the guest list, but also the games we play, the music, and the food that I serve. Sometimes it can be hard to find inspiration for a new menu and I love to cook! You must consider current food trends, what is in season where you live, and of course you have to have a comfort food our two. I honestly think playing with new twists on comfort food is a big factor in what keeps our guests excited for our annual party.
So when you begin planning your holiday meals or parties think about what your guests will enjoy and what you will enjoy making. Many times I find that a food I like to make tastes better. And please, if you plan on making a new dish, try it a week or two ahead of time. You don’t want to be upset on the big day because your fancy new dish did not turn out.
While most years I usually have a few appetizers and then a full meal. Some years I go super traditional while others I use my friends as guinea pigs on new recipes. I know what you’re thinking, “You make it all yourself?” yes, I do I know however that making all the food yourself isn’t for everyone. Be sure to keep in touch with your caterer with plenty of time ahead of the big date. With holiday party orders coming in to most companies as early as September you will want everything ironed out and your deposit paid ahead of time so that you have one less thing to stress about.
If you are hosting a formal event then sending out invitations should be the first thing you do once that guest list is complete. Item 2906 is my personal favorite at the moment. With it’s beautiful blue background and adorable house design at the top this is a great choice to tell friends and family that it’s cold outside but, warm in your home. Below the design, there is plenty of room for you to invite your guests over in your choice of ink color and type style. For $85.00 you will receive 24 of these beautiful single 5″ by 7″ cards along with plain white envelopes.
If you’d rather invite your guests by hand writing the inside of a holiday card (yes, people do that) Then take a look at our item number 8819 This card is festive and ideal for the family who doesn’t want to go with a Santa or Nativity scene design. The classic wreath in holiday colors is simple and elegant. Inside you choose the font, ink color, and wording for your personal message. This folded card has plenty of space for you to write you party particulars on the left hand side. They come with plain white envelopes for $39.95. You may personalize the envelopes for an additional cost.
Once everyone is invited you will have to decide on what you plan to serve and how you plan to serve it. While I am not a wine drinker, most of my friends sure are. With local wineries popping up all over it’s easy to find a wine to make most everyone happy. There are so many choices that it may take a little while for you to decide, but rest assured you will. Once that selection is made you will need to decide what to serve the wine in. Check out our item 3247. These beautiful red wine glasses can be personalized with either a name or monogram. One set of four is available for $59.95. You can personalize them with your choice of typestyle and make them uniquely yours. You could even word them to say something like ” Holiday dinner” on line one and “2014” on line two and send them home with guests as presents!
While as I said I’m not a drinker, I do enjoy learning about wine and food pairing. This is a reason why I’m really getting into this whole cheese tray thing. Item 9733 would be a terrific thing to have at your next get together. The 14″ by 9″ size works great as a chopping board, a bread board or a fruit and cheese board. With the sturdy handle and exquisite monogram you can look fancy without spending an arm and a leg as the board is only $57.00! This product does come from a separate location and takes longer to create. Therefore if you are in a time crunch you will want to call and speak with a customer service representative before ordering.
Certainly, wine will not be the only drink served at your fabulous dinner. Therefore you may want to check out item 3204. For $49.95 you will receive a set of four hand blown glasses. These well-crafted glasses may have slight variations or small bubbles in the glass due to the hand crafting. This is also true for the wine glasses but, these minor variations only make them more interesting. They are sturdy and available for personalization just as the wine glasses are. With a 3.5″ by 3.5″ size they are ideal for a strong drink to sip on over a period of time.
Of course, when you serve drinks you must have napkins on hand. Item 5121 is a great way to show just how put together you are by personalizing each item down to these adorable colorful party napkins. Typically party planners agree that you will need about one to two napkins per drink, per hour, per person. Add it up and that is more than just a handful of napkins. You don’t want to have just some ordinary grocery store napkins, especially when these are so inexpensive and tasteful. You can customize your phrase, design, and color combinations to fit your party theme exactly.
Every year we go out and purchase enough gifts for each attendee. They are small inexpensive gifts. Sometimes they are silly like a tie with a mustache, or sometimes simple but, handy like a flash light. This year I think American Stationery’s clearance section will be a great place to look for inexpensive gifts that are sure to please most people. Something like item number 3055_09 is a great idea. The calendar is only $3.95 is not personalized (so it doesn’t matter who gets it) and is themed around getting ready for Christmas. It will be too late for this year but, a great way for the recipient to get organized for the next year. We also have other calendar options with cheery designs like colorful polka dots 3057_07, which is also sold in the 8″ by 11″ size that the Christmas calendar is sold in or a smaller one like 3056_03 which is perfect for someone who just wants to look at things a week in advance. With several different styles and colors available, you really should check out our clearance section. It does change fairly regularly and you never know what cute gift idea you might find.
Here is to hoping that whatever your party plans are for this holiday season you find yourself safe and warm!