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While I don’t get excited about cooler temperatures and shorter days, fall’s arrival means party season is underway! From Holiday Harvest parties to family Thanksgivings or Christmas cocktail parties, I never shy away from the opportunity to invite friends and family over to celebrate. If you’re weary about throwing a holiday bash, I’m here to show you how simple it can be (and fun too!). From an easy cranberry dip recipe using Kraft products to free printables to help you get organized, here are five tips to host a holiday party!
1. Make an easy (yet yummy) menu. Sometimes the best menus are the simplest. Instead of spending party time hiding in the kitchen, opt for items that allow you to play hostess. Consider making DIY food bars or stations where guests can serve themselves. One way to do this? Set out creative dips to start the party!
I headed to Walmart to gather a few ingredients. I needed Kraft Ranch and Kraft Mayo as my base, and I also bought fresh cranberries.
I picked the classic ranch and mayo for my recipe.
I think the idea of my holiday party is to serve items that are easy and kid-friendly. Whether you host an After-Thanksgiving Leftovers party or invite friends for a Sunday lunch, consider adding a fun dip or sandwich spread to spice up the meal.
I used fresh cranberries for a specialty drink, but I did use canned cranberries for this dip.
I filled a six ounce jar with three tablespoons of whole cranberry sauce, and I then filled the rest of the jar with Kraft Mayo. I topped it with one tablespoon of ranch, four teaspoons of lemon juice, and I stirred.
- 3 tbsp of whole cranberry sauce
- 1 cup of Kraft Mayo
- 1 tbsp of Kraft Ranch Salad Dressing
- 4 tsp of lemon juice
- salt & pepper to taste
- Whisk together all ingredients in a small bowl (or a 6 ounce jar).
- Serve immediately.
Consider dipping pretzels or even apple slices into it for an easy appetizer.
As for the sandwiches, I used carved turkey slices and piled high with tomatoes and lettuce. The cranberry sauce is a refreshing way to finish the sandwich.
Sandwiches are anything but boring! You could even make mini sandwiches ahead of time and serve them as a tasty treat before a big meal.
Keep reading for more party tips!
2. Plan ahead. If you can help it, plan the big day six weeks ahead of time. That leaves plenty of weekends for creating invitations, finalizing the details, and shopping the sales. Download the party to do list down below to keep you in check!
3. Keep the kids busy. Now that I have a toddler, I know how important it is for busy parents to spend time out and about with friends and family. However, I have to bring things and prepare for the day. As a party hostess, I try to have a table set aside for bubbles or coloring books to keep little hands occupied. Happy kids means happy parents — and one successful party!
4. Set up a fun tablescape and don’t forget the place cards. My favorite part about setting up for a party is the place setting. For this table display, I used a simple tray with two glass jars for vases. I used a regular table runner I’ve had for years, but I added a burlap ribbon to update it. For the holidays, I like to have each guest take a moment to say what they are thankful for. I created simple place cards for you to print, cut, and share. Simply place each thankful paper slip at each chair.
5. Serve a specialty drink. Drinks are more fun when they’re unique! This cranberry punch was 1 part cranberry soda (it’s a seasonal offering in your soft drink aisle) paired with two parts orange juice. A fizzy and fruity combination for both children and adults to enjoy!
Ready to host your own party? Download these free printables to get you started!
Holiday Hosting Party Checklist: Don’t forget the details!
I am thankful for…place cards. Print this PNG file out on 8 x 10 paper. Chop into thirds and place each one at each chair on the day of the big party. Add each slip to a thankful jar to read aloud after the meal!
If you need more inspiration, check out the Cooking Up Good website. They have recipes, sweepstakes, loyalty programs, coupons and more! What’s not to love? If you’re looking for a new dinner idea or a chance to win some awesome prizes, be sure to check it out!
What’s your best party tip for the holidays?
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