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 wary 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 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 ranch and mayo as my base, and I also bought fresh cranberries.
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.
The tastiest sandwich topper I ever did meet! It was so good, but it was thick enough to be a dip.
- 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.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 412Total Fat: 43gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 35gCholesterol: 24mgSodium: 459mgCarbohydrates: 6gFiber: 0gSugar: 5gProtein: 1g
The nutritional information here is an estimate. While I try to provide accurate information via Nutritionix, this information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that it will be completely accurate. I am not a certified nutritionist and any information sunnysweetdays.com should only be used as a general guideline.
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 mean happy parents — and one successful party!
4. Set up a fun tablescape and don’t forget the place cards. My favorite part of 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!
What’s your best party tip for the holidays?
- Wine Cocktail Party + Thanksgiving Leftovers Printable Label
- Cranberry Apple Mimosa | Mimosa for the Holidays
- Thanksgiving Treats For Kids
Healthy Thanksgiving Ideas
This Healthy Thanksgiving Guide will walk you through how to navigate the season making better choices and cooking delicious dishes without a lot of fuss.