It’s that time of year and you want to go “all out” for the holidays! You can just hear those sleigh bells ringing, you’ve written down all your party ideas, and you can’t wait to plan the perfect gala for your family and friends.
As a matter of fact, this is the one time of year when you let go of budget concerns and enjoy spoiling your guests with an extravaganza they won’t soon forget. And why not? It’s the perfect season for letting everyone know just how important they are in your life by providing them with a fun evening of holiday merriment, pulling out all the stops and offering your guests the best of everything.
Making Your Party Shine
What’s the most important part of your party? Some would argue that it’s the decorations. They are certainly integral to creating the holiday mood. You’ll want the best tree you can find, trimmed with lots of sparkling objects. Your yard, perhaps, will be decorated with Santa Claus, candy canes, twinkling lights, and more, setting the mood before your guests even enter your home.
Others would say it’s the music that’s most important. Perhaps some live music would be ideal. A pianist playing popular Christmas tunes, an acoustic guitarist, or maybe even some traditional carolers would be ideal for your soiree. Whichever you choose, music is sure to pump up the holiday mood.
And then there’s the food.
For many party throwers and party goers, this is the most important piece of the pie…or fruitcake. Seriously, how many people go to weddings, parties, and other events and then go home and comment about the food? Just about everyone!
That indicates, of course, that what you serve will be remembered the next day, though they might not remember what color Christmas balls you had on your tree or the last song the quartet sang at the close of the evening.
Planning that Magical Meal
So, let’s talk about the menu. It goes without saying, of course, that if this is your big party of the year you won’t be doing the cooking. Instead, you’ll be hiring a caterer and spending your time hobnobbing with your guests. That’s the way it should be!
That means, of course, that you only need to make decisions about what to serve and how to do it, and then you can leave the rest to a capable caterer who can manage all food-related issues including not only the food itself but also linens, tableware, and servers, if and when they are needed.
So, what’s the first step once you find a caterer you trust?
It’s deciding how you want to present the food (sit-down, appetizer stations, buffet, etc.) and all the particular of what you want to serve.
Many party hosts opt to go with buffet meals of some sort, simply because it’s the most adaptable to the space in your home. Unless, you have a huge room available for a sit-down dinner – most people don’t – you’ll want to stick with something a little less formal. If, of course, you can accommodate the
number of guests in attendance at your table(s), go for it! There’s nothing more elegant than a multi-course meal complete with holiday favorites or other food of your choosing.
If you opt for buffet, you can consider several options. For example, you may want to begin with served appetizers (here’s where the waitstaff comes in) along with champagne or other beverages and then transition to a buffet for the remainder of the meal, including desserts. Make sure, nonetheless, that there’s ample seating or standing space for those who are worried about juggling plates and drinks. You might consider bringing in small standing café tables where 3 or 4 can gather to enjoy their food.
At the holidays, a dedicated dessert table is always a nice idea. You can dress it up with fancy cookies and cakes as well as lovely decorations. Ask your caterer if they have experience in creating a dazzling dessert table that’ll wow your guests.
And what about the menu? Do you have traditional holiday favorites you’d like to include or would you like to go in a totally different direction? Do you have a theme in mind, like an Olde English Christmas or a Renaissance feast?
Whatever your pleasure, be sure before you hire the caterer that they are amenable to stepping out of the box and away from their usual menus. Of course, you might find that one of their usual menus is right up your alley, but be sure you discuss the menu in detail before you sign on the dotted line.
No matter how elaborate your party and how fancy and delicious your food, it’s the people around you that count the most. You’ve chosen to use a caterer so that you don’t have to be stuck in the kitchen tending to the food. So, let the caterers do their job and trust their experience. If you’ve done your homework, you’ve selected a caterer you know will make your party one that your guests will remember for years to come.