A Holiday Champagne Brunch is Festive.
Today, I thought I’d write about some easy ways to entertain regardless of the size of your home.
Small apartments or homes are generally cozy, homey spaces and it’s a cinch to decorate for whatever occasion you’re choosing for your gathering…Halloween, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Hannukah, Kwanza or New Year’s Eve.
Perhaps you’re hosting a Super Bowl or World Series party. Maybe it’s a wedding shower or graduation celebration.
Here are five tips for entertaining in small spaces that will work no matter what the occasion but especially for holiday parties.
1. Have Two Smaller Gatherings
There are those who think that if you’re going to plan a party, you might as well entertain as many guests as possible…in other words, get it all over at one time.
I, on the other hand, feel much more comfortable with a smaller guest list. I’d rather have two small get-togethers rather than one large one.
Here’s the thing…a smaller gathering is more relaxed. It’s less hectic. You probably won’t need extra dishes or glassware or seating. If you want to have a sit-down dinner or a buffet, it’ll be your choice.
You can spend quality time with each guest which makes them feel extra special. It’s more intimate.
If you prepare most everything in advance you can use the very same menu for the second gathering and nobody will be the wiser.
There’s less to clean up after everyone leaves.
2. Don’t have an Open Bar.
Pomegranate Champagne Punch
Plan to have a signature cocktail or punch, wine, beer and something non-alcoholic.
First of all, if you offer a huge open bar, it’s going to cost the earth! Not to mention you’ll have to have someone as bartender…either volunteer guests on shifts (I’ve been to parties where I’ve served my turn as bartender) OR you’ll need to hire someone.
If you control the choices it will be less confusing for everyone…you and the guests. And nobody will care, I promise.
There are many delicious beverage recipes including this Pomegranate Champagne Punch. This could be non-alcoholic, as well.
Martha Stewart shares recipes for 14 perfect beverages for entertaining. Some of them you’ll be familiar with but others might be just the unique recipe that you can claim as your signature Party beverage!
3. Prepare Easy-to-Serve Food
First of all, I always have small bowls of nuts and candy here and there with a spoon in each bowl so guests can just scoop a handful of snacks into the palm of their hands. Just don’t have so much that they fill up on the nibbles.
A beautiful food presentation can be part of the decor and makes it simple for guests to help themselves so a buffet is a perfectly sensible way to present the food.
Unless you are having a sit-down dinner, hands-free offerings will be so welcome. A small plate that can be refilled and decorative party pics but unless your guests have places to perch, no forks, knives, etc.
Browse through these 10 buffet ideas from a variety of bloggers.
Holiday Buffet Table
This photo illustrates one of the most clever ideas I’ve seen in a long time…Display the dishes on a runner with a “blackboard” surface and then write the name of each treat!
Serve food that’s not messy and that is easy to eat with either fingers or cocktail pics.
Some suggestions are eggrolls, canapé trays of meats and cheeses with bite size pieces of fruit and vegetables.
Small sandwiches or hand pies are good choices, too, as well as stuffed mushrooms and crostini.
Chipotle Chicken Tacos
Here are a just two of the excellent suggestions from Domino for Bite Size Eats and Cocktail Pairings.
They look as beautiful as they are sure to taste! Read the article for the rest of their party snack recipes.
4. Arrange your furnishings to maximize your space.
Rearrange larger furnishings by moving them to the perimeter of the room or into another room altogether. If you are having a sit-down dinner for just a few, ideally you’ll be able to seat your guests all at one table.
If that won’t suffice, setting two or three smaller tables with cloths and centerpieces will do just fine. Card tables work great for this.
Say you’re having a dinner for eight…you’d just need two card tables or your regular dining table and one other. Dress them with matching tablecloths, candles & flowers and you’re all set.
If you’re serving buffet-style your guests will be standing and chatting with each other so you’ll need fewer chairs.
5. Give each guest a small gift or keepsake when the party is over.
Depending upon the occasion, you can easily make or find small keepsakes that will remind your guests of the fun they had at your party.
Some suggestions: Have small gift bags with homemade candy or spiced nuts or cookies.
If it’s a winter get-together, send each guest home with a Christmas (or other Holiday) ornament. Gingerbread boys or girl cookies with each guest’s name written in icing and wrapped in cellophane and tied with a bow is a thoughtful gift.
For Halloween or Thanksgiving think about tiny gourds or ornamental pumpkins, again personalized with each guest’s name.
I hope you remember to take candid photos as the party progresses. Be sure to include each guest in at least one photo. It would be extra special if you sent each guest a copy a week or so afterwards.
If you’d like to browse for just the perfect offerings, you’ll enjoy The Ultimate Appetizers Book: More than 450 No-Fuss Nibbles and Drinks, Plus Simple Party PlanningTips (Better Homes and Gardens Ultimate).
It’s a Better Homes and Gardens book and I’ve never had a bad recipe from any BH&G cookbook!
I’d love to read your comments or suggestions and if you’ve enjoyed this post, please share it, tweet it and/or pin it!