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Menu Ideas for a Casual Holiday Open House

Updated on October 31, 2010

During the hectic weeks leading up to the busy holiday season, it's hard to find the time to get together with the people you care about the most in a relaxed, low-stress atmosphere. Instead of planning a formal holiday gathering that is sure to turn into more work than fun for you, why not schedule a casual holiday open house instead?

Set aside an afternoon or evening (or both) and encourage friends and family to stop by for a little while during the event. Don't require formal holiday attire, and don't demand that people arrive and leave at a certain time. Instead, position your casual holiday gathering as an opportunity to catch one's breath while running back and forth between shopping, errands, and preparing for other holiday events.

Planning this type of gathering will give you an opportunity to spend a day at home, while looking forward to visits from your friends, family members, neighbors, and other people that you encourage to stop by and visit during the event. You'll get to relax and spend time with those you care about in the comfort of your own home

Plan the Perfect Open House Menu


Since a casual holiday gathering is intended to be low stress, you'll want to prepare and serve food items that can be made ahead, placed on the buffet at the beginning of the event, and then forgotten about until it's time to clean up for the evening. Consider using several of the following recipes when deciding what you'll serve during your next casual holiday open house event:

Creative Cheese and Cracker Appetizer Bites: What could be easier than preparing and sitting out an attractive tray filled with delicious cheese and cracker appetizer bites?

Slow Cooker Dip Recipes: Your slow cooker can make it easy to serve hot dishes throughout an open house, no matter what time frame the event is scheduled for. Try preparing a few of these tasty and simple slow cooker dip recipes. Place a tray of crackers and raw veggies near your slow cookers on the buffet table, and your guests will be able to enjoy snacking on warm, comforting dips no matter what time they stop by.

Spinach Dip: Spinach dip is a usually a hit - even among guests who don't particularly care for this green, leafy vegetable when prepared other ways. This simple recipe can serve as a dip or a side dish. It's perfect when paired with crackers, pita chips tortilla chips, or corn chips.

Tortilla Rollups: Tortilla rollups always lend an elegant air to party spreads, even though they are very easy to make and can be prepared well ahead of time.


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