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Holiday Party Food Ideas

Updated on April 27, 2015

Bring on the Yummy Stuff

If you are the holiday hostess this year for the big family holiday celebration or if you're just looking for something new to bring as a side dish to a potluck, you will love these festive and creative holiday party food ideas.

So get your ingredients, prep your kitchen, and get ready to cook up some delicious eats!

Image courtesy of sushi ina on Flickr

Image by stevendepolo on Flickr
Image by stevendepolo on Flickr

Think of a Theme

And Go With It

If you're hosting the party, choosing a theme will make the entire event seamless. You could do a White Christmas theme and serve white or silvery foods like whipped mashed potatoes, cupcakes with swirls of white frosting, white decorated cookies white spring rolls and more.

Get creative. You might even want to put on your invitations that you are having a themed dinner. Ask guests to bring something towards the theme- a white wine, a white table decoration, white ornament, etc. It will add to the fun.

Having a Holiday Meal

Image by Jennie Faber on Flickr
Image by Jennie Faber on Flickr
Image by Eatnlisten on Creative Commons
Image by Eatnlisten on Creative Commons

Have an Appetizers-Only Party

Easy Enough!

No one expects or really wants a heavy meal when they have to attend several parties in a row (or even in the same night!). So, don't be shy about having all appetizers. Finger foods can go classy with a few simple touches. Do steak shish kebabs or sushi. Have plates placed all around the room so guests can help themselves. Make the main table a display of help-yourself type treats. Gourmet nuts, strawberries dipped in chocolate, elegantly cut veggies and dip and other easy to eat foods are always a hit.

Assign someone the task of checking for empty platters. That way you can refill them in a timely manner. Many warehouse stores have appetizers in mega sizes in the freezer section. They often include an assortment of really fine choices you'll be proud to serve.

Appetizer Platters - on Amazon

Best Holiday Foods

Image by D'Arcy Norman on Creative Commons
Image by D'Arcy Norman on Creative Commons

Add Some Sparkle

A Little Here, A Little There

The holidays are a time to really go all out. Use edible food glitter or gold or flowers. These edible surprises add whimsy to your dishes. Freeze edible flowers (available at grocery or fine food stores) in ice cube trays and then float them in a punch bowl with your favorite punch.

Sprinkle edible gold on just about any dessert for an elegant appearance. Food glitter is a hit in soups or cupcakes. Play around with your ingredients. Even one unexpected touch will make the meal memorable for everyone.

Sparkle Items - Straight from

Image by HarshLight on Flickr
Image by HarshLight on Flickr
Image by Evil Erin on Creative Commons
Image by Evil Erin on Creative Commons

Family Traditions

Share With The Family

If there's a family favorite that's become a tradition in your home, have the recipe ready for everyone. Create pretty index cards and tie them with ribbon. When guests remark about your tasty traditional treat, explain how they can make it themselves.

Many of the younger cousins may not know what granny put in the sauce. This may be a new revelation for them. And non-family guests will surely appreciate your thoughtfulness, too.

Family Matters

Family Matters
Family Matters
Image by Dana Beveridge
Image by Dana Beveridge

Cocktail Concoction

Make it Fun

Create a signature drink that you'll be remembered for, and share with your guests. Be sure to taste test it in advance and not just make it up on the spot. That way you can ensure that it's at least semi-tasty.

Make up a cocktail out of ingredients you wouldn't normally combine and then give it a festive name. Or, offer a full bar with personalized glasses and let guests experiment to come up with the best cocktail of the night.

Ask everyone to name their drink and take pictures of them holding it. You'll have a fun reminder of the festivities and everyone will have a great time.

Note: Ages 21+ only.

3 Holiday Food Myths - Busted!

Image by Robert Banh on Flickr
Image by Robert Banh on Flickr

When in Doubt, Take Out

Why Not?

Even the finest hostesses have admitted to pouring take-out food onto their own platters. No one demands or even expects homemade these days. Your party is what you make it.

If you don't know how to cook or would rather not bother, find a take-out place that can either cater for you or has a great selection on their menu. Pick it up or have it delivered and then warm it in the oven in your own serving dishes. This goes for a meal or for desserts.

There are many food gift baskets you can order now that give you a wide variety of delicious treats.

Comments! - They're always welcome.

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    • profile image

      dessertlover 6 years ago

      Never thought of ordering take-out for a party, but why not? Interesting ideas and great pics on this lens!

    • squid-janices7 profile image

      squid-janices7 6 years ago

      Love the cocktail concoctions .... a signature holiday drink is a great idea!

    • Senora M profile image

      Senora M 6 years ago

      Cool lens with great pictures! Now I just need to host a party... ;)