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3 Tips on Holiday Hosting

Updated on September 30, 2014

The secret to smart hosting

I love the Christmas season. For me it starts right after Thanksgiving when I start decorating the house. That means inside and out and the more Christmas lights the better!

I also love the entertaining aspect of the Christmas season. A time for family members to gather in the warm glow of Christmas lights. The house filled with the laughter of young and old and the excitement of the children. Then the parties for our church family. They are really special. Everyone brings a dish or two to pass and some of the Christmas cookies they have made.

Whatever the reason for your Christmas Celebration I hope this lens gives you some ideas on how to make your Christmas Celebration special!

Tip #1 - Decorate

It can be simple or extravagant.

Your decor for Christmas celebrations can be simple or very elegant. You choose. How much time do you have and what things do you have on hand? These are your decisions and your decisions alone. Personally, I don't think it really matters how elaborate you get, the important thing is that you DO decorate. Plus, the decorating can be done days or even weeks before your special event.

Decorate, decorate, decorate

You don't have to spend a lot of money on decorations but it is very important to set the mood for your gathering. Christmas parties are celebrations of life, love and family. Of course we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior and that is all about love and giving. Decorating is the giving of your time to make your Christmas Celebration special for your guests.

Take this simple fireplace mantle decor. A few candles, some gold ornaments and/or small little trees maybe some gold tinsel and magic is made. Isn't it beautiful? If you prefer you could decorate with real pine branches and then some inexpensive Christmas tree ornaments. Keep the ornaments all in one color for a very dramatic affect. Fill a glass bowl with ornaments or candy canes, hang ornaments from your chandelier, use angel hair around your candles and place Christmas lights on your indoor house plants.

Use your imagination and let the fun begin.

Decorate with glass bowls - they need to be filled

Here are some glass bowls that would look lovely filled with Christmas ornaments, ribbons, pine cones that have been sprayed silver or gold, Christmas candies, tiny boxes wrapped in Christmas paper. Please use your imagination. Use just about anything that is seasonal and let the fun begin. I have 2 large glass jars filled with red satin ornaments, a great look.

Decorate with Candles

You can use wax candles that are scented or not scented. A beautiful affect with the flickering of the flames. Group several candles together for a very dramatic affect. You can also use candles that are operated by battery. Very nice to have if you have small children around.

Decorate with wreaths - Indoors and Out

Wreaths can be used indoors and out. Try hanging one on the bathroom door!

Christmas decorations can be a lot of work or you can make it a lot of fun. I love putting all the decorations up and seeing the end result. I say you can't have too much Christmas, what do you say?

Do you like to decorate at Christmas?

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Tip #2 - Celebrate - You must celebrate the season

That means enjoy all the work you are putting into your Christmas Celebration. Celebrate the fact that you took time to decorate your house to make it festive for your guests. Celebrate the fact that it is you that is preparing the food and opening your home to your friends and family.

Celebrating the season also means food! Celebrate the baking of your Christmas goodies. Cookies, candy and breads. Your finger food or sit down dinner. All must be prepared and it is important that you celebrate all that you do.

This means planning ahead. Make things that can be done ahead of time and don't wait until the last minute. Get your decorating done first and then cook or bake the things that can be done ahead of time. Remember, you must enjoy this Christmas celebration too.

Celebrate your Christmas Celebration with some great food. For me, it is important to make things that are easy to prepare and not too time consuming. I like to prepare things ahead of time so that I am not in the kitchen all day long and then too tired to celebrate when my guests arrive.

One of my favorite menu's would be sliced ham, a few varieties of bread or rolls, maybe a potato salad, a great tossed green salad and lots of finger food. Shrimp cocktail, artichoke dip, veggies and a variety of dips, cheeses and crackers. I always make my "famous" egg nog and have a variety of wines for the adults.

Don't forget a tray of homemade Christmas cookies, bakalava and fruit cake. I have never liked fruit cake but my husband loves it so....

Happy Birthday Jesus

THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS REMEMBERING THE REASON FOR THE SEASON. THE BIRTH OF JESUS CHRIST, OUR LORD AND SAVIOR.

My mom's egg nog recipe

You'll love this if you like egg nog

What you will need for a wonderful Egg Nog recipe:

Ingredients:

1 dozen eggs (fresh eggs please)

1 gallon good french vanilla ice cream ( I like Breyers or Hudsonville Ice Cream )

1 tablespoon vanilla

1 quart of milk ( I always use skim but any type of milk will do )

3/4 cups sugar

nutmeg

Get your ice cream out of the freezer and let soften while you are doing the following:

Separate the eggs putting the yolks in large mixing bowl and the egg whites in your mix master bowl.

With a whisk slowly add the milk to the egg yolks and once blended add the vanilla and whisk until blended very well mixed. Set aside.

Beat your egg whites until they start to get fluffy and slowly add the sugar. Beat until soft peaks are formed and the sugar is well blended.

Add the softened ice cream to the egg yolk and milk mixture, stirring to blend.

Pour both bowls (egg white mixture and egg yolk mixture) into your punch bowl and with your whisk stir until well blended. The egg whites will want to float to the top for a while but just keep mixing.

I sprinkle the nutmeg on top of each serving as some people do not like nutmeg. If you know everyone will like the nutmeg sprinkle some over the egg nog while in the punch bowl.

Yummy....enjoy!

A punch bowl for your nog

You will want a punch bowl for egg nog or a great punch.

What is your favorite part of Christmas

There are lots of things to love about Christmas. Take the poll and see where you rank.

What is your favorite part of the Christmas Season?

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One of my favorites by Andy Williams

Tip #3 - Entertain

That means you...

The entertaining part is the most fun. It is when all of your hard work has finally come together and you can enjoy your family and friends. There is one thing about Christmas and that is that everyone is in a great mood and ready to celebrate the holidays.

If you've done your decorating and you've finished with the celebrating and planning it is now time to be the hostess with the mostess and enjoy your party. It is your time to laugh and enjoy your guests.

Greet everyone when they enter your home and guide them towards the cocktails, punch or egg nog. In this area you will also want to have some appetizers ready for your guests. This is important whether you are having a sit down dinner or a buffet.

It is important for you to introduce people that might not know each other and to mingle from guest to guest. DO NOT let anyone monopolize your time. Mingle, mingle, mingle.

If there will be children at your Christmas party make sure there is an area for them to play and it would be even nicer if you have some activities for them too.

Enjoy your time and don't fret over the small stuff....

I'd really love to hear from you.

Let me know you were here.

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