Holiday Party Planning and Hosting Tips – Charcuterie Board Ideas is a sponsored post.
With the holidays fast approaching, parties are on everyone’s mind. It’s easy to over think what you need to do to host the greatest party of the season, which can lead to a lot of unneeded stress. Take it from a seasoned pro, all that energy spent stressing can be put to better use. If you’ll be hosting friends or family over the holidays, or for any event, check out my holiday party planning and hosting tips. Effortlessly breeze through the planning stages for a fun get together without needing a glass of wine before guests ever show up – unless of course you’ve saved yourself enough time to be able to relax and enjoy one.
Holiday Party Planning and Hosting Tips
Mood is everything when it comes to hosting a holiday party. You want your home to feel warm and welcome. You want your guests to feel at ease and having a good time. The very first thing that sets the mood in a party is the *host’s* mood. It can be stressful to plan a get together because you want everything to be perfect. My number one holiday party planning and hosting tip is make sure that you, as the host, have time to sit down and relax before guests arrive. It takes time and practice to be able to successfully achieve this. When I first started hosting I was never ready when my guests would arrive, and fortunately for me they graciously jumped in to help. Over time I’ve gotten tightened up my routine and can proudly say I am able to relax before my guests arrive. Even if it’s only for 15 or 20 minutes – take that time to chill and put yourself in a jolly mood for when everyone shows up. This is a party – people want to have fun and be in good cheer.
Lighting, Music & Scents
Aside from your mood, you’ll want to set the mood of the house. This includes lighting, music, and scents. Your lighting should be a happy medium – you don’t want any spotlights, but your guests shouldn’t be tripping over each other either. You want the room lit but softened – that way everyone can see each other and it has that inviting feeling. Place a couple of potpourri satchels throughout the house or use plug-ins – avoid candles which can be bumped into or knocked over. Pick scents that aren’t overpowering and capture the smell of the season. You can’t go wrong hosting a Christmas party with the faint scent of baked cookies wafting in the air. Personally I really enjoy the smell of cinnamon, which you can find at just about any local supermarket in the decorative form of a cinnamon broom. Just one will fill your entire house with the relaxing fragrance your guest will instantly recognize.
For music, make a long playlist or stream a festive station via your phone – just make sure to connect it to a Bluetooth speaker. No speaker? No problem. Place your phone, speaker side down, into a cup in near the food. This way, you’ll have enough music that lasts through the entire party and you won’t have to worry about leaving conversations to go fiddle with music. Let the music play in the background, nothing super loud. It’s a holiday party, not a concert. Create music-free zones which encourage discussion and mingling, like in the sitting area or table seating. People love to mingle and go from area to area. It makes the party lively and interesting!
Food & Drinks
A party just isn’t a party without great food – it’s what makes it a great party. Food is a way to bring people together. It brings back memories and helps create new ones. You want your party to engage your guests with every sense, and taste is a big one. It’s not uncommon to find a bunch of finger foods like pigs in a blanket or chips and a few kinds of dip, unless it’s a sit down dinner. Most of my parties are all about the food table display, and yours will likely be the same. During the holidays I like keep things simple, yet classy and a charcuterie board is the perfect staple that will have friends and family raving! And it is way easier to create than pronounce, I promise.
- Top Board: Hickory Farms Farmhouse Cheddar and Reserve Smoked Garlic Cheddar. Bottom Board: Hickory Farms Reserve Dry Salami, Simply Hot Pepper Bacon Jam, Reserve 3 Year Aged Cheddar, Olive Oil & Rosemary Crackers, Simply Beef Summer Sausage – Mixed Nuts & Reserve Apple Smoked Cheddar with Paprika (not pictured)
The great thing about a charcuterie board is the wide range of items you can use to excite and awaken your guests taste buds. Start with a variety of cheeses, from soft to hard and then your favorite meat selections. Use foods that all play together in harmony and dance with delight to appease your guests palate. Introduce them to foods you love that they may not have considered before. Other items you can add to your board are grapes, apples, pears, figs, jam, dates, bread sticks, baguette, nuts, and pickles. With this charcuterie board being for a holiday party, bring in flavors of the season with clementines, cranberry relish, and fresh rosemary. These will enhance and elevate the flavors of your selections. Have fun with it, let your imagination run wild!
The fresh flavors of sweet and salty mixed with the soft and crunchy textures will leave guests feeling satisfied. Also, the delicious finger foods will allow guests to mingle and munch at the same time – ensuring that people are enjoying all aspects of the party at once. Don’t forget drinks – wine and sangria pair well with charcuterie, but always have non-alcoholic options on hand as well.
- Top Display: Hickory Farms Snowflake Pretzels & Holiday Petits Fours. Bottom Display: Hickory Farms Gourmet Cheesecake Sampler
Desserts are a must! Offer two or three different sweets options, (or more depending on the number of guests you have.) Cheesecake is one of my favorite desserts. As with the charcuterie board, I try to introduce my guests to items I enjoy that they may not have ever tried before like Petits Fours, which are simple and delicious. But some people who are craving sweet, might be interested in a lighter option so mix it up with sweet and salty favorites like chocolate covered pretzels!
Overall, remember to stay relaxed and enjoy yourself – this is a party after all. Once you’ve set in motion these holiday party planning and hosting tips, the rest is a breeze. The scene is set, the food is delicious, and now all that’s left is for your loved ones to show up and have a blast!
Do you have holiday party planning and hosting tips that make hosting a breeze? Share them below!