Holiday Planning 101

Posted by Annette Bellisari on

This Week: The Ins and Outs of Hosting During the Holiday Season

(Next Week: The Ups and Downs of Hosting During the Holiday Season 😉🤣)

Are you hosting a holiday party this year? Being a good host can be incredibly rewarding, but it can be stressful too. From gathering with a few close family and friends to the possibility of housing a few out-of-towners, you may find yourself becoming overwhelmed, thinking about everything you need to do! Thankfully, most of the stressors can be eliminated. If you’re wondering how to throw a memorable party and prepare your home for holiday guests, these simple hosting tips will make organizing the holidays at your house a piece of cake! (That reminds me. Make a note to assign Marie to bring her caramel cake!! 😉)

The holidays are meant to be spent celebrating and enjoying time with the family, so it’s important to optimize your preparation to reflect that. These 3 tips will help:

    1. Don’t panic! Even if you really are having problems, your guests will take their cues from you. Take this scenario for example: OMG! Mary just called and canceled because everyone at her house has been running fevers and having cold/allergy-like symptoms. I’m sad they’re unable to attend, but I appreciate and understand their decision to stay home. This leaves us with four fewer guests, but more importantly, this leaves us without any mashed potatoes!!! It’s 2 hours before guests are scheduled to arrive, so chances are that it’s too late to start peeling potatoes and making a new batch with everything else you have to do. There are delicious frozen ones at the grocery store these days, and if you put enough gravy over and close your eyes, you can almost feel the same as you do when eating cousin Mary’s homemade ones! Or let’s say you are making the mashed potatoes but don’t have cream or butter to make them the way you usually do. Just toss your cubed potatoes in our delicious Saigon Sauce and roast them for an extra pop of flavor. 
  • Be flexible! -- Sometimes we build an image in our minds of how certain events should go, but inevitably, somewhere along the line, there’ll be a miscommunication, or crazy Aunt DeeDee will decide NOBODY is going to tell her what she’s making for Thanksgiving dinner! Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon to end up with 2 or more of the same dish. This is a great time to utilize the convenience of Bellisari’s Gourmet Sauces and Spreads! For example, our Balsamic Green Bean Casserole has almost the same ingredients as the traditional recipe plus our award-winning  Bellisari’s Balsamic Shallot & Black Garlic Spread. Now instead of 2 of the same casseroles, you can serve a traditional one and 1 with a Bellisari’s Gourmet twist. From brussel sprouts to baked beans, you’ll find a variety of recipes perfect for the holidays when you visit
    1. Be prepared! -- I don’t know about you and yours, but mine always makes too much food! So one of my favorite things to do is to be organized and ready with plenty of disposable “to-go” container options to send leftovers home with those who want them. Or you could make it BYOC (bring your own container). You could ask guests to bring along something to take their leftovers home in and save yourself from having to do it, as well as saving our planet a little at a time. To me, Thanksgiving food is better the next day! And doesn’t everyone love a turkey sandwich on white bread with mayo and lots of salt and pepper? If you don’t host Thanksgiving at your house, you rarely get good leftovers like sliced turkey breast, but you can be ready to send some leftovers home, making sure there’s enough sliced turkey to make that quintessential late-night holiday sandwich you remember from your youth in each batch of leftovers you send home with loved ones. 

    One of the most important things to remember when throwing an event is that you’re part of it, too. Remember to sit down, relax, eat, and have fun. Your family and friends are definitely going to be excited to spend time with you and happy to be invited to your gathering. If you’re not having fun, you’re doing it wrong.

    Whether it’s a small get-together for you and your closest friends or a big family event like dinner on Christmas day, things can get a little overwhelming for the party host. With these tips, you should be able to manage some of your party anxiety, and when all’s said and done, your family is sure to be talking about your party for weeks after.

    Above all, remember to take a few moments to really enjoy this time, which is, after all, not just about eating and drinking and cooking and cleaning — but about enjoying the people you love and being grateful for their company. Happy Holidays from all of us at Bellisari’s!

    Fall holiday spread with pumpkins, assorted meats, and brie cheese.

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