Here in SoCal today, it is very rainy & cooler than normal. The thought of sitting by a cozy fire with a Holiday beverage appeals to me! With the weekend just a few hours away, it might be the perfect time for YOU to enjoy one of the tasty treats from Country Living. They may be just the thing to chase away the winter chill!
Holiday Open Office
Twice, I have had jobs that were very intense during the holiday season. The number of hours I needed to spend at work made it impossible for me to either attend or host any holiday parties This was very painful for me since I love both Christmas and entertaining. I finally realized the long hours spent at work did not mean I could not celebrate the holidays. If I had to spend the holiday season at work, then I would hold the party at work. Instead of hosting an open house, hold an open office!
I designed a celebration that would not cause me any additional stress. My goal was to enhance my holiday joy and the joy of my co-workers. I began by decorating my office for the holidays, including a small tabletop tree complete with lights. I set up a narrow four foot table and covered it with a paper tablecloth. I bought more than one tablecloth in case so I had replacements when one was stained or torn. I brought in my holiday platters, baskets and bowls for my serving dishes and added green and red paper napkins, cups and plates.
During the holidays, so much of the food brought in to share at work is very sweet and high calorie. We tend not to eat well during the last few weeks of December. I decided to offer more substantial food. The buffet featured chips, salsa, dip, crackers, a variety of cheeses, cookies, and sparkling cider. As you see, I did include a few sweet items to round the selection out.
I bought most of the items for the small buffet, making only one or two things myself. I bought enough food to last 3-4 days, holding back a few fresh items for each day so the food did not look picked over by the last day. I was able to set everything up in 10-15 minutes and it took about the same amount of time to clean everything up before I went home.
I turned on Christmas music, opened the door wide and invited anyone who wandered by to enjoy the buffet. While the open office will never win first prize in a Holiday Party competition, it helps reduce stress and increase joy during a busy time of year at work.
Suggested Buffet Items:
• Herbed Brie
• Smoked Edam
• Cheese Ball
• Dill Dip*
• Spinach Dip
• Shrimp Dip
• Crab Dip
(I purchase specialty loaf cakes at an import store)
• Pumpkin/Cranberry Bread
• Banana Bread
Small Plate of Chocolate Seashells
Platter of Assorted Cookies
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 cup mayo
- 2 teaspoons dill
- 1 teaspoon celery salt
- 1 tablespoon parsley
- 1 tablespoon dried onion
Mix. Chill. Serve in bread bowl with the pieces of bread taken out of the bowl.
Special occasions call for more that a few bottles of wine hastily chosen & a tub of ice filled with beer. Time to move up to the grown up side of the bar! I agree that cocktails can be time consuming to mix when you are hosting a party. You might consider hiring someone to tend bar for you. This frees you up to mingle with guests & gives you the satisfaction of knowing the drinks are well made. A paid bartender should also be able to tell you what to purchase & how much you need to stock your bar for the event.
If hiring a bartender is not in your budget or your event is intimate enough not to warrant the expense, then consider creating just one of these fabulous concoctions from Coastal Living. A punchbowl filled with a special beverage, with more pitchers of the same chilling in the fridge, gets your party a special touch without causing you emotional or financial stress. Enjoy!
Creating a fabulous centerpiece for your Holiday table doesn’t need to be expensive or hard. You don’t even have to buy a centerpiece. You can make it yourself!
These days, a Christmas centerpiece isn’t just for company. You can create a centerpiece that decorates your table all season long! When company comes over, put together a different look for your table based on the occasion. The centerpiece in the photo above is simple & beautiful! It doesn’t take much for you to create a lovely table this Christmas. Country Living is ready to help you with their guide of 33 table settings & decorations! You might want to try something different every night! Now that’s a Simple Joy!