With the holiday season underway, today we’re sharing a few tips on completing your holiday party prep in under 1 hour!
This post has been sponsored by the J. M. Smucker Company and Kellogg Company. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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Who else is totally jazzed for the holiday season!? It’s my favorite time of the year. I THRIVE in December, it’s almost embarrassing. But you know what, I’m shamelessly in love with snowy days (thanks, New England!), holiday music, and all the unabashed cheer.
This oh so magical time of the year is truly one of my favorites and I am SO excited to be sharing a few of my holiday hostessing/hosting tips with you. And better yet, this one’s all about saving you time as you prep for your upcoming holiday party (or parties).
Create a focal point
Get creative and create one focal point for your holiday party. I don’t mean only decorate in one spot, I mean choose one spot to be the hit of the party. With mine, I chose a holiday-inspired spread, with a DIY or ‘make your own’ feel. Holiday party cop out or totally genius? I think genius, because then you’re not running around assembling everything for your guests all evening!
While I typically avoid the traditional red and greens that tend to own the holiday season, and instead opt for bright reds and pinks, I did it. It happened, I went traditional this year, but traditional with an earthy vibe.
I used fresh pomegranate seeds and cranberries, along with the ridiculously tasty Strawberry Fruit & Honey Spread for the deep reds. I filled my spread with real greens for the rich green hues, and then added in some nuts to continue with the earthy vibe.
The biggest holiday party prep time saver is being able to buy everything (or nearly everything!) in one spot. Target is a lifesaver, and I was able to pick up the crackers, nuts, Fruit & Honey Spread, and wine all in one trip. And I’m sure you can find a ton of spread ‘fillers’ there as well – you know, those tasty chocolate pieces, cranberries, and greens.
And if you do hop on over to your local Target, be sure to use the awesome Cartwheel offers linked below to save more than just your time 😉
Here’s what I included in my spread:
Smucker’s Strawberry Fruit & Honey Spread
Carr’s Table Water Crackers
Sahale Snacks Valdosta Pecans Glazed Mix
Camembert & sharp cheddar cheese
Mixed dark chocolates & chocolate covered cherries
Fresh cranberries & pomegranate seeds
Mirassou Pinot Noir (wine is a must!)
Now, here’s how to fill up your spread without spending a fortune or wasting hours prepping food for it:
Spread out all of those little snacks you picked up throughout the board. More is….well…more in this case. Seed a full pomegranate and use up your seeds in small cups, or right on your charcuterie board. Grab a few bars of dark chocolate and chop them up. Rather than putting the chocolate out as-is, take a few seconds to crush it up in various sizes. You can easily do this with your hands, or with the flat edge of a knife, then sprinkle those smaller pieces in empty spots on your board.
Holiday Party Prep In Under 1 Hour
The key here is to not go overboard. Keep it simple with a few ‘anchor’ items. Think: 2 cheeses, a signature wine, 1 jam/fruit spread, and 1 or 2 types of crackers/bread. You can throw in your own accent items, such as chocolate (yes, please!), nuts, and fresh fruit as you see fit. But, start with your anchor items and go from there.
Painless wine pairing
Keep it simple. Find one wine to serve as the featured pour of the evening. In recent years, I’ve become a total red wine convert and generally stick to serving that at home, especially around the holidays. I love that rich, bold flavor that so many red wines boast, like this Mirassou Pinot Noir. It’s an approachable red, with flavors of strawberry, cherry, and red currant, supported by light vanilla and oak notes – can you say yum?
And, just because you’re only featuring one (tasty!) wine, doesn’t mean that you can’t offer guests variations of it. In fact, try featuring a little spiced holiday punch or winter sangria. I’d suggest creating a mini drink station where guests can select how they’d like to enjoy their wine. Think pomegranate juice, cherry juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice…basically all the fall things.
Are you hosting your own holiday shindig this year? What are some of your favorite quick & easy prep tips? I hope you feel ready to take on the holiday party prep in 1 hour challenge!