Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Holiday Party No. 5: Couples Christmas Potluck

Patience wrote in with a request for a party this weekend:
To the ever chic EmilyStyle! I somehow managed to say yes to hosting a Couples Christmas Party this Saturday evening. I think I said yes because in the back of my head I was thinking about you mentioning that not enough people host parties these days and as I read that I was nodding silently. Eeek. It is a pot luck white elephant gift party. I want to have a few food items on hand though as I'm not sure what the crowds will bring (about 4 or 5 couples). My house is pretty festive and cheery already so I think all I need to add to decorate is some fresh flowers. I'm thinking I should at least cover drinks, something savory, and something sweet. I need a classy non-alcoholic beverage.
My anxiety surrounding potlucks reveals an OCD element to my personality that doesn't really surface anywhere else in my life. It's hard to predict what everyone will bring, the serving dishes won't match, oh the horrors (ha!). Brainstorming for this party was a therapeutic exercise for me.

Guests. Between ten and twelve couples on Saturday night.  Sounds like the kiddos aren't invited.

Decor. One of the best parts of holiday entertaining is that you don't have to do much with decor. Toss in a couple poinsettias along with the other festive things you already have up.

Menu. I would plan on serving a roast ham and crunchy warm rolls. Ham goes with everything! Mix up a couple sweet and savory party butters and a few mustards to serve with the spread.  Your guests can compliment those dishes with side salads, desserts, cheeses, fruit, veggies, etc. Don't be afraid to be a bit directive in giving tips for what each person should bring so that you get a good balance of dishes.  Personally, I wouldn't worry about making a dessert, since that's so easy for your guests to provide.

Drinks. There are a plenty of fun non-alcoholic drink recommendations online. I like the bright citrus color of this Winter Sun cocktail, replacing the alcohol with soda water.

Activity. White elephant gift exchanges are always fun!

Cost. Hams run between $30 and $80 depending on where you get them and how big they are. You'll likely have plenty of ham leftover for sandwiches, casseroles, split pea soup, etc. Poinsettias, rolls, butter, mustard and supplies for the mocktails will be around $40.

All photos and details available on the Holiday Party Pinterest board. Have your own party request? Leave it in the comments.

3 comments:

Katie said...

A ham...GREAT idea. Especially with cool mustards and butters. So easy and the leftovers could stretch forever.

MrsEm said...

Ham, like Paris, is always a good idea ;)

Patience said...

thanks emily!! i think the ham is a great idea as with everything else. just picked up some poinsettias today. and i will be quite directive! also, you are totally right about not doing a sweet- it is the easiest thing to bring.