Week #4 of All Done By December One – A Party and Entertaining Plan

Christmas party fun

Photo: dpstyles

December is the season of holiday parties, which can be both a good thing and a bad thing. I spoke with a friend yesterday, and she told me she was thinking about skipping her neighborhood’s annual Christmas party. While the event was a perfectly fine affair, it was always crowded and hot and loud—and not really her cup of tea. When she posed the idea of ditching the party to her husband, guess what he said? “HURRAY!”

While it’s relatively quiet in November, think about the parties you’d really love to attend—and host—during December. What would be truly fun and festive? Most of us have certain events we’re obligated to attend—the company party, for instance—but what about the rest? If you’re routinely attending things you don’t enjoy merely out of habit and tradition, think again. Who would you really like to see this holiday season, and how would you like to celebrate?

It’s easy to get over-booked and tired during the holidays, too, so you may wish to “X” out some evenings on your calendar when you’ll stay home and relax.

My friend and party planner extraordinaire Maury Ankrum has a special gift for entertaining and throwing parties, and she has inspired me to open my doors more often and have people over without worrying that everything has to be perfect. In fact, I’ve discovered that most people prefer a casual gathering in the kitchen with easy food and drinks.

One of my better parties was one in which I invited the women in my neighborhood to come over one Thursday night after work. Everyone wanted to bring something, so I suggested an appetizer or favorite libation. We ate and drink like royalty that night and had a great time in the kitchen, and when everyone left I realized I had three more bottles of wine than I began with!

The key in holiday entertaining—like so many things in our busy lives—is balance and moderation. Consider the month of December with a calendar in hand. If you’d like to host something in your home, plan it now. Those December days and nights are precious and special, so accept invitations as judiciously as you can and leave some space for mellow nights at home.

Are you hosting any holiday gatherings this year? What are your plans? Any tips you’d like to share about keeping things sane and simple? You know we’d all love to hear your thoughts in the comments section.


The signature for Eliza Cross

P.S. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway to win 3 scrumptious boxes of John Wm. Macy snacks – just in time for Thanksgiving.

About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is a full-time writer and the author of a dozen books about food and home design. She has been blogging about simplicity and sustainable living since 2006.

Week #4 of All Done By December One – A Party and Entertaining Plan

  • As you said in your tag line “we only have so many minutes on this earth” and that means we can only go to so many holiday parties. Meaning this year I think I’ll pass on the annual ugly sweater party this Christmas.

  • Julie

    I am planning a cookie baking day at my house in mid-December. My parents, brothers and sisters and their families, and my daughter and her family will attend. The cookie dough will be made the day before, and everyone can join in with baking and decorating. We will have an easy menu of heavy hors d’oeuvres for munching throughout the day. I’m not much of a baker so I’m going into this blindly and hoping for the best!

  • Daisy @ Prairie Eco Thrifter

    We won’t be hosting much of a get together. I think I’ll have some girlfriends over for some wine and baking, but other than that, we never really do much in this department over the holidays. We go to our parents for Christmas and that’s about it!

  • Other than family I won’t be hosting any parties this year. It’s something I did more because of my children wanting them to grow up with the experiences I grew up with of having friends dropping by. So to manage that I would prepare a lot of different foods that could be reheated or eaten cold when unexpected company stopped. Then I left an open invitation to all to stop by when convenient rather than trying to set a time and date. Worked for us. But with the boys grown I have fallen out of the habit.

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