It is almost December and the party season is looming. Two staff parties will be at my house this year, but fortunately I don't have to cook for either one. My husband's staff usually chooses a caterer and my staff likes to do pot luck. Our home is very suitable for large gatherings and I like to stay so home so much I'm quite happy to have the party come to me. I don't like to fuss and am able to relax and enjoy myself so long as I know my house is clean. Here are my must haves for hosting a pot luck or catered Christmas party.
Simple decorations: greenery, branches, the Christmas tree if the even takes place after December tenth.
Clean bathrooms and plenty of extra hand towels. I find that people don't feel comfortable with the smaller guest towels. I put two clean hand towels out and check part way through the evening to see if I need to refresh them. A very simple, large and stable candle with a book of matches so people can get rid of embarrassing smells.
*Soy candles in as many places as I can accommodate them.
* A fire in the fireplace.
*Christmas music and other background music mixed-we all have our own favourites-my husband and I lean towards blues and he is crazy about Cuban music. I'm sure that will get played at some point.
*lots of coasters available for drinks that get put down
*a coffee and tea station
* a nearly empty and clean fridge because these are bring your own booze parties
One year I made tiny, delicate paper snowflakes like the ones in the top picture. With careful packing they lasted a few seasons. I hung them from my son's bedroom ceiling when he was little.
...and speaking of snowflakes, I have to confess I don't understand the trend of decorating in all white and icy blue. If it is cold outside, don't you want your indoor Christmas decor to feel warm and cozy? Some of the photos in the current House and Home magazine features some very icy looking decor. That sure isn't for me.
(photos from Flickr, Canadian House and Home magazine, current issue)