Recipes

Holiday Soiree

December 23, 2015

The holiday season is always a busy time for everyone, but this year it feels especially jam packed with things to do. For example, last week was insanely busy for me because it consisted entirely of prepping for my family’s Holiday Soiree! Back in the day, my parents threw an annual Christmas party during the holidays and invited all of our friends and family. It was always one of my favorite days of the year growing up because it was like a huge reunion for everyone I loved most, and I got to see people I didn’t normally get to spend time with. Everyone was in the holiday spirit, and the house was filled to the brim with lots of laughter, smiles, delicious food, yummy drinks, and festive music. Guests dropped in and out all night long for the open house, but the excitement never seemed to end. As we grew older and my parents became busier, the tradition stopped, but the fond memories never went away.

 

Fast forward to this year. I’ve been determined to make this the best holiday season ever, which meant bringing back a holiday party. I wanted to reunite with friends and family and finally bring everyone together again. There are so many family friends who I haven’t been able to see for years, and I miss them! The holidays are the perfect time to catch up with old friends, make new acquaintances, reminisce on good times, and create even better memories. As time goes on and people grow older, I find it gets harder and harder for people to keep in touch and to find the time to see each other. The holiday party is the perfect excuse to do just that.

The guest list was comprised of our entire family, friends we see every day, and friends we adore but don’t get the pleasure of seeing very often. It’s always extra special when those people are able to make it. I’ve been so excited for this party for weeks. There’s just something amazing about everyone being in the same place at the same time, bonding over food and drinks and celebrating the holidays. Good old-fashioned fun! We kept the menu “finger-food only” in order to avoid buying forks. I really didn’t see what the issue would be with buying forks, but my mother insisted that forks would be a big problem, so we went along with her wishes. Having only finger-food is helpful, though, because it discourages people from feeling the need to have a full, sit-down dinner. It was pretty crowded in our house already, and there was no way there would be enough space for everyone to have a sit-down meal.

Instead, we stuck to bite-sized everything. Pinterest was my guide for this one. We had rolls, deli meats, and condiments out for people to make sandwiches if they wanted something substantial. We put out drumsticks, meatballs, tortellini bites, deviled eggs, veggie trays, and fruit platters. Other appetizers included endives filled with salmon and capers, my mother’s famous sausage stars, bruschetta, artichoke and spinach dip, cucumber and salmon bites, and beef roll-ups, just to name a few. We also had the bar all stocked up in addition to a tea/coffee/cocoa station!

I was mainly in charge of the dessert area, because dessert is my thing. We had lots of different kinds of cookies – classic chocolate chip, chocolate chip with sprinkles, caramel apple, dark chocolate peppermint, and sugar cookies. I also made gingerbread, eggnog spice bites, apple pie bites, and chocolate peanut butter brownie bars. We had chocolate chip banana bread, zucchini bread, lots of fudge, cinnamon pecans, cheesecake bites, lemon bars, and chocolate peanut butter truffles.

Overall, I thought the soiree was a huge success. It was very different from the parties I remember as a child, but not in a bad way. We’re all grown up now, and things always change as you get older. When I was younger, there were lots of other kids, and Santa would come to hand out toys. It was magical. Now that we’re all older, there’s a bit more alcohol (I won’t lie) and the conversation is much more interesting. It’s easier for guests to meet new people and mingle with anyone nearby. I didn’t expect so many people to attend because I know how busy the holiday season is, so I was extremely happy with the turnout. It was great to catch up with old friends, and I was so touched that they made the effort to stop by. That’s the thing about Christmas – it’s all about giving. Giving presents, yes, but more than that, it’s about giving your friendship and a little piece of yourself. Giving love. That’s what matters, and that’s what I wanted to achieve with the soiree. Just give a little bit of my love to show everyone how grateful I am that they’re a part of my life!

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