The holidays are upon us and chances are you’re making the rounds through Christmas parties, family get togethers and gatherings galore. And still more of you may be planning your own festivities, getting ready to host your nearest and dearest to celebrate the season. We at ADDICTED recently hosted our own holiday celebration, and have some creative holiday hosting tips to share to help ease any hosting woes you may have.
Think sustainably when it comes to serving or gifting
Instead of purchasing a bunch of plastic cups that will only go in landfill, consider sustainable instead of disposable options for serving as well as gifting. Depending on the size of your gathering, you can use your own glassware, which is exactly what we did at our holiday gathering. Because our event was drop-in style, all I needed to do was take a quick run around the party, pick up any glasses that may have been discarded by now departed guests, and take a quick dishwashing break to ensure current and future guests would have something to sip on for the evening. Offer up finger food to avoid using plastic utensils, and if you are going to go disposable for things like plates and straws, look into paper options instead of plastic as well. And when it comes to gifting, ensure whatever party favors you may be giving your guests are things they will actually use, and won’t just end up in landfill. If you’re struggling with that one, consider making a donation to a local charity in your guests’ honor, to give them a gift they can truly feel good about that, with zero waste created.
Cheese can truly make people happy
Unlike you’re serving a gathering of vegans or lactose intolerance sufferers, chances are cheese will always be a crowd pleaser. We had the pleasure of serving Castello cheese at our gathering. It was an easy choice, as they offer many options and creative flavor combinations to please even the pickiest of guests. My personal favorite was the pineapple cream cheese. Simply plate, throw include a variety of crackers and other nibbles to enhance your cheese spread and watch your guests indulge in delectable dairy goodness. But of course, since cheese isn’t for everyone, ensure that your snack spread includes non-dairy options so everyone has something to snack on at your event.
Curate a creative cocktail offering
A staple of any gathering is cups of delicious concoctions for guests to sip on and cheers with as they float from conversation to conversation. It’s obviously easiest to set your bar up with the basics of spirits, mixers and glasses for guests to serve themselves, but if you’re going for a more creative cocktail offering, consider adding Kombucha to your list of ingredients. Our pals from Rise Kombucha came over and created 2 cocktails using 2 of their signature flavors: Orange and Tumeric and Lychee and Jasmine. The cocktails were simple enough to make on our own but the handsome Mac hung around to tend bar and teach us all about the benefits of Kombucha, which include aiding digestion, supporting the immune system, nurturing hair and skin and even help improve anxiety and depression. But the best part about our Kombucha bar was the cocktails could easily be transformed into mocktail, embracing the bright flavors of the Kombucha, including some simple ingredients and leaving out the alcohol.
We also set up a “Make your own Caeser” Station, using Mott’s Clamato and Matt and Steve’s Caeser rimmer and garnishes, including pickled asparagus and green beans. As with the kombucha, folks had the option to make their Caeser’s with alcohol or without, and if they did choose alcohol, they had a few options as well.
Which brings me to my next point…
Remember, alcohol isn’t for everyone
Alcohol is an incredibly addictive substance, despite being legal and socially acceptable. As a result there are many folks out there who are choosing to avoid it, especially around the holiday season. Thankfully, discussions of addiction and substance abuse are becoming far more open and far less taboo, and these days someone can be open about their issues with alcohol without being questioned about it, leading ot safer and happier holiday seasons for all. And not drinking is not just reserved for those who may have problematic relationships with alcohol – imbibing is a choice. So when you’re hosting it’s important to have a variety of beverage options on hand for your guests to enjoy, and to ensure one or more of those options does not contain alcohol. And it’s even better if those options are not just sparkling water, pop or juice. Thanks to Big Drop Brewery, we had the pleasure of serving 2 fantastic craft non-alcoholic beers at our holiday party. Their Pale Ale and Stout beers were so tasty, creating that enjoyable beer drinking experience without the alcohol!
Planning your own holiday gatherings? Share your tried and true hosting tips with us via Twitter today @weraddicted!