As December gets underway it seems that there are just not enough nights on the calendar for all the holiday festivities we are invited to enjoy. There can be office parties for both spouses, neighborhood get-togethers for holiday cocktails, holiday parties with your children's youth groups, cookie exchanges with friends, and the list goes on. We don't have enough nights in December to squeeze in everyone. And that's why this year I'll be hosting a Christmas season brunch for a group of my friends.
My husband and I belong to a group that does volunteer work at our church. Several times throughout the year we all get together with our families for large parties. Over the years it's become increasingly difficult to find a December evening that we can all fit onto our calendars. So this year we decided to plan a brunch instead.
The nice thing about our parties with this group is that we all share the work and expense. The hosting family usually coordinates what the other families will be bringing to the party right down to the beverages, breads and party goods. The only other additional requirement for the hosting family is to make sure their home is completely decorated for Christmas, even if the party is held the first weekend in December!
Tips for the Hosting Family
- Plan the menu in general terms such as food categories (eggs, muffins, etc.) and quantities of each.
- Assign each family the category they would most enjoy preparing.
- If necessary, give each family two assignments, such as a casserole and juice, or muffins and party goods. Distribute assignments with an eye toward equalizing expense and effort.
- Avoid any dishes that require last minute work beyond reheating. That includes scrambling eggs, flipping pancakes and omelets made to order.
- Plan foods that will travel well such as egg casseroles or baked hams.
- Ask that items be brought over ready-to-serve. For example, if someone brings bagels or rolls they should slice them in advance.
- Request that your guests bring over the appropriate serving pieces for their contributions. If you'd prefer to coordinate the serving pieces yourself, make sure you know exactly what will be required so they can be set out on the buffet table ready to be filled when your guests arrive.
- Review your menu to be sure there will be food that appeals to the littlest members of the group (usually not a problem at a brunch)