*Thank you Sam’s Club for sponsoring this post. Regardless all thoughts and opinions are my own and I only recommend products and brands I truly love.
One of the biggest things that gives me anxiety during the holiday season is hosting. Whether a party with friends, or Christmas brunch, there are about a million holiday events going on and there’s a good chance you’re going to be hosting 1 or 2 of them. As a busy mom I’ve pretty much mastered how to go about making everything in life as easy as possible. But I also still put in a lot of effort and want to do a good job. Since I figure I can’t be the only person in this situation, I threw together a few of my favorite tips for hosting an event during the holiday season.
Plan in advance. And plan out everything. Know what food you will be serving. In what order. Where people are going to sit. What you are going to serve food on. What music you will be playing. What other activities you will have for guests. This is the number one thing you can do for any event you throw. One of the most important parts is planning out the food you need and shopping well in advance so you aren’t scrambling the day of.
Have plenty of easy food. You probably won’t be able to hand make everything the day of and cook 20 fancy dishes in your oven. So go for easy finger foods and one or two bigger dishes and serve them buffet style. Not only is this time-efficient for you, but it’s time-efficient for the event itself and it will keep your guests happy. A meal served buffet style keeps the food moving, guests full and happy, and is easiest for you as the host to manage. I like to go heavy on the appetizers and desserts especially and buy pre-baked foods that can be served right away or heated up in the oven and then served. I also buy them in large quantities to make sure we don’t run out. Having leftovers is never a bad thing but not having enough food can ruin a party. That’s why I shop for our events at Sam’s Club. Their private label brand, Member’s Mark, offers delicious food that I can buy lots of at great prices – can’t beat it! For this tablescape, I’m serving lasagna shells, carrot cake cupcakes, pecan pie, and butter cookies!
Offer simple drink options. Mixing drinks is another party time suck. I like to offer both a holiday spice sangria in pitchers and mimosas, along with non-alcoholic beverages. Because the alcohol for an event can get pricey, I pick this up at Sam’s Club where I know I can buy champagne and wine from the newly expanded Member’s Mark line and get a great taste while still being budget conscious. Some Member’s Mark Champagne and orange juice will make delicious mimosas!
Decorate for the occasion. What’s a holiday party without holiday decor? Even if you don’t go all out for the holidays you can at least decorate your serving table or spice up the living area with some holiday pillows. These are also things I buy when I’m at Sam’s Club. I’m obsessed with these Member’s Mark holiday houses and candles, both of which came with remotes for turning on and off! And the garland and ribbons I picked up are perfect for our table. After our dinner I’m going to be able to use all of these decorations around the house as well for general holiday decor! Plus the pillows make a great accent!
Ask for help. Well this tip is great for most things in life in general. It never hurts to ask for help. Ask guests to bring a side, or a dessert, or even plate of silverware options. Your guests will be happy to oblige and it will take some of the work off of you for event day!
Everything I bought for our event, from food to decor, came from the Member’s Mark line sold at Sam’s Club. Over the past year 300 items have been added to this line which means they now have over 2,000 products. They’ve worked with product developers and food scientists who have worked to make top-quality products that are still brought to consumers at an awesome price. I also love that Sam’s Club has time saving technology to make hosting even simpler – they have both a new Scan & Go app and Club Pickup now meaning I can do more planning at home and less walking around the store with my kids in tow. With Scan & Go I can use the app to add barcodes of what I’m buying to my cart and actually pay in the app, skipping the check out line completely! Plus Sam’s Club members can get 3% back on all Scan & Go purchases using their Sam’s Club consumer credit card through January 31, 2018. Club Pickup allows Sam’s Club members to order items online and have them ready to pick up at Sam’s Club locations for no additional cost.
Are you hosting any events this holiday season? I’d love to hear all about them and how you are setting up for them below!