Last year I started a new tradition with my girlfriends and that was to share a holiday feast with them in my home. I am so thankful for my amazing friends and I miss them when our lives get chaotic and schedules begin to overflow.
This time of gathering during the holidays is something I look forward to each year and makes the holidays even more special. It’s worked so well, I want to share a few of my favorite tips for throwing a successful friends holiday feast with you.
How to Get a Positive Response to Your Event
It can be difficult to pull together a big group especially with such chaotic schedules. Instead of setting up an event and shooting blindly in the dark for a date or receiving a million responses and being responsible for sorting people/dates, I utilizeDoodle to schedule a good date for everyone.
Simply plug in the dates and times that will work for you and send out the link to the scheduling tool for each person to vote for the days that work best for them. Once you receive the responses you can set the date for the one that received the most positive response.
Once you have the date, it couldn’t be easier to invite your friends especially if your friends are on Facebook. I just put up an event and asked that everyone respond there. It is easy to create, to monitor, and gives you an accurate headcount for making food purchases.
Make sure that you set the privacy to “Invite Only” for viewing otherwise everyone who is a friend can see a response (and might not be included- ouch!). I admit, the only time I wish I had a bigger house is when I host events like this.
You Supply the Main Dish, They Supply the Rest
Hosting a holiday gathering is stressful when you have to make all the food. Ease your hostess duties and request that each person bring their own dish and a bottle of wine to share. To make sure all the categories are filled, I utilize Jooners to create a sign-up sheet for dishes.
Be sure to specify what you need under the, “Needed,” box. This is where you can ask for side dishes, desserts, bread, and appetizers. Specifying dishes helps you have a well-rounded feast and since everyone can fill in the dish they are bringing, it helps cut down on anyone bringing the same dish.
Don’t get caught up in the details of homemade cooking. This night is meant to be a treat for you too and simplifying your dishes allows you not to about laboring over complex dishes and missing out on all the fun together. Keep it simple and allow your guests to round out the feast.
Make Giving Back a Part of the Event
I have some truly generous friends so I call upon them often to assist me with giving back to our community. Consider asking everyone to give back as part of the admittance to your feast.
The cupboards can certainly get cramped around the holidays so consider asking for donations for your local food pantry to make room for those holiday ingredients you will need to stock.
You could also do items for warmth for the homeless like hats, gloves, scarves, and socks since they are such a sweet and simple donation to execute.
Lastly, you could work together on a giving project like creating care packages for the homeless, knitting chemo caps for patients, or making blankets or hats for preemies at the NICU.
These moments are what the holidays are certainly all about and I hope this inspires you to do something special with the people you love this year!