Host the perfect holiday open house

Holiday parties don’t have to be sit-town occasions – buffet-style soirees, cocktail parties and hors d’oeuvres receptions can be treated as open-house gatherings. These kinds of celebrations allow guests to come and go as they please, which casts a cheery and lighthearted glow over the entire evening. To host the perfect holiday open house, try these creative ideas:

Food and drink
A buffet-style, self-serve setup is the most conducive way to serve holiday treats at an open house. Hors d’oeuvres are another preferred method of food presentation. As you might expect, your best bet will be to serve adorable mini treats. Sliders, mac and cheese bites, pigs in a blanket and veggie skewers are all great options. Of course, you’ll also want to serve these alongside adorable and festive cupcakes, cookies, candies and other holiday sweets.

Cocktails will also be an important part of your party. Opt for warmth-inducing, sweet beverages like spiced wine, mead and holiday-themed cocktails. Other options include eggnog (spiked and kid-friendly versions are both necessary), warm buttered rum and chocolate-peppermint martinis. Another delicious option is spiked “apple pie,” which consists of apple juice, warm apple cider, a few cinnamon sticks, brown sugar, vanilla flavoring and vodka.

Serve your adorable food items and tasty drinks with custom coasters and napkins. These delightful accents should be coordinated with your party theme, and are sure to make your guests swoon with holiday spirit.

Music
A fabulous holiday open house wouldn’t be complete without festive music. Hire a group of carolers to sing a few songs at your doorstep as guests come and go. For another option, hire a pianist and a trumpet player to provide some tunes as your guests mix and mingle.

If live musicians aren’t an option, you’ll want to put together some background music for your guests to enjoy. After all, the nature of open house-style parties is that there may be a sparse turnout at times, and a roaring party just minutes later. Fill in the gaps with a holiday playlist that includes both traditional, well-known tunes and some recent popular hits.

Gifts
For an open house, you’ll need to forgo the white elephant gift exchange in favor of something more flexible. Instead, hand out custom gift bags as your guests leave for the night. You can fill these with mini bottles of peppermint liqueur, delicious holiday cookies or albums of Christmas music.

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