Holiday Entertaining: Christmas Eve
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Since having my own kids, I have been big into establishing holiday traditions. But, being away from family has led to a struggle with what to do on Christmas Eve. As a child, we would always spend Christmas Eve at my grandma’s–with tons of cousins running around, making up dance routines in the garage, and eating lots of junk.
As a grown up, we have no extended family to fill our time on Christmas Eve—and Christmas Eve time begs to be filled. The kids are anxious. The parents are tired. Everyone is just waiting to fall asleep so that Santa can arrive.
Last year, a colleague and I were talking and he mentioned that his family has friends over on Christmas Eve–they make a big pot of chili, have lots of beer on hand, and just open their house to who ever wants to stop by. I liked that idea and we adopted a variation of it for our own last year. I called whoever I thought might be interested and told them to stop by. I made an assortment of simple pizzas, had some drinks on hand, and just sat back and relaxed with family and friends. It was perfect.
This year, I am amping it up a bit. I am actually planning it out. With one key principle in mind: simplicity and fun (Okay, two key principles.)
Basically, the premise is simple. Lots of savory treats, lots of beer on hand, interesting festive cocktails of some sort, and a whole table dedicated to the fruits of my cooking labors–desserts! Lots of baked goodies and, new this year, an assortment of homemade candies.
We open our house for a period of time–allowing people to stop by for a drink whenever it is convenient for them. Some may stay the entire time. Some may just pop over for a quick visit. The important thing is that they stop by and spend some time.
I have been working on coming up with lots of fun treats that both the grown ups and kids will like and that won’t require a lot of prep time. I want to be a host that enjoys the party–not one that is slaving away in the kitchen.
Here are some of my ideas so far and as the cooking begins, I’ll be sure to share the recipes with you all.
Homemade Vegan Peppermint Patties
Sea Salt Caramels
Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough with Graham Cracker Dippers
Mini Cupcakes with Frosting
Chocolate Dipped Shortbread
Prociustto, Fig and Arugula Pizza
Beer Cheese Soup
Some sort of salad-y thing.
Whatever the menu, the motto will be simple and fun!.. Simple and fun! Simple and fun! Just like Christmas should be.