In the south hospitality and entertaining is a science. Last minute company? Lovely to see you, doll! Extra guests for dinner? Come on in, and grab a gimlet! Impromptu dinner party? Pull up a chair! In the south, people know how to entertain and when it comes to Christmas, no one does it better than the South’s most trusted source, Southern Living.
We spoke with Southern Living Editor-at-Large, Kimberly Schlegel Whitman for entertaining, decorating and gift-worthy goodies. She also gave us her key tips for hosting any holiday party including:
1- Welcome Guests with a Refreshment. Never have empty-handed guests. Set up a bar or serve-yourself-style drink station that’s visible (or communicated) as guests arrive.
2- Choose Tunes Thoughtfully. A great playlist keeps things hopping, even during lulls between crowds. Make it long (at least 2 hours) with a mix of popular songs people can hum along to, holiday tunes and few classics sprinkled into the mix.
3- Pick a menu with dishes served at a variety of temperatures (cold, room temp, and hot) Minimize foods that have to be piping hot, opting instead for items you can keep warm in low-temperature oven. Better yet, use a stylish slow cooker or chafing dish on your buffet.
4- Place little nibbles around the house. Scatter bowls of nuts and olives or other appetizers around your home. This gets guest moving from room to room and helps prevent traffic jams at the bar and buffet.
5- Invest in party rentals. You might be surprised to learn how affordable it is to rent plates and glasses. Consider the small added expense against the convenience of not having to clean all of your own dishes afterward.
From entertaining and decorating, to gift-worthy goodies, Southern Living is the ultimate holiday helper.