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Spice up your next holiday party

As one holiday ends another begins. In this series, the local Cooperative Extension agents will help you prepare for your next event with party ideas, ham selection and spicing up your holiday treats.
With Thanksgiving behind us, we now look forward to Christmas and the Christmas parties. If you are planning to host your own Christmas party, let’s get started. First, you must decide on a date to host your party. As we get closer to Christmas, more and more invitations for parties will begin showing up in your mail and email. So timing is of the essence, and you may even consider having an after-Christmas party. Next, decide on your guest list — who and how many will you invite to your party? Now, find a place for your party. Make sure the size of the party venue fits the number of guests you have invited — comfortable guests are happy guests. So what type of party would you like to have? You may choose to have a cocktail party, tree-trimming party, brunch, dinner party, or cookie swap to name a few. Whatever you choose, make sure that your menu accompanies your theme. For instance, if you choose to have a brunch, try a cocoa or coffee bar; they are fun and an icebreaker for guests plus something warm to sip on before the meal begins. Now for the invitations. Just a simple invitation will be fine and printable invitations can be found easily online. To make a simple invitation special, try hand delivering them to your guests.
Again, you want to be sure that table settings, food and atmosphere all are in sync. Create a chic and modern brunch table using a neutral palette of cream and white. Pops of dark cypress greenery add a festive touch that’s distinctly “holiday.” Custom place cards that feature the menu printed on brown card stock make the event feel tailored and special. And, of course, a must is seasonal tunes that allow guests to play deejay with a few choice holiday albums. With options ranging from old standbys like Bing Crosby to new classics like She & Him, guests are sure to enjoy spinning their favorite holiday tunes. Lastly have fun and enjoy the holidays!

For more information contact Toi N. Degree, toi_degree@ncsu.edu Family & Consumer Education Agent at the Rowan County Cooperative Extension office 704- 216-8970.

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