Every year you take turns with other family members hosting the family Christmas party. Sometimes it feels like a contest to see who can host the best party and usually that means who plans the best menus. It seems that one thing most people think of when they think of Christmas would be all those goodies that they don’t feel guilty eating like they do the rest of the year. In fact, how many times have you caught yourself saying that you’ll feast now because it is the holidays, after all. You’ll make a New Year’s Resolution to take off those pounds you gained this Christmas. That’s easier said than done, right? Even so, there are ways to host a magnificent family Christmas party that will not be forgotten, ever!
Playing the Balancing Act
Since food is so important, the one thing you really need to remember is that some people have different dietary needs and unless you find a way to satisfy those, you will have some family members going home hungry or disappointed. Generally, this would be the elders in your family. Dysphagia is a condition that makes it difficult or impossible to swallow, so everything needs to be in liquid form or the consistency of pudding.
While you can’t cook a special menu for them with so many other things to attend to, you can puree their foods to a yogurt-like consistency. Also, the beverages you provide can be thickened with a product from the SimplyThick company. Your grandparents and great grandparents might even like a glass of wine if it won’t conflict with their medications because you can thicken it, so they won’t aspirate. They’ll surely go home happy from your party!
Do Your Prepping Early
If there is one thing that keeps the host of a party frustrated, it would be an inability to entertain their guests because they are busy ‘slaving away’ in the kitchen. This can be prevented if you prep all your foods the day before. Simply slip them in the oven at the right time, then join your family in the living room to share family anecdotes or toasting with a glass of bubbly.
Cold foods can always be prepared the day before and then covered securely and refrigerated. The key to providing the most delicious foods would be to have them done early so that your guests don’t feel guilty watching you work. That somehow interferes with their ability to celebrate.
Work with What You Know
It’s not like you are hosting a party for people you have never met. These are family members, and it is quite possible that you know all their favorite foods. Some people like Italian and other people like Chinese food. Some prefer cakes for dessert and others like puddings and tarts.
There is no reason why you can’t plan an international meal with items selected from each of those cuisines. Who ever said you had to serve roast duckling for Christmas? Actually, you can but this year use an Asian recipe with appetizers consisting of egg rolls and steamed dumplings with teriyaki dipping sauce. It’s amazing just how creative you can get when it comes to holiday cooking. The only other aspect your guests are likely to remember would be the gift giving time, but that’s something you can think about later. For now, it’s time to plan the menu.