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Holiday

How to Host a Christmas Brunch

It’s the night before Christmas and all through the house not a creature is stirring —except for you. After all, you are hosting Christmas Day brunch tomorrow. But instead of letting last minute preparations overwhelm you, embrace the spirit of the season and be kind to yourself by following these tips guaranteed to produce a successful Christmas morning for all.

Christmas Dishes

Plan a Simple, Make-Ahead Menu

Plan a doable Christmas brunch menu—one that you can actually execute considering all of the holiday’s other distractions. Consider recipes that you can prep in advance and reheat that morning, including egg casseroles or a vegetable frittata instead of made-to-order omelets. Another great option is a French toast souffle instead of individual slices dipped and cooked on the stove top. Prepare pastry doughs ahead of time. Instead of frying, bake bacon and sausage on cooking sheets to minimize cleanup. Remember to include fresh fruits—such as oranges, bananas, strawberries and apples—in decorative bowls. We also like to have kid-friendly brunch options like simple scrambled eggs, basic muffins and fresh fruit for the smallest celebrants.

Assign Serving Pieces For Each Dish

The week before Christmas, go through your sideboards and storage cabinets to make sure you have the appropriate platters, bowls, and baking dishes for all of your recipes. Label each piece with a sticky note to ensure you have enough serveware for your menu. Repeat the process with your serving utensils. Pair spoons, forks, ladles and cake cutters with the appropriate serving pieces.

Offer The Meal as a Buffet

Serving a buffet-style brunch frees up more table space for holiday decor, such as floral centerpieces, festive table runners and evergreen boughs adorned with pinecones. Find more inspiration and ideas about how to decorate your table for Christmas here. You also have options regarding your dinnerware placement. Set the table with individual place settings similar to a sit down dinner, or stack dishes at one end of the buffet with a basket full of napkin-wrapped flatware at the end of the food line.

Set Your Table a Day or Two Beforehand

Serving a buffet-style brunch frees up more table space for holiday decor, such as floral centerpieces, festive table runners and evergreen boughs adorned with pinecones. Find more inspiration and ideas about how to decorate your table for Christmas here. You also have options regarding your dinnerware placement. Set the table with individual place settings similar to a sit down dinner, or stack dishes at one end of the buffet with a basket full of napkin-wrapped flatware at the end of the food line.

Create a Holiday Table Centerpiece

Use the center of your dining table to capture the essence of the holiday. Fill a glass hurricane with a colorful collection of ornaments. Drape greenery and red ribbons down the center of the table and line with white pillar candles. Want to use up some leftover wrapping paper? Wrap a few differently-sized boxes and add brightly-colored bows. Place these in the center of the table, making sure none of them are tall enough to interfere with guests’ line of sight.

Remember to Designate a Kids’ Table

Keep the kids busy during brunch by covering their table in craft paper. At each seat, draw the outline of a placemat in black marker. Then place canning jars full of markers and crayons on the center of the table and invite them to design and draw their own holiday placemats. If you have time, you can create candy cane reindeer for their table. Fix small red pompoms and wiggly eyes to the short side of a candy cane. Twist brown pipe cleaners into antler shapes and glue those to the upper hook of each cane. Your smaller attendees will have a great time playing with their reindeer as you and your guests enjoy the meal.

Curate a Music Playlist

Create a music playlist or compile a list of your favorite holiday tunes. Keep the volume low to accommodate conversation. Plan for music with no lyrics during the meal portion of your party, and consider switching to more traditional holiday tunes after your guests are finished eating.

Purchase Items for Gift Exchanges

Purchase a few assorted gifts, such as good bottles of wine or nicely-wrapped artisanal coffees, to set aside in case one of your guests surprises you with an unexpected present. White or ivory candles, photo frames or even gift cards make excellent presents for a wide range of recipients.

Prepare the Desserts

Instead of taking on the task of a dessert table all by yourself, invite each of your guests to bring a platter of their favorite homemade Christmas cookies to share. Consider adding a holiday twist to classics, such as a candy cane topping for your favorite brownies. If you have any guests with dietary restrictions, including gluten-free or vegan lifestyles, adding a dessert that they can enjoy will make them feel included and cared for.

5 Different Dinnerware Collections for Christmas

Set up Multiple Drink Stations

As friends and family mingle before and after the meal, offer different drink options at stations around your home. Set up a coffee station with mugs, creamer, sugar and spoons. Make extra pots of coffee ahead of time and have them on hand in thermal carafes. For those who love the taste of coffee but don’t want the caffeine, remember to make at least one pot of decaf.

Fill drink dispensers and hand blown glass pitchers with ice water. We like to add fruit slices or cucumbers to our water dispensers for an unexpected twist. Be sure you have more than enough glasses on hand. In our experience guests place water glasses down and forget where they put them.

Toast the holiday with a Mimosa bar. Using your juicer, squeeze fresh orange juice the night before and pour into pretty glass pitchers to keep cold in the refrigerator. Chill your champagne bottles in advance and set out any champagne buckets you plan to use. This means that Christmas morning, the only thing left to do is add ice to the buckets and set out your beverages.

Champagne not your style? Consider a Bloody Mary bar. Prepare the mix the night before and pour into glass pitchers. We like to offer two varieties: spicy and regular. Thread cocktail picks with interesting and tasty garnishes, such as salami slices, pickles, olives, cheese and tomatoes.

Enjoy the Party

You’ve done the work, the table looks beautiful, the food is delicious and your guests are happy. Now it’s time to relax and enjoy a special time of year with friends and family.

Create an inspired tablescape with our Christmas centerpiece ideas. And don't forget to check out our other Christmas party ideas to prep for the holiday season.

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