The one thing I look forward to around the holidays are holiday parties, consuming copious amounts of food and the best, Christmas music.
Being the home-body that I am, I love having our friends and family over at our place rather than going out but man, it is ever exhausting. When I’m hosting a holiday party, I always find myself running around the week before prepping and frantically trying to make everything just perfect. On the day of the party, I feel like I am always stuck in the kitchen, prepping and cooking even after my guests have arrived. This year, I decided I was going to spend less time worrying about the little things and more time enjoying and mingling with my loved ones.
My friend, Kaylee and I recently hosted our first holiday party together to test out how PC can make our holidays just a little bit easier. It was important to us that the party was beautiful and Instagram-worthy but also be able to enjoy ourselves at the same time. We wanted to share some tips on holiday hosting so you can continue to be the great host that you are and also enjoy some quality time with your guests!
I love the minimalistic approach when it comes to Christmas decor, my mom-in-law, on the other hand, dresses her house from floor to ceiling! We wanted to keep it simple and incorporate the Christmas decor with my everyday decor. Kaylee and I both love pink so we thought it would be pretty to incorporate some dusty pinks and rose shades to create a more feminine Christmas feel.
We had our favourite, local florist, Wild North Flowers, arrange a beautiful garland for the mantle using local greenery and flowers with the hints of pink. We added cute accents from the PC holiday collection including white ceramic houses and birds, white and gold stockings and the cutest pillows of all time. Storm really enjoyed the cozy pillows.
When it came to setting the table, we continued with our clean and minimalistic approach. Using a linen tablecloth adds warmth and texture and the white plates and napkins created the perfect blank canvas. For a little special touch, we quickly made these DIY rosemary wreaths placeholders. They were super easy, all you need are rosemary sprigs and ribbon to tie the ends together. One tip I would recommend is to set your table ahead of time. Have all your place settings ready to go, that way its one less thing you have to do and it’ll relieve any stress for the rest of the day.
We also had our Wild North Flowers create a stunning centrepiece for the table. Kaylee and I could have arranged one ourselves but decided that we wanted to focus on other areas of holiday hosting. Something giving over a little control and paying someone else to help, helps a lot. Plus, how stunning is this vase?! You’ll have a beautiful bouquet to enjoy for the rest of the week!
It’s a known fact that I have this thing for food. We were lucky enough to be able to try PC Holiday Insiders Collection which includes so many great products that helped with keeping with the stress-free theme. Even though we set a beautiful table, we wanted a more casual approach. We served the food family style so our guests could serve themselves and feel right at home.
Food is so important to us, we wanted to make sure that even though we weren’t making everything from scratch, it was going to be delicious. PC has so many amazing holiday products which made it so easy to plan out our menu.
Its always nice to create one signature cocktail to greet your guests with. Signature cocktails are great because you can prepare them in big batches rather than running around playing bartender unless that’s totally your thing. For our signature cocktail, we created both sparkling cocktails and mocktails with the PC Pomegranate Arils adding the perfect touch of tartness and sweetness. We also offered red and white wine to compliment the food, serving them in these beautiful, PC stemless glasses. I love that this set comes in a set of 12 for both red and white!
Kaylee put together the most beautiful charcuterie board using the PC Splendido Antipasto Misto. Charcuterie boards are always a good idea because they are so easy to assemble and always a crowd-pleaser. Meat and cheese? Yes, please! The PC Splendido Antipasto Misto includes prosciutto, Coppa di Parma and mild Genoa salami which has great variety between textures and flavour. For cheeses, we used PC’s 5 Year Old Canadian Cheddar Cheese and my favourite PC’s Smoke Flavoured Cheddar Cheese. I don’t know what it is about smoked cheese but I am obsessed.
Add some fruit like apples and grapes, pickled veggies and jams to add different flavours and texture to your charcuterie board. I also like to slice up some of the cheese instead of leaving the block whole because its more inviting and easier for my guests to enjoy.
When I have friends and family over, my home is your home. I want my guests to feel at ease, relaxed and comfortable so that they have a great time. I love serving appetizers and small bites because its more casual, nothing fancy. The focus is more about being surrounded by friends and family eating good food.
PC Holiday Insiders Collection offers a great variety in terms of hor d’oeuvres so we had to try them all! We dished up PC Mini Chicken Empanadas, PC Asian Hor D’oeuvres collection of spring rolls, pork dumplings and chicken wontons-my favourite and those saucy Dry-rubbed Hard-wood Smoked Chicken Wings tossed in BBQ sauce. All great finger foods, a little something for everyone and they are so quick and easy to prepare.
In my house, there is never a shortage of food and you never leave hungry. For dinner, we also made these PC Shrimp & Scallops au Gratin served in cute individual-sized terra cotta dishes, perfect for seafood lovers. As well as our version of “cacio e pepe”- a cheese and black pepper pasta dish. Our twist was made with PC Gnocchi Potato Dumplings sautéed with PC Honey & Sea Salt Smoked Bacon, lots and lots of parmesan cheese and topped with fresh cracked pepper.
Dessert is always a good idea. Since PC Holiday Insiders Collection made entertaining so easy, I had time to make a little something special for dessert. I made this cute winter wonderland cake for our dessert table with a gingerbread crumble, served alongside PC Centrefulls Double Chocolate Cookies and these decadent PC Candy Cane Cheesecake Lollipops. And as if that wasn’t enough sweets (which it never is), we capped off the day with PC The Decadent Hot Chocolate, with extra marshmallows.
The most important things about entertaining to me, are the people and the food. With the help of the PC Holiday Must-trys and Must-haves, we can spend less time in the kitchen and more time mingling with our guests.
Have you hosted a dinner party before? What are some of your tips and tricks to entertaining? Have you tried the PC Holiday Insiders Collection? Let me know!
Thank you President’s Choice for sponsoring this post. All suggestions and opinions are my own.
Styling by Sabrina Stavenjord and Kaylee Giffin. Photography by Kaylee Giffin.