Throwing a Christmas Eve open house is one way to celebrate the holiday season in a way that can accommodate the schedules of friends, family, neighbours and coworkers who may have plans of their own during different time slots. You can set the schedule, choose a decorative centrepiece, table ware, snacks to make or purchase, invitations, and even a theme in advance.
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Finger sandwiches are ideal for gatherings and parties of any kind, including an open house. The Rollanet website notes that dainty sandwiches and other snacks and appetizers can be replenished throughout the day or evening, depending on when you have your open house. Sandwiches can be filled with pimento, ham, salmon and other spreads, vegetables and thinly sliced meats, etc. Before adding the filling, consider using cookie cutters for making bread into Christmas shapes.
Drinks like hot chocolate compliment any gathering. Garnish a mug of hot chocolate with a dollop of whipped cream, marshmallows, chocolate shavings, and even a candy cane. In an article by Jeannie Augsburger on hosting a Christmas open house, the author suggests serving spiced tea, coffee and punch. Hot apple cider and eggnog are other popular Christmas drinks. Add slices or chunks of fresh fruit like pineapple, apples, and oranges to cider or punch for a drink and healthy snack combo. You can buy little appetizer forks so guests can spear the fruit chunks.
Serve dip with crackers, fresh vegetables, or pineapple chunks. Chilli con queso, fondues, salsas and holly jolly dip (1 whole roasted red pepper from a jar,1 cup crumbled feta cheese, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 garlic clove, and 2 tbsp olive oil (blended together), are mentioned on the Disney Family Fun website. Christmas package cheese snacks have a cream cheese base and are moulded into the shape of tiny packages and refrigerated until ready to serve. For a lighter and healthier fare, replace cream cheese with low fat yoghurt in dips.
Spread flour tortillas with pate, cream cheese, slivers of smoked salmon and tuna or other fish, thinly sliced deli or speciality meats, or even jam and marmalade, then roll them up tightly and serve them whole or cut into thick slices. Spread light or fat-free cream cheese mixed with fresh chives or other herbs, minced vegetables or minced fresh fruit onto lowfat wheat tortillas for persons who prefer a healthier fare.
Snack Mixes and Nuts
No matter how you serve them, snack mixes are compatible with most Christmas beverages. The Disney Family Fun Christmas appetizer and snack page lists holiday pretzel treats, crunchy granola, and a healthy cranberry nut snack mix as among their favourites. Roasted chestnuts and spiced nuts are often served around Christmastime, and can be prepared at home. Snack mixes listed on the CD Kitchen website include Christmas popcorn and reindeer nibbles, which are made with peanuts, cashews, golden raisins, chopped mixed dried fruit, and sunflower kernels or dried coconut chips.
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