By Theresa Albert
Some love to trim a tree; others detest it. Either way, a tree trimming party is the way to pump up the Christmas feeling. Gather a group of friends and family to help make the season bright can be a simple, low key affair. Here’s how:
Pick a sleepy Sunday afternoon and plan to have an open house. This way people know that they can come and go, drop in for a nibble and a giggle before heading off to some other dinner event that will be way less fun. Numbers don’t matter when it’s an open house because people will self police their crowd comfort level.
Set up a craft table of used or cheap dollar store silver CD disks with glue and ribbon, sparkles and letters so kids can create their own ornament. They can hang them on your tree to dry and take them home with them as a memento of the day.
While we are on CDs, download your own special mix of holiday music. Quirky, funny, traditional and churchy all go together in your world. Feel free to copy a slew of them as a parting gift that will remind everyone of the trim-a-tree at your house.
Keep nibbles simple. A charcuterie platter is all the rage, just pick up some sliced meats and create homemade terrines (link to How To Make Terrine article?) along with artisanal mustards and crafty pickles. Breads, cheeses, marinated veggies and crackers round out this simple meal meant only to hold guests over for a couple of hours.
For those who want to stick around, a slow cooker full of vegetable soup covers off the rest of the meal (be sure to use vegetable broth to accommodate vegetarians). A big ladle and some crispy croutons warm up any house with humble, homey style.
All you need now is some biscotti, a platter of sweet and spicy nuts plus a kettle of hot cocoa. Let guests know that all baked goods are welcome and have platters and pretty plates on hand to address any donations. What people really want is a pretty place to rest, chat and not make lunch. In the end, your tree will look lovely and your friends will thank you.