Holiday dinner parties are the best! To be a great guest, you’ll want to bring something to contribute. Let’s look at some fun and easy ideas of what to bring to a dinner party this holiday season.
Whether you call it a crudité platter or a veggie tray, contact the host or hostess in advance and ask if you can bring something. This one will go with almost any menu and can be adjusted for anyone’s dietary needs. If you're in a hurry, stop by your local grocery store and pick one up. If you have a bit of time, chop and peel some basics like carrots, broccoli, celery, and mushrooms and choose a couple different dips to go with them. If you like to make your DIY appetizers extra pretty, do a bit of research. Get a cup of tea, put on your favorite women’s slippers and look online for fun ways to cut and arrange them. Presentation is key with a crudité platter.
Another twist on this is a fruit tray. Go for fruits in festive colors like red and yellow and include a couple of fruit dips. If some of the other guests prefer eating light, they'll appreciate this addition to the menu.
If your host or hostess has worked hard on the dinner, why not offer to bring dessert? If you opt for this one, make sure that you know how many people will be there. Go for a classic, like chocolate cake, or perhaps cupcakes or mini-Bundt cakes. You’re sure to be popular when you walk in with dessert! Baking your dessert can be a way to add a little extra something to the occasion. If you choose to make a special recipe, offer to share it with the group. It’s always fun to collect new dessert recipes during the holidays.
If you prefer to buy a delicious dessert, scope out your options in advance. Grocery stores and bakeries are extra busy during the holidays and can sell out of favorite items. As long as an item is freshly baked, you can buy it a day in advance and know that you have it ready to go. That way on the afternoon or evening of the dinner party, you can just concentrate on putting on your favorite Christmas sweater and leggings or that great new dress for the occasion.
Wine is a welcome gift at a dinner party. Ask what will be on the menu so you can choose a wine that pairs well with what's already planned—a hearty red or sparkling white will likely work well. If they don’t serve it at the dinner party, it will still make a lovely holiday gift that they can enjoy later. When in doubt, you can also ask a professional. Wine shop employees love to help their customers choose a nice wine for a gift or to pair with a specific food.
This is also a great last-minute gift. You can dash out the door in your dress and heels, pick up a bottle or two of wine to share, and be on your way to the holiday dinner party.
Is there anything better than candles to make an event extra warm and inviting? When in doubt, go for white candles with a neutral candle holder or candlestick. This will blend with any holiday décor that they already have in their home and can also be used year-round.
When in doubt, bring flowers for the host or hostess. They can use them as a centerpiece if they like or just enjoy your thoughtfulness for days to come as part of their home décor. Whether you stop by a florist shop or your grocery store, the key to successful cut flowers is making sure that they're fresh. Inspect them closely for any signs of wilting. They should start out looking great. Also, be sure that they're well insulated from the winter chill. Most flowers will come in plastic sheeting, but double up on this during the holidays for the best results.
Why not bring breakfast for the next morning for your host or hostess? With the extra activity of planning and serving for the dinner party, a delicious and easy breakfast that's ready to go the next morning will be a welcome treat. Keep it simple with something like cinnamon rolls, croissants, or muffins that can be wrapped and ready to go the next morning. The next day while they're relaxing in their flannel pajamas and slippers, they can reminisce about the dinner party over your thoughtful gift.
With a bit of planning, you will be a prepared and thoughtful guest. Have a great time at the holiday dinner party!