Hospitality Hints from the Hostess with the Mostest!

Forget calling, responsibility and all that stuff..............I'm convinced some people might stay on our leadership team simply because they want to come to our Christmas party!  ::giggles:: 

Every Christmas my husband and I host a party at our home to show our love and appreciation to our Celebration Church leaders.  Between 70-80 people usually come as our leaders are invited to bring their spouse and kids.

Everyone loves this party from the youngest to oldest!  We do everything from eat (of course!) to play games, and sit around the fire, and sing carols around the piano, and dance, and talk, talk, and talk some more.  

We start at 6:00 PM and usually the last person leaves by about 2:00 AM.  I did mention that our name is Celebration Church?  Emphasis on the CELEBRATION.

Being a person that loves fresh culinary ideas, I'm always wanting to try something new but every time I dare mention changing the menu there is an outcry...."Nooooooooooooo! Don't change it!"  These folks go postal if I suggest omitting any menu items. So, I don't. One year I omitted the artichoke dip and someone almost had a cow.  So back on it went.

As a general rule Larry and I provide everything for this as a special appreciation to our people but there are those extra helpful folks who always say, "PD, I really want to help by bringing something, so pleassssssssssssssssse let me."  I never turn down help.  So a few of them will bring dishes to contribute and those are the items on the menu that may be different from year to year.  If they bring something I let them decide what it is, but ask that it be along the lines of appetizer or dessert.

 This weekend we are not getting much rest on our day off because I'm getting all of this ready -- both the food and the house.  The big party is Sunday night but it takes me a few days to get everything in order.

People often ask me for ideas along the lines of hospitality and I'm happy to help. In case you're looking for some menu ideas, here's our tried and true one that we've done for the past 10 years straight.

  If you'd like any of the recipes just comment and I'll be glad to post a recipe.  


Leadership Christmas Party Menu

Hot Crab Puff Appetizers (people go bonkers over these and I do mean bonnnnnnnkers!!)
PD's famous chicken salad sandwiches (I serve them on a variety of breads ~ croissants, King's Hawaiian Bread, 12 Grain Bread, Martin's Potato Rolls among them - we go through several large trays of these.)

Cream Cheese & Pepper Jelly with Crackers
Mexican Layered Dip with Tortilla Chips
Hot Crab Dip with Scoops
Hot Artichoke Dip with Assorted Crackers
Cheese and Olive Tray
Vegetable and Dip Tray
Cocktail Smokies wrapped in croissant
Cocktail Meatballs
Chocolate Eclairs
Cream Puffs

Mini Cheesecakes

New addition this year: Chocolate, Vanilla and Red Velvet Cake Balls (My husband is making them - new recipe he fell in love with from our friend Kirstyn Visconti.)
Grape Punch
Iced Tea

All of the photos in this blog post are from last year's event.  I'll post some from this year once it's over Sunday night!


Grace said… this the party the cops got called to? LOL!! :D Just reading about your parties over the years makes me want to move to FL, and join your church!
No cops at this one. The police were called to two of our parties - one that we had for leadership just on a regular night (no holiday). Evidently some were upset about the amount of cars on our street.

The second time they were called was a party we had for Jordan. About 100 people were here. Again, lots of cars and this time and the kids were loud, but it wasn't even dark outside when the police came. They were just in shock at the amount of people at the house.

We made a compromise and moved all the cars to the community clubhouse parking lot and shuttled people back to the house, but they still said they had to keep the noise level down.

We do have some great parties. And we'd love to have you at our church! :)
Erika Soto said…
I usually entertain at my house but I had surgery on Dec 7 and can't do it this year.I was invited to a friends house for Christmas Eve and I would love to make the cake balls Paster Larry made.Can you share the recipe?I also want to say I really miss church and when I get back on my feet again I will be their with my boys. I'm catching up on your blogs tonight; its on my to do list.God Bless, Erika Soto
The recipe is simple, however the process is lengthy. You make a cake (from a box mix) and then crumble it. Then you mix in a can of frosting and form balls from it. Then you freeze the balls. Then you melt "Candy Melts" (we got ours from Michael's and did dark chocolate and white vanilla) and then dip the frozen cake balls in the melted candy. Then you place them in the freezer again for about 15 minutes. My husband baked 4 cakes so from start to finish it took him about 3 or 4 hours to make them. You get the little lollipop sticks from Michael's and put them in the cake ball and dip it in the chocolate. You can keep it in there and serve it as a "cake pop" or you can take the stick out and serve it as a "cake ball". If you want to serve as balls you'd only need one stick to dip them. If you want to serve as pops you have to buy a bunch of sticks.
wacks said…
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relaxing music said…
Good Food And Good Music.thanks for sharing.keep it up..regards..