This post is brought to you in partnership with Blue Diamond.
Holiday gatherings can be stressful — there’s no way around it. Even if you love welcoming people into your home, there are lots of moving parts to consider: getting everyone drinks, serving appetizers and snacks, selecting good tunes, corralling kids.
Often the result is a truly great party, but not enough quality time with friends and family. That’s why this year we’re partnering with our friends at Blue Diamond to share our tips for throwing a low-stress holiday open house instead of a more traditional party.
Easy Snacks for Grazing
The best part about an open house is that you can set out a big snack board (think favorite cheeses, fruit, crackers and nuts ) and let guests help themselves while you relax and enjoy the party, too! Forget fussy appetizer passing or trying to keep things warm.
The almonds are great on their own thanks to interesting flavors like Pink Himalayan Sea Salt and Black Truffle. The crackers are great solo as well (hello there, Asiago cheese flavor) but we love pairing them with our favorite soft cheeses and dips.
Serve-Yourself Drink Station
In addition to easy, elevated snacks the nice thing about an open house is that guests can serve themselves drinks as they please.
If you’re going super casual, bring a nice cooler out and stock with sparkling water, soda and some beer or chilled white wine. Then we like to have a few bottles of red wine close by with cups and cocktail napkins.
Anticipate Dietary Restrictions in Advance
So many folks have dietary restrictions and preferences these days, so it’s nice to think ahead and offer an option or two if you’re able.
The nice thing about the Artisan Nut-Thins is they’re naturally wheat and gluten free, making them a welcome choice for everyone!
Consider Disposable Cups and Plates
Give yourself the gift of very few dishes this year by investing in some disposable cups and plates.
There are good options out there that are recyclable or even compostable to keep waste at a minimum, and we always love keeping a few trash cans visible (and in different strategic spots) so guests can help clean up after themselves — and empty cups and messy plates aren’t gracing every surface.
The Kid Table Rules
Often open houses are in the middle of the day or early evening, so if kids are expected it’s a great idea to set out a few things to keep them busy.
They’ll likely love all the grazing snacks, so no need to do anything special there but pulling out some crayons and paper, a few stickers or a puzzle to keep smaller hands preoccupied is a move you’ll thank yourself for later.