Holiday Open House Menu - Christmas Open House Menu and Recipes
Christmas Holiday Open House - New Year's Open House

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This year, why not host a holiday open house?

Holiday Open HouseA Holiday Open House is an old fashioned way to entertain during the Christmas Holiday season and New Year's Eve that's easy on the host and hostess. An open house is a casual approach to having people over during the holidays. It is a fun, easy, and an informal way to celebrate the holidays with those friends, family, neighbors, or coworkers you won't actually be spending the big day with. Also a great way to meet new neighbors.

Set the day and time:
Usually an open house takes place on the weekend and lasts about 4 hours. Also include a definite ending time. The idea is for people to come and go to sort of spread out the guest list over several hours, thus avoiding overcrowding and giving the host/hostess more opportunity to visit with more of their guests. Send invitations, call, or email friends and family to drop by during the hours of your party. Make it clear whether children are welcome. If children are also invited, set up a corner (away from ornaments and decorations) with toys and trains for young children to play with. Also offer kid-friendly foods.

Create the menu:  When planning your Open House Menu, think about food that will last through the party with not much fuss. Keep your menu simple and plan a stress-free menu. Serve foods that can be prepared ahead of time. Remember this is a "grazing party" with your guests moving around. Check your food platters and replenish them often. Serve bite-sized party food to eliminate plates and utensils. The style allows for plenty of make-ahead dishes, and allows you to spend more time enjoying your guests. Make any appetizers or sweets ahead of time, so you’ll have time to visit with your guest.

Set the mood: Have Christmas holiday music and decorations in your home. Light a fire in the fireplace. Place simple poinsettias or holiday flowers throughout the house.

Mingle and enjoy your guests: Move around the room, making sure you’re greeting guests as they arrive and seeing them off as they leave, and that the food and drinks are flowing throughout the event.

Click here for Buffet and Party Safety Tips and Hints: Let's have safe and healthy family gatherings and parties!

To view more dinner party menus and recipes, check out Linda's Dinner Party Menus and Recipes

Beverage Ideas - Alcoholic and Non-Alcoholic Drinks:

Alcoholic Drinks

Non-Alcoholic Drinks

Egg Nog Punch
Egg Nog Punch
This is an excellent egg nog recipe for a large crowd during the holidays.

Tom and Jerry
Tom and Jerrys
This drink is a Christmas tradition for my family. For children, just omit the alcohol.

Chai Tea
Chai Tea - Spiced Milk Tea
The spices in Chai Tea vary from recipe to recipe, but is traditionally consumed hot and sweet Play with the flavors and make this tea your own! This is a great alternative to coffee.

Hot Chocolate
Hot Chocolate
Have you seen the movie, Chocolat? This is like the hot chocolate that was served in the movie. Your guests will love this!

sip and taste the wineSince we have a small vineyard, we also serve a choice of wines. You could also do this.

You could have a wine tasting of different types of wine with your guests. Check out my article How To Successfully Taste Wine - Wine Tasting Basics.


Peppermint Float Punch
This punch is always a hit at gatherings. It's like drinking a peppermint float. I always make this punch a couple of times during the Christmas holidays. Adults and children love this punch.


Cheese, Vegetable, and Meat Platter Ideas:

Cheese Platter

Cheese Platter

Cheese Platter

Cheese Platter

Cheese Boards, Cheese Plates, and Cheese Platters
With assorted breads and crackers. Very easy to prepare as you purchase the cheeses.

Relish Plate
Platter of assorted cut-up fresh vegetables, chesses, and meats plus
Dill Dip for Vegetables and/or Shrimp Cheese Ball or Spread
with Bourbon Pecans, and/or Andalusian Marinated Green Olives

Appetizer Ideas:

Check out my large collection of appetizer recipes (includes gourmet and easy-to-make appetizers, hors d'oeuvres, starters & amuse bouche recipes).

Appetizer Main Index

Bruschetta, Canapes, and Crostin Recipes

Caviar Appetizer Recipes

Cheese Appetizer Recipes

Cheese Boards, Cheese Plates, and Cheese Platters

Diet Appetizer Recipes

Dips, Spreads, Pates, Salsas, and Terrine Recipes

Egg Appetizer Recipes

Fruit Appetizers Recipes

Hummus Recipes

Meat Appetizer Recipes

Mushroom and Truffle Recipes

Nuts and Seeds Recipes

Olive Appetizer Recipes

Savory and Sweet Snack Recipes

Seafood Appetizer Recipes

Sushi, Wraps, and Roll Recipes

Vegetable Appetizer Recipes

Vegetarian Appetizer Recipe Index

Cocktail Meat Balls
Meatballs in Cranberry Pinot Noir Sauce
These meatballs are easy to make and so good! These are so addictive!

Goat Cheese Torta
Goat Cheese Torta
When this Goat Cheese Torta is sliced, it reveals colorful distinct layers.

Caviar Dip
Caviar/Dip Spread
A very easy, but also very gourmet, way to serve caviar to your guests. This is a great starter dish for the "grandest" of affairs.


Sazarac Nuts
Sazerac's Spiced Holiday Nuts

Bourbon Nuts
Bourbon Pecans

Your guests won't be able to stop "grazing" on these delightful nuts!


Fruit Crisps
Dried Fruit, Nut, and Seed Crisps
I love crackers with nuts and dried fruits in them. They are excellent served with some cheese and wine, and they are so addictive!


Hot Crab Dip
Hot Crab Appetizer
This delicious, addictive crab dip will have your family and friends begging for more.


Crab Dip
Easy Street Crab Dip
This is fantastic looking and tastes wonderful. Your guests will rave about this one. This recipe can be made up to two days in advance.

tray of deviled eggs

Stuffed eggs are always a favorite at any gathering. Men especially go "wild" over stuffed eggs. Usually, deviled eggs are the first to be eaten up at any gathering. Cut the fat and calories by using light or non-fat mayonnaise and sour cream (I personally like the light versions better).

Stuffed "Deviled" Eggs with Caviar
Add some caviar, and you've added a touch of elegance!

Stuffed "Deviled" Lemony Eggs

Uptown Deviled Eggs


Dessert Ideas:



Misc. Desserts:

Northwest Apple and Apricot Candy (Aplets & Cotlets)
Aplets and Cotlets are a delicious Northwest candy. Aplet and cotlets candies are considered a Northwest delicacy.

Chocolate Truffles
This chocolate truffle recipe can match even the priciest truffles you can find to buy. 

Oreo Truffle Balls
Oreo Truffle Balls
This candy is so easy to make and so good!

Peppermine Patty
Peppermint Patties - Homemade Peppermint Patty
I absolutely love Peppermint Patties! They are incredibly delicious and refreshing! They also definitely make a wonderful Christmas treat for your family and friends.

More delicious Candy Recipes
Indulge yourself with these wonderful candies.

Ten Plus Brownies
Ten Plus Brownies

Dieters Beware Brownies
These brownie recipes screams with calories. Very rich, very good, and very fattening - but your guests are worth it!


Spritz Cookies
Spritz Cookies
What Christmas holiday cookie plate would be complete without Spritz Cookies?

lemon bars
Lemon Bars Deluxe

I have found that it is hard to find a really good lemon bar recipe, as some have too much crust and not enough filling while others are not lemony enough. Here is the recipe that I recommend. It is just right!

Christmas Cookie Recipes:
Bar, drop, molded, rolled & chocolate cookies.


Cream Puffs
Cream Puffs
Everyone loves cream puffs, but most cooks are afraid to try making them since they are considered time consuming and difficult to make. This is actually false, as they are quite easy to prepare and very impressive to serve.

Regal Fruit Cake or Elsie's Blue Ribbon Fruit Cakes
It would not seem like the holiday season without a fruitcake.

Banberry Tea Tarts
Banbury Tea Tarts
This wonderful Banbury Tea Tart recipe was shared with me by my husband's aunt, Lila Scheer of Vancouver, WA. Lila says, "This is an authentic English recipe that was given to me by a former resident of the Peninsula. They are special to me, as they represent my English ancestry."

Fruit Pizza
Fruit Pizza
A beautiful dessert for brunch or any special occasion. It will not keep well, so plan on using it up. You may also use your own sugar cookie recipe in place of the refrigerated cookie dough.

Panforte Di Siena
An Italian confection that is a cross between fruit cake, candy, and honey cakes called Lebkuchen. It is a wonderful confection and so easy to make. I always make this for the Christmas season.


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