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Last Minute Queer Christmas Entertaining Hacks

Last Minute Queer Christmas Entertaining Hacks

Last Minute Queer Christmas Entertaining Hacks
Michael Dru Kelley

Make Ahead Batches of a Holiday Cocktail Is A Great Hack

IF you are like me, family entertaining for the holidays tends to fall on us Queers in the family! This year my sister and her wife are hosting more than 40 for Christmas Eve. And, it is very likely that if you are reading to this point you may be also hosting your own holiday party and in need of some last minute advice to relax, enjoy and as famed entertainer, Ina Garten says, "Be a guest at your own party." Here's some last minute ideas that will save you time, money and stress:

Make A Lot of a Little

Make a Lot of a Little

Michael Dru Kelley

Everyone loves food, especially during the holidays! The first hack is a simple philosophy: make a lot of a little. What the heck does this mean? Very simply, don't overwhelm yourself or your guests with too much on the food menu. So cut it back and load it up. In other words, consider platters such as a cheese plater loaded with 5 or six different cheeses, including hard and soft options, arranged around a mound of fresh grapes and garnished with dried apricots and crackers. Trader Joe's has a wonderful selection of inexpensive yet luxurious tasting cheese selections. Consider also making a large spiral ham that only takes a few hours to heat up and make a platter with a selection of sliced breads and mustards for people to create their own small sandwiches. To finish up, consider buying a section of cookies and creating a platter with a selection of the cookies. No need for utensils! Now, another related hack is source different food items to guests who always insist on bringing their favorites. My sister-in-law, Mikol Kelley, points out that this typically results in a lot of "little" dishes and suggests putting a smaller soup or similar size spoon in the dishes so everyone can fit all the delicacies on their plates! Brilliant!

Offer One Holiday "House" Drink and Make It Ahead

Make Ahead White Christmas Cosmo

Michael Dru Kelley

One of the most important hacks for your party is to offer just one decadent holiday cocktail and to make it ahead. The picture depicts a perfect make ahead White Christmas Cosmo that can be shaken ahead in batches and placed in a water carafe or decorative bottle with lid. Simply shake the ingredients (vodka, white cranberry juice, cointreau and wedge of lime over ice) in batches, places in bottles, close and store in the fridge (or outside if cold enough) and simply pour as the guests arrive. Most guests will love the cocktail and for those who don't, have a few bottles of good red and white wine along with a pitcher of water and voila! your bar is ready to go with no fuss, mess, tender or ice even! Cheers!

Mix Match Holiday Glasses and Plates

Plates from and returned to a thrift store make a great instant party hack

Photo by Monika Grabkowska on Unsplash

I learned this hack a few years back when I had a paella party for 50 that could not be served on paper plates. While I always go with disposable holiday paper plates, napkins and biodegradable forks, many scoff at anything less than sturdy plates, glasses and forks. So for those looking for a little holiday fun, consider going to your local thrift store to find the number of different sets or individual holiday plates and glasses. Mix matching these items will actually create a festive table, can easily go into the dishwasher and donated back again to the same thrift store after the holiday! What could be better than "borrowing" what you need!

The Best Cooking Is No Cooking

The Best Cooking for a Party Is No Cooking

Michael Dru Kelley

Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, Walmart Neighborhood Market and even, your local specialty food stores are your best friends! From spiral ham to a cheese board and cookie platter, the best cooking is no cooking! Buying premade cheeses, spreads and confections will make your life so much easier and everyone loves your ingenuity! So leave the cooking to the experts and make yourself the assembler of beautiful dishes that can be done ahead and feed the entire party for less! A great example pictured is a Mediterranean platter of humus, grape leaves, roasted peppers, olives, pickles and pit chips is always a hit especially for vegans.

Rely on the Entertaining Experts for Advice

Back to Basics | Ina Garten is an engineer and chef extraord… |

Reportedly, entertaining and TV pros, Ina Garten and Martha Stewart are very good friends, yet both have completely different entertainment styles that you can emulate. Ina is the inspiration for this article because she believes in making most items ahead and being a "guest at her own party." Martha loves to dazzle guests with her homespun brilliance. Regardless of your style, both offer a multitude of YouTube videos and recipes for you to add to your holiday party line up! Just "dial up" Ina, Martha or any of your favorite entertainers!

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Michael Dru Kelley