Dec 24, 2014

Simple DIY Holiday Open House

Hi friends,

The holidays are upon and it's a race to the finish here at Casa Marshall. Over this past weekend, we hosted a Christmas Open House for friends and family. It was a fun way to catch up with everyone and celebrate the holiday season.

Today, I will share how we set up for the open house and some of the DIY things we did. We hosted about 70 adults and kids over a 4 hour period. People came and went so it wasn't all at the same time thank goodness.

I kept things really simple and didn't go over the top. I gave serious thought to hiring caterers but in the end I just couldn't justify the expense. After combing Pinterest for ideas, I decided on simple cold platters that would be self serve.

We set up the following spread for our guests:

  • A cheese and fruit tray with sliced baguettes
  • An antipasto tray with prosciutto, salami and olives
  • Veggies with dip ( I tried to use more exotic veggies like steamed asparagus, beets, mushrooms, and beans plus the usual carrots and baby tomatoes). 
  • Samosas from the Samosa King
  • Christmas Cookies (bought from a local bakery)

Here are some pics of the arrangements:




These cookies were shortbread for our local grocery store. I iced them and added toasted almonds and sugared ginger. The look I was going for was homemade ;)

It was a mid afternoon event and the casual nibbles worked well. I probably should have re-stocked the cheese tray mid way through the event and it would have been lovely to have a bar tender who restocked drinks and tidied glasses but we did okay.

For drinks we set up a DIY bar with punch (virgin), wine, prosecco, beer and spirits. The Prosecco was a huge hit. We put it out in ice buckets so it was easily accessible and it went quickly. The punch worked well too and the kids really enjoyed the self serve container. We also had vodka, gin and rum plus mixers but there wasn't many takers on those (likely due to the afternoon timing).

The decor was kept very simple too. I tried to use seasonal greens and leverage what we already had. I purchased some 50% off carnations and made the following arrangement for under $8


And my wonderful hubby bought me these lovelies for the party:


I used gold wrapping paper as wall paper to add some easy festive glamour (this is a shot from before we set up the cookie buffet)


Overall, a fun afternoon that we pulled off on our own for a reasonable price. It was a lot of work though. I don't see us making this annual tradition due to the effort involved but maybe every few years.

I leave you today with this inspirational thought:
Thanks for stopping by!

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