Last week my husband and I (at the last moment) decided to host a couple of holiday gatherings. Although my natural inclination is to go "formal" around Christmas, I was determined to make it a simple (and therefore a relaxingly enjoyable) festive affair.
My menu for both evenings was soup. I made the soups on Tuesday evening because they always taste better the second day after the flavors have had a chance to blend.- Then all I had to do was put them in the crockpot a couple of hours before dinner.
Veggie (left over from braid), cracker, and hummer tray
Creamy Tomato Bisque
Chicken Broccoli Braid: made earlier in the day and refrigerated (reheat for 30 minutes at 250)
Spicy Apple Raisin Pie: made early in the day
For Day 2:
Cheeseball (made last month and frozen for holiday use) and crackers
Ginger Carrot Soup
Ham Rolls (again, made early in the day and reheated 30 minutes before dinner)
Christmas Cookies (already made)
So when you keep things simple and plan ahead, it makes entertaining at the last moment, and during the busiest time of the year both doable and enjoyable!