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Multicultural Winter Party

In This Article:

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As our culture becomes increasingly diverse, it's no longer appropriate to assume "the winter holidays" means Christmas. Instead of trying to decide which holiday to observe at your December party, celebrate all of them! Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanza, and Winter Solstice are all lovely reasons to have a party; with a multicultural winter party, you can honor all your guests and their spiritual beliefs.
    You'll Need
  • Ingredients for each of the recipes and any serving tools you'll need
  • Décor
  • CDs
  • Gifts
Date, Theme, Budget, and Venue
Saturday in December—Realistically, Christmas is the most-observed holiday in December, so you might be tempted to schedule your party close to December 25th. However, you'll be better off hosting your party earlier in the month: As December quickly fills up with parties, especially later in the month, by having your party early, you'll ensure high attendance. Begin your party at 7:00 p.m., serving dinner at 8:00.

Holiday theme—Try to split your theme evenly between all four winter holidays, mixing décor, favors, and other thematic elements to reflect Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanza, and Winter Solstice. For Christmas, use red and green colors; for Hanukah, use blue, white, and yellow; for Kwanza, use red, black, and green; for Winter Solstice, use green and brown. How you incorporate these different colors and themes is up to you: You might want to devote a corner of your house to each of the four holidays or mix them up throughout your home.

Midrange to high budget—This is another party that can either break the bank or have a reasonable cost. If you enjoy celebrating the winter holidays and can afford a lavish party, you'll find plenty of décor, food, beverages, and favors on which to spend a bundle. However, if you don't have a ton of money to blow, then you can still have a great party by creating a wonderful, inviting atmosphere and serving delicious food. However, you won't be able to throw this party on less than $10 per person.

If you really want to have a holiday party, but have almost nothing in the bank, switch gears completely. Invite close friends to a potluck dinner or inexpensive restaurant that seats large parties (make sure your friends know that this is a Dutch-treat event, and that you are merely acting as coordinator), and have a gift exchange. You'll still celebrate the holidays with cherished friends, which is really the most important thing about holiday parties.

Your home venue—Make sure your entire home and grounds are clean, uncluttered, and organized before you begin decorating. If, like many people, you enjoy looking at holiday décor throughout the month of December, you'll want to do all the prep work on your property at the end of November, and then put up the initial holiday décor on December 1st. You can always add party décor as you get closer to your event.

Guest List and Invitations
Plan on inviting between 15 to 50 people. Holiday parties tend to be on the large side, so feel free to invite as many people as your budget allows.

If you would like to make or purchase multicultural party invitations, your guests will certainly appreciate the extra touch. However, because so many parties take place in December, you might have better luck keeping track of RSVPs if you use an Internet-based invitations program. Another benefit to using this type of system is that you can customize your electronic invitations to reflect your multicultural theme.

Menu
Depending upon the size of your guest list, you can serve this savory dinner seated or as a buffet. The Sauerbraten recipe will serve more people if you include additional side dishes, such as Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Fresh Vegetable Mix-Up, Garlicky Spinach, or Cauliflower "Mashed Potatoes."

  • Appetizers—Stuffed Mushrooms, Pesto Crostini with Cherry Tomatoes, Figs in a Blanket, assorted things on sticks
  • Side dishes—Sweet & Sour Cabbage, Brown-Buttered Butternut Squash, Garlkicky Spinach
  • Main course—Grandma's Sauerbraten with Dumplings
  • Dessert—Frosted holiday sugar cookies (look for a variety of cookie cutters that symbolize different religious holidays: stars, candles, trees, stockings) and fudge

    If you're pressed for time, purchase decorated sugar cookies. Look for stars and candles, which are neutral for all spiritual beliefs, or talk to your local bakery and see if they will custom-bake a large batch of cookies to your specifications.

  • Beverages—Eggnog, Irish coffee, mulled wine, coffee, water, and assorted sodas
If so inclined, you can add another entree to the buffet, such as a roasted turkey or goose. If you opt for fowl, remember to add stuffing to your menu—the rest of the side dishes will suffice.



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Reproduced from Plan a Fabulous Party In No Time, by Tamar Love, by permission of Pearson Education. Copyright © 2005 by Que Publishing.

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