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Welcome to
A Fabulous Festive Open House (for 100)

(play MUSIC!)

Thanks to Iris (from Maryland) for making this page possible and for sharing
her detailed notes, wonderful photos and expertise for creating a "dream"

of an open house. Anyone planning an event such as this, will
find lots of helpful tips and ideas on this page...Thanks Iris!

Iris planned this extensively, but enlisted the help of a caterer in preparation of the meats, and was smart enough to employ a bartender and servers to assist with this many people so she could enjoy
the party and her guests too!
(Likewise, if  you are planning a wedding, paid assistants are a MUST)
We've ALL been invited, along with our children, to gather around
and sing Christmas carols, say hi to Santa, and to indulge in
delightful tidbits and  tasty temptations laid out on beautifully
decorated tables throughout the house.  Oh yes, please bring
your camera too!

The Party Plan
Here is how she organized:
Open house beginning at 3:00 pm - no end time
(guests may stay as late as 10:00 pm)
Musician with keyboard arrives about 2:45 pm to set up in
living room and plays holiday music until 7:00 pm.  A stack of
song sheets is available and he entertains the guests
(especially the children - best baby-sitter around)
Santa arrives around 4:00 pm - sings with children,
talks to each child on his lap individually, gives out candy canes,
poses for photos with children and family and then circulates and
gives out candy canes for a little while
Food is prepared and ready at 3:00 pm with a server to replenish,
a bartender and a greeter and "coat placer"
I have two full food serving stations - 1 formal in the dining
room, 1 informal in the "breakfast room"; punch bowl with
non-alcoholic punch on porch with more food and desserts. Have
a separate table for paper goods if space allows (plates, napkins etc.).
Football game on with very low volume in the family room and more snacks.

Make extra serving plates available to your server and try to watch for food gifts (candy, cookies, cakes) as the gifts come in to put out to supplement yours (and to try to cut down on the sweets that are left for you!!).
If you are dealing with a caterer BE SURE TO HAVE A CONTRACT PREPARED even if that isn't their practice.  This year the caterer I hired for the meat platters (I took my silver in advance) wrote the day wrong and the date correctly - they looked at the day not the date - had to deliver to the house 1 hour after guests arrived and I ordered pork tenderloin and they cooked pork loin.  I made the best of it.
Take great care in selecting servers, bartender, etc.

Shrimp cocktail with sauce
Meatballs in sweet and sour sauce
Pork tenderloin with apricot preserves
Roast beef rounds with horseradish sauce
Fried chicken and Barbecue Chicken drummettes
Vegetable platter with Ranch dip
Terra chips
Cheese and crackers
Fruit platter
Dessert Bar

The main table, covered in gold lame with tulle covering that,
at twice the yardage for a fabulous effect.

(this is what was actually used)
Meats: shrimp  - 7 - 2 lb bags @70 shrimp per bag = 490
fried chicken and BBQ chicken drummettes - 30 lbs (15 lbs each)
meat balls - 4 - 5 lb bags ~~ sweet and sour sauce (6 blts)
pork tenderloin - 10 lbs (sliced) ~~ beef - top round - 10 lbs (sliced)
Accompaniments: cocktail sauce - 3 -16 ounce bottles
horseradish , 2- 6 ounce bottles ~~ sour cream , 2 -16 ounce cartons
    baguettes - 1 ~~ party rye and pumpernickel -  2 each
    mini-pitas - 2 packages
taco chips -  red, green,  1- 2 lb bag ~~ taco chips - regular,  1 - l.5 lb bag
terra chips - 4 bags ~~ Salsa,  2 - 4 lb. jars
Candy - 6 lbs,  M&Ms - regular, peanut, almond; nuts/trail mix/white choc
coated mini pretzels, 2 jars dry roasted peanuts
Desserts - home made, sugar from bakery - santas, wreaths, green trees,
          stockings, crystal trees (3 lbs)
choc chip, raisin, (platter from Price Club)
mini pastries - 20 dozen
Custard filled swans - 1 dozen
mini strawberry tarts - 1 dozen
Veggies: celery - 2 stalks, cherry toms - 1 qt., Carrots - 3 lbs  - baby
 cukes - 6, broccoli - 2 lbs, cauliflower - 1 head
red/green peppers - 3 each
parsley, lettuce, garnish
Ranch dressing for dip - 1 32 ounce bottle
Cheese: cheese cubes,  3 -  l lbs bags (3 types)
garlic cheese - 1 brick  (price club)
  crackers - 2 boxes Pepperidge Farm assortment
Fruit: grapes - 2 lbs, strawberries - 3 pints
pineapple - 4 cored (outside and leaves used for display)
 lemons - 6, limes - 3
 Beverages:  6 diet coke (or pepsi) caffeine free, 4 regular
  6 ginger ale, 1 tonic, 1 sprite, 2 water, 1 club soda (2 liter bottles)
beer - 60 (miller lite/samuel adams/o'douhls)
Wine - 6 white/3 red (1.5 liter)
Alcohol - gin, rum, vodka,
 scotch, Jim Beam, whiskey

Christmas treats

 More wonderful food in the breakfast room



A glistening tree covered with  seashells

Iris and Santa

Plan table theme in dining room -include centerpieces
plan buffet tables-more than one room for flow
polish silver
Silver to caterer
Call Police Station for release on parking
iron runner
ice - 4 -16 lb bags and 2 -7 lb bags
cookies (non-holiday)
cut holly
punch bowl and tray on porch
Santa's costume
  fill bag w/candy canes
candy canes
bar set-up, beverages -cork screw, pitcher with
 stirrer, can opener, water cups -200/50 for punch, lemon/limes/cherries
plates (200 dinner; 150 dessert)
fireplace - prepare/light
candles - light
large trash can with liner and red bow
load CD player with music
recycle bin for beer cans
luminaries and tea candles  - sand
$ - Musician
  - 3 Servers
tin foil, wrap, small lock bags, large lock bags
extra plates and napkins
chafing dishes - tea lites
coffee pot - full pot
 - packages of sugar, creamer, sweeten low, stirrers - cups
Christmas carols - cover sheet and make copies
vacuum, windex glass tables, rearrange chairs

Doesn't this look beautiful!

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