Tips for Throwing a Casual Gathering + A Giveaway!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

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It's that time of year where everyone is throwing parties or attending sit down meals.  But in between there are plenty of opportunities for casual gatherings with friends and family.  

Ever since I became a homeowner I LOVE having people over.  I get sad when they leave and I look forward to the next time people will be a guest in my home.  We tend to think of getting together with friends as a big ordeal that requires hosting a big shindig with fancy foods, lots of drinks, and some sort of theme.  That doesn't always have to be the case.  Sometimes a gathering can be as impromptu and informal as walking over to your neighbors houses and asking if they have any plans that afternoon.  

Getting together with those closest to you doesn't have to be a major project of deep cleaning every crevice of the house or preparing a 4 course dinner.  Instead, just gather.  After all, isn't that what a gathering is? Getting together with people and enjoying some food and laughter is surely a great stress relief in the midst of the holiday chaos.  So here are some of my best tips for throwing a casual gathering.

[Invite the Right Crowd]
Nothing is more discouraging then inviting a few people and only 2 can show up.  Know your friends and know your crowd. If you want to throw a successful impromptu get together, make sure you invite enough people that even if several can't make it, plenty will still show up.  Also make sure you know who generally would be able to attend.  If your friend just gave birth to twins, it's probably not the best idea to invite her as she is probably busy and may not want to leave her babies just yet. 

That being said, if there's anyone that gets too rowdy don't feel bad if you pass them over.  Casual gatherings are meant to be fun but also stress free. If there's someone that always take the party too far, drinks in excess, or gets too loud maybe pass on them at this time.

[Pick an Appropriate Date and Time]
No matter how impromptu your get together is, you still need to plan it for an acceptable date and time.  Weekends are obviously best and late afternoon/early evening is perfect if you don't want to cook an actual meal.  This allows you to provide light refreshments and snacks which we'll get to later.

[Have an Activity]
While getting together is fun, sitting around talking can be boring to some.  It's always a great idea to have party games and cards around.  Or if there's a sports game on TV that's an even better reason to gather everyone together so you can all watch and cheer together.

[Take Simple Steps to Prepare]
Again, this doesn't have to be a HUGE production.  Make sure your floors are swept and wipe down the counters in the kitchen.  Of course make sure your bathroom is presentable but don't go out of your way and take hours and hours to deep clean your house.  No one is going to be milling about swiping a finger on your mantel to see how much dust there is.  If you have a fun activity planned, people will surely be more focused on that. 

[Provide Easy & Appetizing Snacks]
My go to snack for a casual gathering are HORMEL GATHERINGS® Party Trays.  These  are an easy appetizer that are ready-made so you can save the time and energy of having to prepare a meat and cheese tray yourself.  There are two different types of trays - Honey Ham & Turkey and Hard Salami & Pepperoni.  In each tray you get cubed cheese, meats, and crackers.  This is a low-mess choice that will be very easy on yourself as the hostess.  Plus, if you ever get invited to a party and need to bring something - HORMEL GATHERINGS® Party Trays are an ideal option!

Sometimes I keep the food in the tray but other times I get fancy and throw it on a wooden cutting board.  Either way, your guests will love to snack on meat and cheese while they play cards, laugh, or watch the big game!

[Plan for Easy Cleanup]
Disposable plates and cups are a great idea for a bigger crowd so that you don't have to do many dishes.  And choose the right party snack like HORMEL GATHERINGS® Party Trays make for VERY easy cleanup. 

Now to help you master the art of throwing a casual gathering, I'm giving away a coupon voucher for a free HORMEL GATHERINGS® Party Tray!  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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  1. I would invite my brother and his family.

  2. I bought one of these for an event for some of the kids at church and they loved it! It was their size and they made numerous little sandwiches. I would use it for my niece's birthday party.

  3. I would invite my neighbors. Most won't have relatives for Christmas, so baking and visiting with them is usually what we do. having a gathering would be different for them and fun.

  4. I would invite my Son and my two Grandkids!


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