Christmas Party for Husband's work

OrchidllauragaNovember 1, 2013

My DH would like to throw a Christmas party for his fellow co-workers (about 30 + spouses) I know not everyone will come, but I want everyone that does have a good time. I will be serving Christmas goodies set up buffet style. Our party will be in addition to the company Christmas party. DH just wants to show off our house & it is perfect for entertaining.

I do have a few questions concerning the food:
1. Can you freeze Bisquik sausage balls before cooking?
2.Is it alright to have rum, brandy & bourbon to go in egg nog if a guest wants it? The owners are very religious, but not everyone is.
3. What is a good punch to fix? I was thinking hot punch I could serve out of a crock pot
4.Will punch & egg nog be enough or should I have soft drinks too?
5.Will festive paper plates & napkins be okay??
6. Some will be driving quite a distance, it is okay just to have the Christmas goodies or do I need to serve an entree too?

Please help me. Thanks in advance for all your help!!!!

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Yes, you can freeze the sausage balls.

You can have the liquor. I know the recovering addicts (both drugs and alcohol) would not be offended. And we're also "religious"

I have a good punch recipe. It's not too sweet. Is that what you want? It's sparkling cider, club soda, pineapple juice, and other things. It's not hot though. Hot? I'd just do spiced cider.

I wouldn't have more drinks since it's just a nibbly fest, not a meal.

If I was driving a good distance, but knew it was smaller plates, I'd eat before I left and plan on eating after I left if I needed. So just let them know what to expect and you should be ok.

I hope you enjoy your party!

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 9:47AM
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Rather than relying on the answers of strangers, I'd have your husband ask the owners, and a few other people at work whether or not alcohol would be okay or not. I'd hesitate to serve it, frankly. It's not necessary, having it can be too much of a temptation for those addicted to it, and you then run the risk of the legal liability if someone leaves your house and has an accident.

I'd go with hot cider, and some cold drinks--homemade iced tea, etc--and tea and coffee.

If you're inviting people for an evening party (8 o'clock on), They know it's not dinner, and will make their own arrangements before hand. If, however, it starts at a normal meal hour, then I'd make sure there were some heartier things--maybe a tray of roast beef for sandwiches? or a pasta dish. Either could be made ahead and kept warm in your chafing dish.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 10:16AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I take it that this is a holiday open house, where people are expected to pop in for a little while.

I agree that being 'religious' has little to do with alcohol. Those rather arbitrary rules are determined by other criteria. If it were my open house, I'd serve a plain and a spiked eggnog, as well as some wine. Keep a coffee pot going, and offer a selection of soft drinks, including unsweetened.

Don't shy away from heavy hors d'oeuvres to serve with the sweeter things. The cocktail breads are perfect for all kinds of cold and hot treats, for example. And frozen phyllo and puff pastry dough will make everyone think that you're a genius!

There's nothing wrong with using quality paper goods for a party. Just have plenty. Offer cocktail size napkins, too. Do you have a party store or a Hallmark store in your town?

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 11:25AM
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Yes we have a Hallmark store. I am thinking for some heavy hors d'oeuvres that Sam's Club will be my answer. I could get some of their mini quiches etc.

I think I will get my husband to ask the owners if we have some alcohol would they be offended. Sure don't want to anger the bosses.

I am thinking that have a hot cider punch & Rob33's punch plus eggnog & coffee will work as the drinks

I want to make a good impression for my husband's sake. He has only been working there since April, but they are grooming him for management.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 12:05PM
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A few things struck me from your post. The first is that your husband would like to "show off" your house. The second is that the company is already hosting a party, and the third is that your husband is only at the company a short time. (But, is being groomed for management?)

Just playing devil's advocate here, but I am not sure how appropriate it is for you to host a company party this year.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 12:50PM
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I know you didn't ask for opinions on whether you should have it or not, so I apologize for the unsolicited comments but as someone who works in the corporate world, I have to be honest in my feedback.

Even if it's not your intent, it comes off as the new guy trying to compete or one-up the established company holiday party and people may not take kindly to that, especially if the motivation is to show off what you have. I'm sure your husband won't tell his co-workers that he's throwing the party to show off your house but it's always kind of obvious, especially if it's a new employee.

The exact same thing happened where I work a few years ago, and while people went and had fun, there was a lot of eye-rolling behind the scenes.

Maybe wait till next year when he's been there long enough to understand the traditions and have a feeling for whether or not it would be offensive to throw a second party? Or maybe next summer do a cookout or something similar instead.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 1:39PM
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ravencajun Zone 8b TX

I will step in about the drinks and punch situation, if any one is diabetic and in that size crowd you will have some, they will not be able to drink any of those things. You should at the very least have unsweet for them. I have been to so many events where only sweet drinks were offered and it is very disappointing and also difficult to try to eat with nothing to drink. I usually resort to grabbing a cup and getting some water out of the faucet.
Same with the snacks have some things that are not just sugar based.

I was just introduced to sausage pinwheels which are awesome and super easy to make.
Sausage Pinwheels Recipe

that taste of home site is a wonderful source for all kinds of great recipes too.
this is one I am wanting to try this year it is so pretty and sounds really delish and is not a sweet only treat.
Veggie Ham Crescent Wreath Recipe

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 1:39PM
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I see nothing wrong with "showing off the hose" - I decorate a lot and like to do the same thing. If he/you enjoys the company of co-workers...go for it! t really isn't a "company" party.

I was very close with the people I worked with and it was always fun to have little cocktail parties during the holidays.

Invite a couple neighbors too - it's a fun way to get everyone in the holiday spirit!

Hot spiced apple cider is great in a crock pot.

I would also have some soft drinks and water available for your guests.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 1:44PM
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When the only people are invited are coworkers... yeah, it's a company party.
And she said the intention was to show the house off.

IDK... but in my area, that would not fly right.
New guy coming in, being groomed for management (and possibly leapfrogging over coworkers who have been there longer), who wants to show off his fancy new house that is perfect for entertaining to his coworkers...

Now if it is a general open house for everyone you know... that's a whole different scenario! And for that, I would make sure there were low fat, low sugar nibbles. Not everyone eats heavy foods now. And definitely have soft drinks/iced tea! Egg nog is not a universal drink, and punches can be too sweet. IMHO, most people go for water though.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 2:03PM
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Boy, I was wrong. I was picturing it in my head and light yellow made me think pineapple. It's lemon. Anyway, people always like this and comment on how it's not "too sweet".

Sparkling Punch
Submitted By: Mathilda
Servings: 20
"A light and refreshing non-alcoholic punch."

2 lemons
3 large oranges
1 (6 ounce) can frozen lemonade concentrate
1 liter club soda
2 (750 milliliter) bottles sparkling apple cider
2 trays ice cubes

Thinly slice the lemons and the oranges and place in a large punch bowl. Pour in the thawed lemonade. Gently stir in the club soda and the sparkling apple cider. Add ice.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sparkling Punch, Allrecipes

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 2:54PM
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Menu sounds great! Just make sure the guest know ahead of time it's not a dinner. I've gotten invites to parties that did not make it clear. I'd also serve diet and reg. soft drinks as well as pitchers filled with water. I've noticed the last few x-mas parties I attended, guests rarely drank the egg nog and just had a small cup of cider, no seconds. Most opted for soft drinks or wine.

Welcome back to the KT :)

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 3:01PM
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I would make it an open house with friends, coworkers and neighbors~~~what I would really do, is do an open house maybe in Janurary or closer to Spring, because of the reasons above JMHO

At parties we go to, alot of people drink bottled water, almost every one drinks one during the evening.

I am a vegetarian and have gone to a few parties where I could eat almost nothing;( I know folks are not supposed to cater to people, but I wish they would a bit??

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 3:06PM
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I am like Iowagirl I decorate to the max!!!! He is close with his co-workers and they all have said they wanted to see the house. I met several of them last week when I had to take Tony to work a couple of times last week & a couple of his co workers even asked me when they were going to get to come see the house. So I think having the party will be okay.

I will be making most of my sweets with Splenda, so that will help with the diabetics, but I will have unsweetened iced tea at the ready.

We used to have parties all the time when we lived in GA. I miss those parties. I will have a meat & cheese tray with rolls for making sandwiches along with a veggie tray.

Tony is talking to his bosses today and he will get the answers about the alcohol & I am sure he will get a "feel" from them if they think we are trying to outdo the company party. I would invite others to the party, but I don't think that would work, since the majority would be co-workers. Heck we may have a couplle of parties one for his work & one for friends &

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 3:07PM
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Splenda?? I hope you tell your guests. I stay far away from artificial sweeteners, and I know I'm not the only one. In fact, in today's social climate (and also the older my friends and I get) I've found hostesses give an increasing amount of thought to food allergies, reactions, and preferences when planning menus.

I like to serve mostly vegetarian dishes, with all ingredients as close to their natural state as possible. If I bring a dish to a potluck I often include a little card to show guests what's in it. Life gets complicated, but we don't want to make anyone sick.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 3:18PM
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I am not much help with most of the questions, but I will add my two cents about the sugar free aspect. If you serve UNSWEET ice tea, and offer options for sweetening it, that would be good. I don't like sweet tea, am diabetic, and have reactions to artifitial sweeteners. If you would like, do trays of normally sweetened goodies and sugar free, but label them. I know if I am offered so called "normal" foods, what I can eat, and what not to eat to keep my blood sugar levels where they need to be, as do most diabetics.

And as I have not noticed you here before, welcome to the table!


    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 3:55PM
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Add my name to ellendi's post. It sounds as though you have your heart set on this party, but I think this may create some eventual hard feelings down the road. If I worked for your dh's company and felt compelled to go to your party, I'd do a whole lot of eye-rolling.

Seems to me that it would be much safer to wait a while. Let your dh get established, make a move into management, establish good new working relationships with the employees, and THEN show off your good fortune.

Do I sound snarky? Sorry. That's how I feel.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 5:20PM
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WalnutCreek Zone 7b/8a

Littlebugs stated: "Seems to me that it would be much safer to wait a while. Let your dh get established, make a move into management, establish good new working relationships with the employees, and THEN show off your good fortune."

I totally agree with that statement and statements of all those suggesting to hold off on the party even though co-workers have expressed an interest in seeing the house - let them wait until late winter or early spring or even a summer BBQ.

I am retired from the corporate world and have seen how such early-on festivities by the newbie effect the true attitudes (read that as create hostility towards the newbie) of co-workers, even those who state they want to see the house.

This post was edited by walnutcreek on Fri, Nov 1, 13 at 18:40

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 6:33PM
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Had to come back after reading some of the follow-up here. It does put a different spin on things to hear some of the backstory

With your husband being new, and in a VERY awkward position (whether it's occured to you or not yet), this is sounding less like a good idea. If you do decide to have it, I'd make it SUPER informal--just a call or mention at work. Something along the lines of, "We'll be home Friday night, if you want to drop in after dinner to see the house, come on over." No formal, written invites or it will become more difficult. And don't go overboard. Given the situation, I'd think you'd have maybe just a few savory things, and a couple of trays of cookies, , maybe some bowls of nuts or chips, with some simple drinks. Very low key so it doesn't look as if you're showing off (the house, the food, etc).

And yes, PLEASE warn your guests about the Splenda. Eating even a little artificial sweetener makes me very ill, and know many others who have reactions to it as well.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 7:11PM
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We will take all of this under advisement.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 7:13PM
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There are alot of us out there that can not tolerate artificial sweeteners, so labeling foods that include them are very helpful.

I too decorate to the max :)

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 7:27PM
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One thing gotta have at a Christmas party, around here, are cheese straws and swedish meat balls!

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 7:57PM
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When I first read your post I thought the same thing as a lot of the other ones did. It is too soon, I work in a small business and I can just see what would happen if a newbie had a party like that. Not good.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 8:04PM
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I know this has nothing to do with your question but the idea doesn't sit well with me that your relatively new to the company DH just wants to show off his house. I've had a number of Christmas parties at my home for people in my department and that was never my motivation. I would also not throw my own personal company Christmas party for the whole company if the company already has one.

Maybe I don't accurately understand the whole picture but this just doesn't seem quite right to me. My husband just bought a company in May and even he thinks it's a bit premature to have a Christmas party at our home. Everyone is different though and neither of us would be motivated to have a party for employees as a means to show off our home.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 8:12PM
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Go ahead, have the party and enjoy yourself! I love to entertain and figure any reason especially Christmas is a good reason to have a party. I believe, too often, we get caught up in trying to make EVERYBODY happy, worrying about what they might want to eat (I do agree about the warnings about Splenda), how they might think about us at the office, or showing off your home .You cannot please all the people all the time! Those that want to come, will come. Those that want to eat, will eat what is available. Those that want to see your home, will ask. Believe me I have been in this exact situation and everyone had a great time! Besides, like my Dad always said, if they are talking about me, they are leaving someone else alone.
I agree with Glenda about the meatballs and shrimp with cocktail sauce is always a big hit. Have fun.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 8:37PM
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If I remember correctly, Orchid GA was a down-to-earth kinda gal when she posted before. I doubt she meant "show off the house" in a *my house is better than your house* kind of way. I think she meant "show off the house" in a *here's my house all decorated for the holidays* kind of way, maybe an *all our stuff's unpacked, walls are painted, pictures are hung* kind of way.

As far as the eye rolling goes.....I don't know how big the company is. I've always worked for smaller companies. In a smaller company, everybody pretty knows what everyone working there is like. If Orchid's husband is a nice, hard-working, talented and friendly guy, I would think most people will accept the invitation in the spirit with which it was extended.

I don't "show off" my house. But I have friends who do, because they enjoy decorating their homes and sharing their joy with their friends. They like "showing off" their lovely decorating, and I like seeing it.

Good luck whatever you decide, Orchid.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 9:01PM
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They just want to have a nice house warming party and by showing off their house is they have a new house and many love to see it so something like that is a good way to come over and see it.

I agree splenda it does make some sick and can't eat things with it in it.

And for vegetarians, I disagree with only food for vegetarians especially if you are one..

by having a nice variety of things that all can eat is the best and smple items too that will stretch.

I believe some will come and expect more then little munchies, how about a veggie and dip platter, a meat and cheese and crackers?

Make it easy for them and they don't have to worry about how am I going to cut this, or eat this and balance it on my lap or stand up as no where to sit?

I agree, I like bottled water myself and not that fizzy kind either, its nice having both plain and fizzy. And make sure you have a bunch cooling in fridge to drink cold and not warm.

And for punches, have both liquor and non liquor so all who chooses can drink, will.

Different types of pop, soda water to mix with drinks, have a variety of liquor or wine on hand.

Yes, have nice napkins and plates for all to use and buy up plenty as they will go through them alot.

Yes, make sure teas and coffees are available as some will like to have that to drink.

Take them around your home since its having them to see the house.

I agree, make sure its put in invitations that its not dinner but appetizers but make sure they are good appetizers as many eat later these days and would be hungry.
Also plenty of them too.

Buy good cheeses, meats, etc. that you plan to give to them.

And so who cares about eyes rolling, too bad on those people, some may just be jealous is all and if they truly enjoyed themselves and liked looking at your house and chatting, then that is what counts.

Go ahead with it and go postively.

My brother loves those kinds of parties, they have house warming ones and had one before christams and they mentioned the times, they did theirs on weekend and in afternoon and so that way you don't get late ones that arrive and stay forever if you having them come at 8pm.

I agree, I went to this birthday party with brother and sil and they had this small buffet, first they had drinks and then they had appetizes, grilled lamb which was fantastic and other yummy items to mucn on and then called into house for supper but we just went into dining room area and picked up our plates and silver ware and I loved that they did have cards with all ingredients in them and everyone stood and read them and so we didn't have to constantly ask about items, one guy brought his girlfriend and he kept mentioning she is vegetarian and there was a couple of things she could eat and she liked that but its not catered to only vegetarians which it shouldn't be at all.

I agree too, make sure there is low sugar items and fat contents are low too as many are have to plus gluten free too, and its not to do wont' eat but can't due to they have conditions that will cause health issues for them.

Well, vegetarians, talk to host ahead of time and ask about food, other wise bring your own food then and eat.

I am not vegetarian and wouldn't cater to that but sure would gluten, would ask suggestions and same with for diabetes and those that need low fat contents, have things more like fruits, veggies, raw, with different dips for them to dip.

I prefer myself light, fruits, veggies, meat platter with crackers, etc. to munch on.

So many have gone back to sweet, sweet and that isn't good for so many and too tempting for too many as they can't walk away and so think of those things too.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 10:08PM
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If I remember correctly, Orchid GA was a down-to-earth kinda gal when she posted before. I doubt she meant "show off the house" in a *my house is better than your house* kind of way. I think she meant "show off the house" in a *here's my house all decorated for the holidays* kind of way, maybe an *all our stuff's unpacked, walls are painted, pictures are hung* kind of way. Yep Daisy you remember me well!!!!

I meant it just as Daisy said, We are proud of this house, but that is not why I want everyone to see it. I want to welcome them into my HOME. These are people that my DH likes and works with and he wants them to come for the same reason. They are a part of our lives and all love him and he loves them.

In fact we are making Darlynn's Pumpkin Bread(former KTer) Sunday night for Tony to take to work Monday. I have sent in food with him several times. They all seem to enjoy my cooking and want more.

We just want a party where everyone is invited and welcomed into our home and enjoy themselves with food & drink in a casual way..I don't do

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 10:45PM
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Can I come? Go ahead and enjoy yourself. Company parties may be nice but to me, there's nothing like a party in the home. Yes, please have soft drinks. I love hot apple cider (I have a great recipe if you're interested) but if sometimes you just get really thirsty and want something cold. I also have a great egg nog recipe but it is definitely spiked!

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 11:57PM
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no help with the party just wanted to say HEY ORCHID!! Good to see you after sooo long gone!!

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 12:05AM
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I think that a non-alcoholic punch bowl would be appropiate since several will drivng afterward. Alcoholic drinks could be made available at a separate location such as a portable wet bar, but someone would have to man the bar and control the amount of alcohol served. One way to do this is to hold back most of your supply in hiding and bring out only enough to make a few drinks per drinker. When the intial supply is depleted, you can decide if you need to bring out more.

Salty snacks such a heavily salted peanuts and potato chips will increase drinking. Limit the salt content if it appears that the guests are using alcoholic drinks rather than other drinks to slake their thirst.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 1:41AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I don't believe that an open bar is part of the plan at all....and it needn't be. But I do think that it adds a festive touch to have something alcoholic.

Orchid, only you and your husband know the "politics" of his workplace. I wouldn't pay much heed to the naysayers. A party like this is an excellent way to meet the spouses of the co-workers...sounds like a great idea to me.

Some may live in an environment of 'eye rollers' and treacherous office politics. Most of us don't.

After we moved into our new home some years ago, we hosted a holiday party for many of the people who work with Robert (including the boss) , plus our new neighbors, and some very close friends. I was a new comer (we were newly married) to the area and wanted very much to meet people AND welcome people into our new home.

It was a rousing success and a great opportunity for these people to truly associate with each other outside of work. It was more of a party than an open house. I'm so glad that we invited people outside the workplace......they added some new blood to the mix.

Have a fun time! I hope that we get to see pictures of the decorations when you put them up!

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 5:57AM
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Interesting reading and lots of viewpoints! Orchid, kudos to you for handling all these so well. I think regional expressions come into play and that your motivation is hospitable--good to check on the booze.

If I can say one tiny thing....We have a friend who makes desserts with Splenda and I can barely choke it down, just can't stand the taste. I have no idea why she uses it as neither spouse is diabetic. Just a thought.

I hope you have a wonderful time!

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 1:29PM
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Okay Tony decided that he wants the party because there is a family like atmosphere at his work and as the "new kid" he feels like it is his turn to host a party. We have been invited to a couple of cookouts that we had to miss due to scheduling conflicts.

I will use real sugar in most desserts and Splenda in a couple for the diabetics. We will keep liquor to a minimum. I will have couple of punches available along with water & soft drinks (both diet & regular) I will serve hummus for any that are vegetarians. In all my preplanning I had forgotten just plain chips & dips. I will make sausage balls, sausage pinwheels, & pigs in a blanket along with several sweets. I will get a veggie & a meat & cheese tray with rolls for sandwiches too.

Tony will help with every aspect of the party including the decorating. We will use quality paper goods also..

I appreciate all of your input and have considered all the responses, but in the end it was his decision since he has to work with these people...

    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 7:19AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

You GO, GIRL! It'll be great fun and a terrific way to become part of the family. Tony is a lucky guy for lots of reasons.

I'm diabetic, by the way. I avoid sweets pretty much entirely, including anything with artificial sweeteners. Doesn't bother me one bit. If there's no unsweetened tea, I'll be happy with water and a slice of lime. I could be perfectly satisfied with what you're planning on having.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 9:22AM
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If you still want menu feedback...I would consider putting some more vegetarian items. It's pretty popular these days - we have 5 vegetarians in our office of 60ish. Your only other food options are pork products so if someone doesn't eat pork either, they are pretty restricted. Not to mention people just wanting to eat lighter.

The thing with vegetarian food is that everyone will eat it, and it certainly doesn't penalize meat eaters. :) Plenty of popular finger food is vegetarian already like bruscetta, spinach artichoke dip, stuffed mushrooms, 7 layer dip, deviled eggs, etc.

I'm not at all saying you need to cater to a certain eating habit but maybe make some items that everyone can eat. I've been a vegetarian for 15 years and while I certainly don't expect menus to evolve around me, i'd be a little bummed if all I could eat at a party is raw veggies and hummus.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 10:27AM
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I think the party sounds like fun! Will we get to see some of the holiday decorating? I would buy the bottled water and soft drinks-you can always use plenty of those all month long-they won't go to waste. I had no idea so many people had reactions to splenda. Another source for party/food drinks is

    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 12:18PM
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Enjoy your party! Hope that you'll post pics of your house once you get the decorating done.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 12:40PM
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Do what you want, serve what you want. i can not imagine having to consider every religious, foodie, and political bend to open my home.for guests. If people have allergies, they know how to work around it.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 1:25PM
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I second, third, fourth and fifth what amyfiddler said.

Have fun at your party, Orchid. I know you will do Tony proud!

    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 2:39PM
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No ideas or suggestions just have a great time and enjoy your new friends where Tony works.
PS For me, I refuse to serve anything alcoholic, due to some relatives issues involving them. But that is me.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 3:12PM
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ravencajun Zone 8b TX
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