How to Plan a Holiday Brunch

Perhaps it’s your turn to host your family’s annual Christmas brunch, or maybe you’re interested in starting a new holiday tradition with your own family and friends. Maybe you’ve always wanted to host a holiday brunch, but haven’t been confident that you could pull it off. Well now there are no more excuses. You can follow this easy plan on how to host your own holiday brunch and guarantee brunch success.

Guest list

First things first, you’ll need to determine who you want on your guest list.  Once you’ve figured out who you are inviting and how many people there will be, you can start working on the next steps.  You can send out paper invitations or use an e-vite via email.

Remember, a holiday brunch does not have to be on Christmas morning.  You can host one any morning during the holiday season.  Guests will appreciate being invited to a morning event because it will leave the rest of their day free.  Often, people’s social calendars get a bit full during the holidays, so a brunch offers a welcome change of pace.

Dishes

Once you have your guest count, you’ll want to make sure you have enough dishes to serve everyone.  There is nothing wrong with borrowing dishes from friends and family if you don’t have enough to serve everyone you’ve invited.  If you don’t have anyone to borrow from, you can check with rental houses and rent the number of plates, flatware, and even mimosa glasses you might need.  This is an inexpensive way to serve a lot of people without having to go through the expense of buying additional dishes and finding a place to store them all year long.  If you are renting dishes, you can also look into chafing dishes, tables and chairs if you think you will have a large affair.  Otherwise, most people don’t mind standing around holding a plate.  It just depends on the formality that you want to have during the event.

You’ll also want to be sure you have enough serving dishes for your menu. If you don’t, you can buy, borrow or rent these as well.

Food

With a brunch menu you will need to serve both sweet and savory dishes.  Typically, there is at least one egg dish.  Egg casseroles are simple to make ahead of time.  Making dishes beforehand will help you pull off a fabulous brunch.  Another thing to keep in mind is that you may want to serve dishes that can be eaten at room temperature.  It’s difficult to have everything hot at the same time, especially if you don’t have double ovens.  You can use things like microwaves, slow cookers and roasters to take some of the work off of your oven.  Keep these things in mind when you are planning your menu.

You should have at least one vegetarian dish, and there is typically also a meat served in addition to bacon.  Ham or pork tenderloin are both good options, and both of these can be cooked in a roaster or a slow cooker.

Serve a few sweet dishes as well, such as cinnamon rolls, a French toast casserole, or muffins and pastries. Don’t make anything that will cause you to stand and serve people one at a time, like waffles or pancakes. Quick breads and muffins can be made before the event, so keep those options in mind.

Lastly, potatoes are generally served in some form or another.  A potato and cheese casserole with or without meat can be made ahead and baked the day of, and doesn’t have to be eaten piping hot.

Drinks

If you have mostly adults coming to your brunch, you could set up a coffee bar where guests will be able to fix their own coffee using flavored creamers and sugar stir sticks.

For parties that will include children, you might want to offer a fruity punch that you can make ahead and add to a punch bowl the morning of the brunch.

One alcoholic beverage is customary, but you can decide if you want to offer one or not.  Mimosas are made with champagne and fruit puree, and are a good no muss, no fuss option.  Bloody Marys are more involved, but can be made in a pitcher to serve several people at a time.

Alternatives

A holiday brunch does not have to involve tons of people; you can just invite close friends and family.  It doesn’t have to be a super expensive affair either.  You can make it a potluck and ask your guests to bring a dish to share to help take some of the workload off of you.  As the host, you will need to serve the hot items and provide the drinks.

A holiday brunch can be as easy or as complicated as you want it to be.  If you want to have a more traditional brunch and serve eggs benedict and caviar, you are welcome to do that, or you can keep it more informal and serve scrambled eggs and casseroles.  Just know that killing yourself isn’t necessary.  Being with friends and family during the holidays is the most important thing.

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