Perfectly Paired

happy hours / hosting / friendship

Location: Hosting your friends at your home

Recommended time: An evening a week or two before Christmas

The Perfect Pair: A pitcher of bourbon apple cider and a table full of snacks


For the past three years, I’ve thrown a Christmas party and invited quite a few of our friends. For us, hosting is a way where we can bring all the people we love together and spend quality time together. The holidays are a great time to do this, especially before everyone goes and spends time with family. Our friends are family and we love to celebrate our friendships with them this time of year. We also consider hosting to be the sweetest of Christmas gifts. As someone who loves to host, I definitely feel like I get better at the planning, cooking, and setting up every time I do something like this. That’s why we’re doing this today. We would like to give our tips and tricks and menu advice, so that it is easier for you to host a party of your own!

The first thing I do is send out the invites and start thinking of the menu. We like to use Paperless Post for the invite because online invitations are so easy and people are more likely to RSVP. You can totally use Evite or Facebook, or really anything you want. Paperless Post has just been my preference. As people RSVP, I’ll adjust the menu or even consider allergies and preferences for the food and drinks. I’m not saying go crazy, use discretion and maybe let what you know about people help guide what you were already going to provide anyways.

After I make the menu and do all the wonderful shopping, (does anyone love grocery shopping as much as us?!) I make a schedule for when the heck I am going to get it all done. As a Type A person in disguise, this is necessary. I figure out what prepwork I can do earlier in the week or even the day before. Anything to help lessen the the busyness of the day of. The day before, I lay out my table and serving dishes. That way the serving dishes that need it can be cleaned and I can make sure there is a place for everything. Once I have it like I like it, I add in little pieces of paper that say what will go in it. It helps keep me organized day of and not forget something in the fridge. It also makes it so easy if you have someone helping you put it all out.

I tend to go super overboard with food but, oh well! We can eat on the leftovers the next couple of days and I usually send the last people to leave home with a few things as well.


This year I made:

  • A cheese and charcuterie board- a must have for sure!
  • Bacon blue cheese puffs
  • Buffalo chicken sliders
  • A green chile cheese ball
  • A veggie tray and humus
  • Carmelized onion brie phyllo cups
  • Bruschetta
  • Spicy Chipotle Honey Meatballs
  • Dark chocolate cupcakes with peppermint cream cheese frosting
    Peanut butter blossom cookies
  • Dark chocolate cupcakes with peppermint cream cheese frosting
  • Peanut butter blossom cookies


As for drinks we usually have beer, wine, sangria, and a fun cocktail (this year we had two cocktails because we couldn’t decide). As for the beer selection, this year we went Shiner and Miller Light. Shiner because ‘Texas forever’ and it is always good to have a dark and a light beer. If we would have bought more, we would have gone with something Christmasy like St. Arnold’s Christmas Ale. We always make a holiday sangria because it is fun and festive and the fruit always looks so beautiful. As for the wine selection, I buy more red wine than white wine. We typically go with these varieties: Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Malbec. There are obviously a million options on what to serve, but those are all of our friends’ favorites, so those are what work for us. If you’re buying multiple bottles of one type, it is totally not necessary to buy different bottles. Find what you like and stick with it. Cocktails. Yummy. We like to pre mix cocktails before the party in pretty pitchers, that way we know exactly how much liquor is going into it. Also we don’t make too much to start, because unlike beer and wine, you’re stuck with what you make and you can always make more. This year we made two bourbon drinks, a bourbon apple cider sour and a whiskey sour with cranberry. We also jazzed up our ice cubes because it makes it look a little nicer.

As far as activities, we always have a white elephant at the end of the night. Completely optional, but always a blast. We do a max of $10 for gifts and people are so creative. It gets a little intense when the stealing is in full force. Also, my perfectly paired pal surprised us with a snapchat filter for the party! It was so exciting to see!

Can’t wait to see all of the wonderful parties y’all host for your friends this holiday season or what tips or ideas you use to help you host a shower or housewarming. The opportunities for hosting are limitless. We’ll be hosting any chance we get and building community one cheese board at a time.

Peace & Pinot,

The Perfectly Paired Pals

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