Save money while spending time with family and friends by hosting a Christmas potluck instead of a catered event or formal dinner. Serve holiday dishes, family favorites, local delicacies or a dessert-only potluck complete with gingerbread houses and Christmas candies. Be ready with games and include a visit from Santa at larger potlucks for churches or schools, with candy cane or mini-stocking favors for all recipients.
From classic Christmas dinner dishes to simpler picnic fare, tailor your potluck to the time, budgets and abilities of your guests. Offer to cook the main dishes -- goose, ham or turkey -- and ask guests to bring a variety of sides. For church or office potlucks, purchase a precooked meat dish and organize groups of people to bring sides, desserts, breads and drinks.
Garlands, wreaths, pine cones and a Christmas tree create warm and inviting decor no matter where your potluck is held. Clusters of red and green candles accented with ornament balls and candy canes create elegant centerpieces, while simple snowmen and reindeer are ideal for children's tables or to create a less formal atmosphere.
Be prepared to host indoor and outdoor reindeer games as well as a visit from Santa. Offer guests of any age the opportunity to have his or her picture taken with Santa and Mrs. Claus, and have a gift box set up for children to deliver their letters to Santa.
Gifts and Favors
Personalize miniature stockings for each guest and fill with trinkets and candies, or give each guest homemade cookies and fudge. Santa hats with the guest's name and "Merry Christmas" or decorated with snowmen, reindeer and candy canes offer gender- and age-neutral gifts that are more versatile for office or school potlucks.
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