Before I had children, my husband and I threw the best holiday parties. We’d head out on field trips all over New York City, where we lived at the time, to hunt down finger foods and festive garlands. Weeks before the big night, we’d have menu-planning sessions and discuss pressing issues: knishes or empanadas? Pinot noir or Châteauneuf-du-Pape? Store-bought pita chips or homemade cheddar-Gruyère crackers we’d read about in Martha? (Unthinkable to my current mother-of-two self, the freaking homemade crackers won out.)
When we tried to throw our first party post-kids (“Hey! And bring your kids too!” we told everyone so naively), we didn’t have the energy or the time to do any of that, and as a result, it was a disaster. Instead of ending the night with our customarily glowing postmortem, “I’m so glad we do that every year,” we looked at our toddler-decimated house and said, “Welp! Never doing that again.”
We took a few years off. Then, as parents are wont to do, we came back with a plan of attack, which I wrote about in the current issue of Parents magazine, but which can be summarized in this single philosophy: Dial it back and remember why you’re doing this—to celebrate with the people you love most…
Head over to Parents to read all 20 Rules for Hosting a Holiday Party With Kids, plus ideas for all-the-rage snack boards (above)….
….and a killer recipe for Pomegranate Mojitos. ENJOY!
Photos: Dane Tashima for Parents.