Entertaining Ideas
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rosh hashana and christmas help needed

1. This is my first year hosting with my 2 small children so I took the easy way out and am having the main dishes ordered and I just have to heat them. My question is we invited everyone to come at 1pm because its football sunday and hubby wants to watch with his dad before dinner. I plan on having dinner around 4:30-5:00 and told everyone either come at 1 for the game and apps. or come for dinner. So I won't know until they get here what everyone decides on doing. I'm going to have sweet/sour meatballs and matzo ball soup as my apps (there are 15 adults and 6 children) do you think I need something more? Main meal is brisket and chicken with 4 sides and bread. Making candy apples and cake for desserts.

My place is VERY small so that was also a reason I ordered the main dish bc the oven would make the whole house hot and will all those ppl it would get uncomfortable.

Any advice?

2. Every year I host christmas dinner at my house for everyone. Well this year I talked to my siblings and we are going to move it to the 26th bc they all have young kids and do santa in am then see one side of family then drive to my hosue for dinner. And its a lot of driving on the actual holiday for little ones. So I asked if they wanted to move it to the 23rd or 26th and they all agreed 26th. So my question is, instead of ham etc that they will all be sickk of by then what could I do for a fun meal and theme?

Re: rosh hashana and christmas help needed

  • BTW I love the hot coco bar christmas idea someone posted below but I'd need food to go along with it any ideas?
  • 1. I would throw together a vegetable or fruit plate for the appetizers as well, and maybe set out a bowl of pretzels or nuts to snack on for football. I might also casually ask around to see what people are thinking of doing (appetizers and/or dinner) just so you have an estimate. 

    2. What about Italian? I meet more and more people who do lasagna for Christmas dinner versus a turkey or beef. It's not too hard, easy to double or triple as needed, and practically everyone loves it. You could even make a couple of varieties -- traditional meat, white seafood, mushroom and spinach, etc. 

  • 1) I'd put out a few picky things, like mixed nuts, pretzels, chips & dip, or a veggie tray.  Something that is easy eat to while standing up, or sitting down without a table.  I agree with the previous poster that you should ask around and try to get a guestimate head count for apps/dinner. I would expect that most people know around what time they plan on arriving at your house so you might as well ask.

    2) Since everyone will already have had their Christmas dinner, why don't you have an earlier start time on the 26th--say 1 or 2pm--and have brunch instead?  It's affordable, not as heavy as the traditional dinner, and many of the recipes can be prepped ahead of time.  Pinterest has a ridiculous amount of ideas; you can get really creative.  I think a hot cocoa bar would work great, as would a mimosa bar.  If you prefer to offer dinner instead, then I'm another vote for Italian.  A nice lasagne, gravy with meatballs and sausage, spaghetti, salad, and bread...yum.  The hot cocoa bar would be a nice setup after dinner, along with coffee and dessert. 


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  • I'm confused why you are celebrating Rosh Hashana AND Christmas. You're kids must be  REALLY confused.
  • I'm not Jewish...but it seems to me the soup doesn't really go with game time food...I would keep that with the meal and add more munchies...

     The more munchies you have, the more people will leave you alone as you prepare dinner

  • Re: Rosh Hashana - I would maybe move the Matzo Ball soup to dinner - as a first course as well or display it in a large crock pot and keep it warm for your later arrivals.   For some reason was thinking Deviled Eggs and Crudite with Hummus for the apps.  I'm assuming, perhaps incorrectly, that you're doing Kosher Meat (no Dairy).  Or I'd suggest some cheesy gamey things too... But of course everyone on this board knows how much I like Smoked Salmon, Whitefish Salad and could add one more thing etc.  BTW - when I host Thanksgiving I don't put out a whole spread of apps - because then guests might not be hungry  enough to appreciate your dinner or desserts.

    Re: Christmas - Day after - will give it more thought for you... I like Tenderloin of Beef or Lasagna or even something really different like Mexican or Indian or a mix of different fun party foods.




  • 1. I agree to move the soup to the meal and put out some more munchies- pretzels, popcorn, veggies.  I know you didn't want to heat up the house, but I did soft pretzels at my last party and they were gone in no time.  They took 4 minutes to bake, then I chunked them and served with two dipping sauce.

    2. My family used to do lasagna.  Really though there are a million options- pork/beef tenderloin, a casual taco bar, seafood.  Think about how fancy you want it, how much you want to spend, and what your cooking level is.

  • thanks everyone, these are great ideas! Its so nice to be able to type it out and get clear ideas from people who know what they are doing. after all this I still have my son's first bday to host the first week in January!

    16th: I will move soup to dinner and keep in a crock pot. going with a fruit and veg trays and pretzels.

    26th: I think Italian is a great idea and the the hot coco bar for the dessert. Never thought of italian. SIL does italian on 24th and they will be there BUT she does baked ziti so I'm going to do maybe an italian chicken dish.

    re christmas AND Rosh hashana. My family is catholic and greek orthodox and lutheran (everyone started out catholic). Hubby and I are jewish, inlaws are jewish and SIL is jewish married to a catholic. We are just a melting pot of a family! Our kids are jewish as are we, no chirstmas tree etc but it just works out best location wise that we host chirstmas for the family and so we have for years, it would make more sense if we did Thanksgiving but that works out better that my brother hosts and my sister does Easter and we switch off Jewish holidays with inlaws and uncle's house.  

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