Intimate or elaborate, holiday gatherings are better in the glow of the fireplace

Entertaining around the fireplace this holiday season

Certain things just go together: wine and cheese. Holidays and entertaining. Fireplaces and ambiance. The holidays are in full swing and all of these things pair well, especially when friends are gathered in a living room with the glow of a fireplace and twinkling holiday lights.

If you are hosting a holiday party, your friends at Heat & Glo would love to share a few ideas with you!

Set the Mood
A successful party starts long before guests arrive. Adorn your front entry with a festive wreath sporting a big red bow. Inside, dress up your living room with a holiday tree, ornaments, candles and other seasonal decorations. Glass ornaments stacked inside a hurricane vase make easy centerpieces for a coffee table.

Before your guests arrive on the night of your party, light luminaries along the walk to your front door. Turn on the fireplace. Light candles throughout your house, including in the bathrooms. Turn on music from your favorite app – Slacker, Spotify and Pandora all have holiday music stations with curated content to appeal to a range of tastes. If you haven’t already, consider upgrading your subscription to the ad-free version – you and your guests will enjoy the music even more.

Welcome Your Guests
When your guests arrive, exchange their coats for a festive glass of champagne or Prosecco, or even a seasonally inspired alcoholic on non-alcoholic cocktail. It will warm them – and the conversation – up. Cranberry Lime Spritzers, Candy Cane Cocktails or Mulled Wine are holiday-themed drinks that can really set the stage for a festive evening.

Inspire Mingling
After introductions have been made, circulate the room to refill drinks or offer a glass of wine. Pinot Noir, Cabernet or Chardonnay are generally safe choices, but you could also try a trendy dry rosé that your favorite sommelier recommends, which generally pair nicely with a variety of cheeses, hors d’oeuvres embellished with cheese or perhaps even potato-beef canapes.

Speaking of food, even if you’re planning a plated meal, allow time for mingling and catching up around the fire. Draw people out of the kitchen and into your living room with the fireplace and a variety of hors d’oeuvres spread around the room. Consider Horseradish Shrimp in lieu of standard shrimp cocktail, and offer some healthy options like hummus and chutneys with vegetables and regular and gluten-free crackers. Platters of nuts, seeds and dried and fresh fruits like figs and apricots are favorites around the holidays. Even roasted root vegetables make a delicious, healthy heavier appetizer. Plan on keeping the hors d’oeuvres refreshed throughout the evening if you aren’t serving a larger meal.

Above all else, remember that your holiday party should be fun for everyone, including you. Don’t get overly caught up in making your house, food or beverage selections perfect. Prepare as much as you can in advance so you can relax and enjoy your guests.

Happy holidays from everyone at Heat & Glo!

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