We are hosting a small family get together on Christmas Eve. I wanted to have a menu and setup that allowed my husband and I to relax and enjoy our family; not hidden in the kitchen cooking. I also wanted to have people eat what they want, when they want, in an informal setting.
A small buffet table set up in the area between the dining and living areas will allow us to migrate to where we are most comfortable. Covered with a red table cloth and a few small, unbreakable decorations the buffet table can be festive and utilitarian.
We don't have a dishwasher and I don't want to spend Christmas Eve washing dirty dishes, so I will be using decorative disposable plates, plastic dinnerware and paper napkins. Next year I hope to have the time to make fabric napkins from Christmas fabric.
Our menu consists of food meant to be picked at: Honeybaked ham, potato or macaroni salad, green salad, and deviled eggs (DH's special request). On the side will be pickles, olives and cookies. The macaroni salad can be made and the eggs boiled a day in advance
Guests will be able to sit at the dining table to eat (required for the children) or sit in the living room. Christmas music playing and lots of conversation will make this a fun, not stressful, Christmas gathering.
Entertaining during the holidays doesn't need to take a huge amount of work or money. Remember, family and friends really just want to be with you and yours.