While lots of us would love to host a holiday party at home every year with an abundance of appetizers, and goodie bags for our guests, let’s face it, it isn’t always possible. This year I had too many time constraints and did not have the attention span to implement it the way I would want to.
Instead I picked a cozy restaurant that I felt was special and would have delicious food to make everyone happy. I did not want it to just be like another dinner out though, I still wanted to feel like I was hosting and that the holidays were being celebrated. Have no fear, this is still possible in a restaurant.
I decided to personalize our dinner by making a holiday gift bag for each person. I made sure that I arrived at the restaurant earlier then usual so that I could put one at each place setting. When my guests arrived they were greeted by a sparkly Christmas goodie bag at each seat which instantly put a surprised smile on every face.
The key to developing the goodie bags was to ensure they were each equal in offerings while not being exactly the same. I was hosting all females, and decided to focus on body and food. I found individual one time cucumber masks at a beauty store and hand sanitizers that were the perfect size to throw in a purse. The personalization and customization came with the food items. I recently went to the Toronto One of a Kind Christmas Show and Sale where I had purchased a sample pack of flavored peanut butter from Monkey Butter. Each of the little jars was a different flavour allowing me to chose which one I thought each of my guests would enjoy best. Each bag had different colour sparkles to differentiate it.
To add a personal touch to each bag I included home made Vanilla Bean Caramels. I found the recipe in a Food & Wine magazine from December 2013. It is a delicious recipe and each time I have made it everyone has raved about how delicious they are.
Goodie bags don’t need to be expensive, just thoughtful and from the heart including items that you know will be a special treat for your guests. Put your thinking cap on and you too can make your holiday gathering memorable in your own way.
For the Vanilla Bean Caramel recipe please go to RECIPES.