Party Tips for New Year That’s Tops

Plan a simple menu. Serve two favorite courses: appetizers and dessert. Select recipes that include your personal comfort foods, whether it s cheese, chocolate or caviar. If guests offer to bring something, don t hesitate to say YES!

Prepare your dishes in advance, aside from a last minute trip to the oven. Take advantage of pre-made specialty foods. There are so many wonderful prepared dishes now available in supermarkets and specialty food stores.
Serve fondue. You could prepare two pots one with a cheese fondue as an appetizer and one with a chocolate fondue for dessert. This wraps up cozy and easy in pots of warm, creamy goodness.

If you ve participated in a holiday cookie exchange, you will have an easy plate of goodies to add to your dessert table, no extra work required. And even if you didn t, shop at your favorite bakery for a festive assortment of cookies.

Mixed nuts, or a cereal-based party mix, always add to the fun nibbles on a party table.

Give chocolate a prominent place among the other dessert selections. (You might guess that this suggestion rates well with me!) But if some other dessert makes you feel cozy and nurtured, by all means make sure you have it available on this last and first night of the year!

While we are dreaming up pleasures to help us usher in the new year, as always, I also like to provide poetic food for thought:

Candlelit Heart

by Mary E. Linton

Somewhere across the
winter world tonight
You will be hearing chimes
that fill the air;
Christmas extends its
all-enfolding light
Across the distance…something
we can share.
You will be singing, just
the same as I,
These familiar songs
we know so well,
And you will see these same stars
in your sky
And wish upon that brightest
one that fell.
I shall remember you and
trim my tree,
One shining star upon the
topmost bough;
I will hang wreaths of faith
that all may see –
Tonight I glimpse beyond
the here and now.
And all the time that we
must be apart
I keep a candle [burning] in my heart.

Christmas Past

by Carice Williams

Each Christmas I remember
The ones of long ago;
I see our mantelpiece adorned
With stockings in a row.
Each Christmas finds me dreaming
Of days that used to be,
When we hid presents here and there,
For all the family.
Each Christmas I remember
The fragrance in the air,
Of roasting turkey and mince pies
And cookies everywhere.
Each Christmas finds me longing
For Christmases now past,
And I am back in childhood
As long as memories last.

Have a very
merry Christmas.

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