Friday, January 31, 2014

Christmas Banquet 2013

Jared and I had the privilege of planning our church's yearly Christmas Banquet. I thoroughly enjoy planning, decorating, and cooking for banquets and things so I was really looking forward to doing it. We planned our previous church's Valentine's banquet almost every year that we were there and found that we worked well as a team. This is the first year that I have also had the opportunity to prepare the food besides planning and decorating. I had some awesome help in every aspect so I don't suggest trying to pull something like this off unless you can recruit some help at every stage.

We had people sign up to bring the following appetizers and side dishes:
  • Veggie Tray with Dip
  • Relish Tray
  • Cheese and Cracker Platter
  • Favorite Salad
  • Jell-o
  • Cranberry Sauce
  • Stuffing
We were in charge of the main entrees, vegetable, potato, and bread. This is what we came up with:
We also had people sign up to bring the following desserts:
  • Christmas Cookies
  • Cheesecake
  • Brownies or Bars
We provided coffee, punch, milk, and water for drinks.

Some tips:
  • Be sure to know your equipment. I overloaded our ovens at church so we ran about 15 minutes late on food service.
  • Create a flow chart for cooking. Make a list of what things have to be prepped/cooked and when it needs to happen. This will save you from a lot of stress and help things move along at a nice pace.
  • Give yourself extra time for error. We gave ourselves a whole hour more than our recipes called for and still wound up running a little late.

Serving area
Our church has an awesome fellowship area with wide open space but it's all white. I needed something simple and inexpensive to add color and interest so we hung ornaments and giant pinecones from the ceilings along the walls in the serving area and fellowship hall.

The serving tables got burlap table runners, and we placed some beautiful poinsettia and burlap arrangements in the corners.

Serving Area

Poinsettias and burlap
Pinecones and Ornaments

We placed a simple wreath behind the punch table and decorated it with simple red berries.

Punch Table
We made chandeliers out of lights, greens, ornaments, and hula hoops to hang over our dessert tables.
Dessert Table #1
Snowflakes and Icicle light chandelier
Dessert Table #2
Grapevine lights and Ornaments chandelier
We covered the doors in brown paper and tied ribbon around them to look like gifts.

Gift wrap doors
We set up some simple winter scenes in the corners of the fellowship hall to add ambiance.

Corner Decorations #1
Corner Decoration #2
We added wreaths on either side of the center pillars to help break up the white space even more.
Wreaths on the Pillars
I loved the centerpieces the ladies helped me do for the tables in the fellowship hall. We placed burlap table runners on all the tables. I was able to purchase 40" wide natural burlap for $ .93/yard (shipped) on Cyber Monday. We were able to get 3 runners out of that 40" width. We then added glass hurricanes and red pillar candles, greens and ornaments down the center of half the tables. The other half of the tables we decorated with old-fashioned lamps, greens, and pinecones. 
Hurricanes, red pillar candles, greens, and ornaments on burlap
Old-fashioned lamps, greens, and pinecones on burlap
We also sprinkled candy cane kisses and mint truffle kisses on all of the tables.

Some tips:
  • Have a visual plan. I put together pictures of and directions for decorating each table, section, etc. so that I could pass each task on to someone else.
  • Don't micromanage. Give your helpers the idea and let them add some of their own personal touches.
  • Do as much prep as you can. Organize your decorations so that everything is it's place, which makes it easier for your helpers to find.

No comments:

Post a Comment