“This post has been sponsored by Tyson Foods, Inc. All thoughts and opinions are my own.”
It’s entertaining season, my friends, with house guests galore on the horizon. If that both excites and intimidates you, I promise you’re not alone. Not only that, but we’re here to ease those fears today by sharing how we’ve hacked the whole welcome wagon game and made our hosting lives ten times easier with a little help from the geniuses at Hillshire® Snacking and their holiday hosting-ready Hillshire® Snacking Calabrese Salame & Genoa Salame Social Platter! It’s probably obvious to you guys by now that hosting hacks, tips, and tricks that make it easier for us to entertain and connect with the people we love are kind of our jam—which is why I’m so excited about sharing this fun little hosting idea that has been such a game-changer for me. This is the year we master this holiday hosting thing together, guys!
Check out this brand page for more holiday snacking ideas from Hillshire®!
Welcoming the people we love into our cozy little cottage abode is one of our very favorite holiday season traditions, but I’m completely comfortable admitting that it used to be a little bit intimidating for me until I figured out how to hack it. Impressing important holiday house guests like the in-laws can be daunting, am I right?! Which is why I’m so pumped to let you guys in on my go-to hosting hack for impressing holiday house guests with ease, especially when your plate is full with work, family, and holiday season commitments. Set up a fuss-free, delicious welcome station complete with a tasty snack platter and festive drink display—all of the components for which I can conveniently grab at our neighborhood Albertsons! You guys already know that my love for Albertsons runs deep, but I’m not even close to exaggerating when I say that during the holiday season in particular—Albertsons is my lifeline. Albertsons has the most well-rounded, creative selection of party-ready snacks and drinks of all kinds and they have a handy dandy app filled with awesome coupons to help me save while I shop, which is why they have my heart.
This fun self-serve welcome station has been such a revelation in my life because when prepping to host holiday house guests (or house guests in any season, really), I used to overwhelm myself with unnecessarily complicated snack platters and preparations of all kinds. It would leave me reeling from commitment overload in the midst of an already busy season. Anyone else experience that same hosting overwhelm? On top of that, I’m humble enough to admit that the overly complicated snacks and refreshments I’d come up with or assemble weren’t necessarily “crowd pleasers,” which would always leave me a little bit deflated. Which is no good! I just don’t have the bandwidth to add the title of Master Chef to my resume at the moment, ya know?
Enter: The welcome station! A fun, festive self-serve welcome station like this for guests, whether you’re throwing a holiday party or hosting house guests that are lingering a little longer, takes so little time to prepare and maintain, which is exactly what I need when hosting for the holidays. Fast, easy prep, and a self-serve setup so I can get back to the good stuff—like enjoying the company of my guests throughout the holiday season.
For this festive welcome station that you see in the snaps, I just quickly and conveniently picked up my favorite Hillshire® Snacking Social Platter at my neighborhood Albertsons. (I absolutely love the Calabrese Salame & Genoa Salame platter seen here, but their Genoa Salame & Prosciutto platter is amazing, too). It’s already assembled with the tastiest crowd-pleasing premium meats and cheeses, so all the hard work is done for me. The platter seen here comes complete with Calabrese Salame, Genoa Salame, White Cheddar, Sea Salt Toasted Rounds, and Dried Cranberries and Cherries (basically all my favorite things). All you have to do is flip and serve, which makes party or guest prep pretty much effortless. I don’t have to think about what to include on the platter or run around grabbing all of the ingredients because it’s already assembled to perfection, which takes so much pressure off of me! While I was at Albertsons, I was inspired by other tasty things I was seeing when picking up my platter. So, I also grabbed a few simple ingredients to throw together this festive self-serve sparkling holiday punch to complement the platter. The best part about an easy batch punch like this? Guests can enjoy at their leisure, so I don’t have to worry about keeping their cups full all night long. How great is that?!
Our Easy Sparkling Holiday Punch Recipe
1 26 oz. Bottle Sparkling Cider (of your choosing)
1 Cup Cranberry Cocktail Juice
Juice of 1 Lemon
Fresh Cranberries to garnish
Fresh Kumquats, sliced to garnish
Sprigs of Rosemary to garnish if desired
Pour bottle of sparkling cider into large punch bowl or vessel of your choosing. Add cranberry cocktail juice to bowl; you can add cranberry cocktail juice to taste and decide if you prefer your punch with less or more than 1 cup cranberry flavor. Add juice of one whole lemon to bowl. Mix. Add fresh cranberries, sliced kumquats, and rosemary to garnish as desired.
As you can see from the snaps, I also added some really simple and easy holiday décor that I already had in my arsenal to make it all feel really cozy, festive, and inviting but I think that even without the little décor flourishes, this welcome station is dressed to impress thanks to the tasty treats displayed. If you are wanting to up the cozy factor, you can simply add a cozy throw, a few pillows on chairs, and some sweet and simple holiday decs or twinkle lights on the tabletop to invite guests in. I think the festive décor flourishes are especially fun if you’re creating a welcome station for holiday party purposes. And because I used what I already had from around the house for the season, it took me mere minutes to set up.
So there you have it, friends. Holiday hosting (hopefully) made a little bit easier thanks to an elevated, self-serve solution that’s as tasty and crowd-pleasing at it is easy to execute! If you have awesome holiday hosting hacks, tips, or tricks that make your hosting life so much easier during this busy season, make sure you share in the comments below so we can build up our idea banks and thrive thanks to your genius. Happy holidays, all!
Kari Kriewald says
Mmm… this looks delicious! I’m loving your holiday setup, it’s so darling!!
Love and Specs says
Aw so happy you like it, Kari! Thanks for the kind words! Happy holidays!
Eileen M Loya says
Awesome idea. I like this self serve welcome station you’ve set up in your home. I will "steal" this idea this holiday season.
Love and Specs says
Thank you so much, Eileen! You should totally steal the idea this season!
Yes, hosting can be intimidating! Your set up looks beautiful! Thank you for the Punch recipe, I’ll be including that on my welcome station for sure!
Love and Specs says
Aw thank you so much Monica! So glad it inspired you!
I love that is already preassembled – making the holidays and parties that much easier! I’m definitely going to be checking those trays out – and making some of your punch to go with!