Does holiday entertaining stress you out? On occasion, I feel the pressure to host the perfect party, bring the most unique and exquisite hostess gift, and entertain my kids in a picture-perfect Norman Rockwell manner. I usually run around from store to store, trying to grab festive finds at a price that won't leave me with a credit card bill as long as Santa's naughty list. This year, I headed to Ross instead and found everything I needed, all in one store, at a price that was INCREDIBLY nice! If you adore entertaining as much as I do, you will LOVE some of the items I found that are ideal for holiday gatherings. The only question is- do you buy them for those on your list, or keep them for yourself?
I think interactive parties around this time are one of the best ways to keep your guests engaged, especially if those in attendance are pint-sized. Some of the most memorable from my childhood are the cookie decorating parties! I purchased a cookie press from Ross for our party this year- it eliminates the huge mess that dough rolling can make and allows your little ones to swap out disks with different cookie shapes- candy canes, Christmas trees, wreaths and snowmen came out of the press in seconds! I bought one to use and one to give as a gift. Bundle it with a jelly roll mat and dessert decorator- it makes a perfect present that the whole family can enjoy! I would give this to family friends so we can use it every year during our annual cookie decorating festivities.
After our perfect cookies came out of the oven and cooled, we needed to frost and decorate them. Luckily Ross had a gadget that would help out with this task- a dessert decorator with different tips for frosting cookies. We were able to add stripes to our candy canes, holly to our wreaths and snow to our snowmen. My son wanted to give boxes of cookies to his teachers- Ross had these adorable gift boxes that made wrapping them up a snap!
Want to bake a cookie that will be HUGE (and I mean huge) hit? How about this Giant Cookie Pan in the shape of a gingerbread man! Imagine making one of these for each attendee at your party, and letting them decorate with frosting and candies. Obviously my little guy loved it...
ENTERTAINING SECRET #1: Create multiple levels of appetizers and desserts to create a visually stunning display! A table with tiers and tiers of treats is so much more exciting than paper plates. Ross has a huge selection of display items. I found this three tier server for under $15- perfect for our three types of cookies we made.
ENTERTAINING SECRET #2: Purchase serving pieces with different patterns, shapes and designs but all in the same color family. All of my platters and dishes are white, silver or glass and I pick up intriguing extras like this gorgeous platter (under $20 at Ross- can you believe it!). This would make a stunning gift for a friend who loves having people over- imagine all the possibilities a piece like this can provide. You can add color and holiday accents in different ways, like with these festive kitchen towels I found at Ross- $4.99 for a set of three. I usually wrap one of these around a loaf of spice bread for a great gift.
ENTERTAINING SECRET #3: Don't use real candles if you have kids over! I am always terrified that someone will catch their sleeve (or hair, eek!) on fire. I bought a classic set of LED pillars with timers for under $15. Pair these with a glass mosaic hurricane and you just set the mood for a magical night!
ENTERTAINING SECRET #4: Add candles to a metallic platter to create a big glow. The platter will reflect the light and enhance the effect! Check out this gorgeous platter ($14.99 at Ross!!) that I paired with my new LED candle set.
ENTERTAINING SECRET #5: Purchase single decorative place mats to put under platters or tiered dessert towers to make them pop. Again, adding different textures and designs in the same color scheme truly ties everything together.
Still looking for the perfect entertaining gifts? Take a peek at what I found on the shelves at Ross:
Ross is giving away a $200 gift card on their Facebook page- wouldn't you LOVE to snag some of the items in this post with that? To find out the details, check out the Ross Dress for Less Facebook page and find this week's promotion! You can also enter via Instagram- upload your own bargain hunting photos to your Instagram account and use the hashtag #RossGifts. For more details, check out the official rules link on their Facebook page. Happy shopping!
Disclosure: I was provided with a Ross Gift Card in order to facilitate this shopping post. All opinions are honest and my own.