Holiday Party in January: Easiest Potluck Ever!

Posted on Jan 8 2014 - 10:00am by Jessi Meehan

Holiday Party in January: Easiest Potluck Ever!

You know, at the end of the season it is really important to me to take a glance back at this time of celebrating, hoping I had a chance to see everyone.  The outreach group that I am involved in plans our holiday party to be the first week of January instead of December. It takes the pressure off, everyone brings something, and the potluck element allows me to mix and mingle too. (As well as enjoy some great dishes!)


Tips to a successful potluck:

  1. When inviting guests, choose what you are supplying first. Picking the meat course sets the theme and is usually what we do which makes it easier for others.
  2. Outline what items are needed. Friends love to have the guess-work taken out of what they should bring – but be open if they want to bring something unique.
  3. With a large group (We had 26 people the other night), and everyone wanting to contribute; ideas such as drinks, rolls, paper plates,and napkins are easy options for people coming from work and eliminates an overage of food.
  4. Your prep: Have the house tidied and your tables clothed with a simple centerpiece or a candle. Pull out extra chairs into your largest living space. Have your coffee ready, and great music playing. Get your serving spoons, condiments, and your menu items all ready to go before the party starts.
  5. Having friends or family members answer the door for you, is a great 3P event basic that allows you to organize food as it arrives and then spend an individual moment with each guest.  Ahead of time, designate spots for app’s, main course, and dessert items. This stops congestion and allows early guests to help themselves to a drink and an appetizer while others arrive.
  6. Don’t micromanage. (And believe me I always have to work on this one.) Let the party roll. If a food item is different than you envisioned, no worries – a Practically Perfect Party is enjoying your guests with minimal work and no stress.
  7. Encourage your guests to take their leftovers with them. This helps eliminate waste, and it’s less clean up!

A sample menu (this was ours from the other night), that we emailed to everyone attending. When they RSVP’d…they let us know what they chose to bring:

Brenda and Chris – Ham (Which we had all ready to go the night before, since we were at a blogging conference all day)


Items needed:

– pasta dish
– potato dish
– veggies / salad
– desserts
– rolls
– drinks
– misc


And WOW….as always we received all of these items PLUS a few multicultural dishes such as homemade sushi, Pad Thai, Shepherd’s Pie, and marinated meatballs….YUM!


The food was awesome, but the fellowship was even better…and what a great way to start the New Year! So, it’s not too late if the holidays got away from you…you can still have your own Practically Perfect Potluck in January.

What was your favorite potluck dish tis season? We’d love to share it and try it!

2 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Tania Atack January 8, 2014 at 4:22 pm -

    Yum, I wish I could have been there. What a great selection of dishes and flavors…..But most important I am willing to bet that everyone had a great time and NO hassle for everyone involved!!
    Love your ideas. hugs. MB or PPPal

    • Brenda Meehan January 10, 2014 at 9:15 am -

      It was a really fun night, but as always…we missed our PPPal! 🙂