I know it’s already been said so many times, but I truly believe it’s worth saying again: This holiday season – more than any other – feels incredibly special. After having had limited opportunities to gather with friends and family over the last 18 months or so, now might be the perfect time to go all out and celebrate.
Start with kitchen elements that are highly functional and beautiful, like the iio RR1 CRBR retro-style fridge and the iio VR1-MRS vintage California-style fridge. Add in some fun, seasonal decor, and don’t forget all the tasty treats!
Read on because I’ve put together some stress-free Christmas tips to help you organize a memorable and meaningful party, whether it’s for two people or 102.
step 1: clean and organize
You and I both know that no matter how hard we may try to keep guests out of the kitchen, they’re going to be right there wanting to chat while we’re trying to put the finishing touches on the meal. Don’t fight it. To get holiday stress relief, here’s what you need to do…
Take a good, long look around your kitchen. Is it clean and neat? Pay particular attention to nooks and crannies where dust bunnies like to gather because you just know Aunt Martha will spot them. You do not want to entertain well-intentioned house cleaning advice while you’re hosting. So, a week before the party, scrub down every part of the kitchen and all other rooms that you know guests will gravitate to. If finding time to do cleaning for Christmas is tough, hire a cleaning service. Your guests will appreciate the effort and seeing your appliances sparkle is deeply satisfying!
One of the perks of any of the iio fridges is that they’re easy to clean. Those chrome handles just need a quick wipe to make them shine. The RR1 CRBR has multi-flow 360° technology that keeps air fully circulating no matter how many appetizers, chopped onions, or drinks you’ve packed into the fridge.
Proper airflow does two important jobs. First, items are cooled to the right temperature quickly, which stops unwanted bacteria growth. Second, it helps keep the fridge smelling fresh and clean. If I’m going to let my party guests help themselves to the drinks I’ve stored in the fridge, I need to make sure their eyes and nose aren’t put off when they pull on that pretty chrome handle and face the contents in the fridge.
step 2: have a plan
Traffic flow can get tricky when too many people congregate in one area and block access to other areas. I solve that problem by organizing my home into stations. Arrange a small seating or standing area in a corner of the kitchen. Guests can chat with you from there without being in your way.
The area around the fridge is another point of potential traffic jams. I don’t want guests to feel crowded when they’re helping themselves to drinks. Refrigerator shelving must be organized so drinks are kept apart from any ingredients I need to prepare the meal. Both the iio VR1-MRS and the RR1 CRBR offer a wine rack and bottle-friendly shelving. The fridges are also slim enough that they take up minimal space in the kitchen while still offering plenty of storage.
step 3: festive kitchen chic
Decorating is always the fun part of party prep, right? Did I mention that iio fridges come in an array of colors that easily fit into any holiday decor? You can have the iio RR1 CRBR in your choice of white, champagne, bordeaux, or black. Yes, a black fridge would look awesome adorned with a pretty, red wreath! Or you can have the iio VR1-MRS in white, cream, sky blue, red, or matte black.
Go ahead and try some of my favorite go-to decorating tips:
- make a gingerbread house and put it on display or let your guests decorate it!
- lay fresh garlands along the countertop
- use a cute, table-top tree as a centerpiece
- place holiday-themed accessories, like pretty tree ornaments or festive elves, on shelves and window ledges
- hang a wreath on the cabinets or over the range hood
Here’s a handy re-cap of my tried-and-true tips for hosting a fun, stress-free party:
- make a detailed plan that includes the menu, workstations, and guest stations
- Serve one simple cocktail
- make as much as you can in advance and buy the rest
- set the mood with candlelight, music, and seasonal decor
- keep a variety of drinks at the ready in the fridge – alcoholic and non-alcoholic choices.
Contact us! We’ll help you find the right iio fridge for your home and personality!
try these favorite holiday recipes
What would a party be without good holiday fare? I make these recipes every year and they’re always a huge hit.
Hibiscus Rum Punch
This is a gorgeous pink, tropical-tasting, drink that’s perfect poured into tall glasses. Go ahead and prepare this cocktail a day or two in advance. It will stay fresh in the fridge for up to 4 days.
6 cups boiling water
1/2 cup dried hibiscus flowers
1 cup honey
2 cups white or spiced rum
1 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp Angostura bitters
1. Bring water to a boil in a kettle. Meanwhile, place hibiscus flowers into a container large enough to hold the full 6 cups of water. Pour boiling water over the flowers and let steep for 10 minutes. Strain the tea into another container; discard the flowers. While tea is still warm, stir in the honey. Place the container into the fridge to cool completely.
2. Add the rum, lime juice, and bitters; stir well.
If you’re planning on using this dough to make cookies, just bake for 10-15 minutes and allow them to cool before icing. Making a gingerbread house will require longer cooking, and I’ve explained how to handle that in the recipe instructions. Visit a bulk food store for all the candy you’ll need to decorate the gingerbread house.
For the dough:
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ginger
1-1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves
3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp butter at room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup
4 cups icing sugar (aka confectioner’s sugar or powdered sugar)
4 egg whites
1 Tbsp glycerine
1 Tbsp lemon juice
Directions for the dough:
1. Stir together dry ingredients; set aside.
2. Using a blender, cream butter and brown sugar until light. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the egg and maple syrup. Beat on low speed until just combined.
3. While the blender is running, gradually add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
4. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured board. Knead until smooth, 1-2 minutes. At this point, you can roll out and bake the dough or cover it with plastic wrap and store in the fridge until you’re ready.
To bake cookies:
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. Roll out the dough to about a 1/4 thickness. Use your favorite cookie cutters. Space cookies about one inch apart on a cookie sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes. Remove cookies to a wire rack and cool completely before decorating. The cookies will continue to harden a bit as they cool. Store in an airtight container or freeze them.
To bake a gingerbread house
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. Roll out enough dough to cover the entire baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes.
3. Lower the oven temperature to 300°F.
4. Cut out the pieces needed for the house.
5. Place the cookie sheet back into the oven and bake for another 10-15 minutes.
6. Remove the house pieces to a wire rack and cool completely.
Beat egg whites until light. While the blender is running, gradually add the icing sugar; combine well. Add glycerine and lemon juice. Stir until the icing is smooth and stiff. Keep the icing covered with plastic wrap to avoid drying it out.
To assemble house:
Spoon icing into a pastry bag fitted with a round tip. Carefully pipe the icing along one edge of a wall piece and join to another wall piece. Prop the pieces against a glass or some other container that will keep the pieces upright. Allow the icing to harden. Continue until all parts of the house are attached. Once the house is securely “glued”, start decorating!