I am just starting to brainstorm about my dad's big 6-0 birthday in mid-December. This is a very busy time for me, along with everyone else, so I know I'll want to send invites several weeks in advance and have a good idea of what I need to do before the holidays hit.
It's pretty much a blank canvas right now. The house will be decorated Christmas-y of course. And while it's not intended as a holiday party, I do not mind tipping my hat to the season and serving more holiday-appropriate foods.
I anticipate around 25-35 guests. I don't know if it makes more sense to have an appetizer/cocktail party or a dinner party. My thoughts on the pros/cons:
Appetizers are more labor intensive while a dinner could be a large pieces of roasted meat(s) and dishes of sides.
I don't have enough tables for a seated dinner. I could probably rent tables and fit them in but the expense will go up and the house already gets congested with christmas decorations.
appetizers enable people to mingle more and not remain stuck in one seat
on the other hand, it's hard to juggle food plate and drink plate and whenever I'm at a cocktail party I'm always desperately looking for a place to sit and rest
If you have a recommendation on the style of the party, if you could then please make food suggestions?
If sit-down, I'm thinking something like a fancy lasagna or stuffed shells, rolls, salad, antipasto tray, wine, and store-bought cake (or likely cheesecake since that's dad's preference). Or Standing rib roast, roasted or smoked turkey, possibly a fancy macaroni and cheese dish, salad, another veggie and again dessert.
I'm feeling a little more lost with regard to if I go with appetizers because I simply will not have the time to do it all by scratch. Probably a big antipasto platter, italian meats tray, maybe some kind of beef/gorgonzola crostini or mini beef & horseradish sandwiches, shrimp....yeah I'm a little lost and boring here.
Thanks for the recommendations. I need to start sketching this out before the end of the year gets away from me.