We’ve all been there. You’re at a Christmas party. You’re hungry. And the main course is nowhere near ready. Suddenly you aren’t just hungry… you’re hangry–hungry AND angry! And the chips and dip the host set out just aren’t going to get you through social hour.

As the host of your own holiday party, you’d be mortified to leave your guests hangry. The goal is to have a seamless night with happy guests and an easy, breezy, low-maintenance-yet-delicious meal. That means the appetizers need to meet all those standards, and believe us, that’s no easy feat.

But, luckily, there are some SUPER simple ways to step up social hour at a Christmas gathering, so read on to learn how to create the ultimate charcuterie board–one that will NEVER leave a guest hangry.

Cover Your Bases

You’ve seen it. It’s the standard meat and cheese tray from the grocer and it leaves much to be desired. Sure, it’s perfect for the office party. After all, why shouldn’t the food match right along with the awkward atmosphere?

What you probably don’t know is that setting up something more well-rounded is just as easy, and will make you look like a genius when your guests wander toward the food table before the meal is ready. Because there they’ll meet meats and cheeses they’re excited to eat and pairings they’ll remember until next Christmas.

So don’t stop with ham and cheddar. Visit your local deli counter to see what kind of unexpected finds are there, and don’t forget the baguette, condiments, and jam that will really take things to the next level. Have fun with it!

Know Your Audience

If you’re serving to a down-home family that loves country-comfort food, maybe leave the stinky cheeses alone, and if there are kids involved don’t forget to include some basics they’ll enjoy. Because it doesn’t matter how much time and effort you put in, it’s useless if no one will eat it!

This doesn’t mean you need to limit the selection to cheddar and ham, but it does mean you’ll need to consider your guests’ pallets and keep things a little more traditional. You can ask your local deli counter for some suggestions to spice things up without getting too crazy.

But if you’re catering to your ritzy boss or a crowd that’s ready to get fancy for the holiday, your charcuterie is your chance to shine! Use some ingredients you’ve never heard of and go wild!

Remember… We’re here to help!

Whatever you decide to do for your appetizers, just remember that we’re here to help. At The Meating Place you have a team of extremely knowledgeable staff who can guide you into excellent pairings and help you make unexpected selections for your guests. We even make charcuterie boards for you to boot, because let’s face it, ain’t nobody got time for that!

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