Thursday, Apr 16
Yesterday, I shared with you my five favorite First Holy Communion party ideas, but for me, that’s the easy part. The difficult part is planning and executing the food. Being one of seven children, our guest list is always quite long for sacraments. And if you factor in friends and their children, we are usually looking at somewhere between 35-50 people, kids included. Given that First Holy Communion Masses at our parish are on a Saturday morning, we like to offer a buffet lunch at our home afterwards. When our oldest received his 1st HC, I was very pregnant with our fifth, Little One. I really was not up for cooking and prepping, so I ordered all the food from Corner Bakery and then paid our cleaning lady and friend Mariska to come to the house while we were at Mass to brew the coffee and receive the delivery. It ended up being more than we would usually spend if we prepared the food ourselves, but because of the timing with my pregnancy, it was worth every penny. Mariska put the food into serving bowls and arranged things on platters for me. More than anything, it was such a gift to have someone at the house taking care of everything so that I could just focus on Smarty Pants and enjoy the day. I have no regrets doing it the way we did the first time around, however I must say, I really enjoyed the process of doing everything myself last year. I saved us money and I had the satisfaction of proving to myself that I could do it on my own.
The catered luncheon:
- tossed salad
- fruit salad
- a variety of small sandwiches
- hot pesto and chicken pasta
- cake, candy pops
The homemade luncheon:
- roast beef
- All the fixings to make sandwiches with the ham and roast beef
- potato chips
- cookies, brownies, muffins, candy pops
As you can see, the foods that were prepared for us were pretty labor intensive. There is no way I would even attempt to make a hot pasta dish for a party that I was hosting. Even assembling sandwiches and cutting up fruit salad would be very time consuming. So when I prepared all the food, with the help of my mom mind you, I only offered things that could be prepared in advance and served at room temperature. My mom saw the list of how many guests we would be serving lunch to and was very concerned that we had no tossed salad or fruit salad. I was not worried at all because we had two different types of meats for sandwiches and tons of desserts. Who needs fruit when you can have a cookie and a brownie and a muffin and a pop?! I also was taking into consideration that the guest of honor, Dimples, said nothing about fruit or salad. As I recall, she asked for “ham and potato chips.” Girl knows what she wants! The spiral ham was pre-cooked, so we just heated it up and did the glaze early that morning before Mass. And the roast beef was a special gift from my parents. Mom prepared it perfectly the night before and then sliced it up the morning of the party and arranged it on a platter, all ready to be put on a Costco roll slathered in mayo or horse radish sauce. It was such a treat. In my book, sacraments are an occasion when, within reason, parents should pull out all the stops to lay out a feast. What it communicates to our sons and daughters is that this is a momentous event, more important than a birthday or a prom or a graduation. Of course, the sacrament itself is the greatest gift, but the celebration afterwards reflects that.
For my son’s party we had a local bakery create something based on a cake I found on Pinterest. It turned out so beautiful and was absolutely delicious. For Dimples, I bought a big container of mini brownies at Costco, baked some little muffins called French Puffs, and made white chocolate cake pops. Then my friend Ashley baked and decorated sugar cookies that were not only beautiful, but delicious as well. She even put Dimples’ monogram on some of the cross-shaped cookies. They were so special and everyone enjoyed having something other than cake.
/Cross pop mold/ Photo credit Mark Brock
Please feel free to fire away with questions in the Comment Box! I love hearing from you. And listed below are some other posts I’ve done to share ideas surrounding First Holy Communion. It’s such a special time in the lives of our children and I really have enjoyed making sure that the Communicant knows that. I hope these posts are helpful to you as you plan!
Come back tomorrow for a list of our family’s favorite First Holy Communion books!