Be the Host with the Most this Holiday Season

Hosting season is upon us! Be the host with the most this holiday season with these tips and tricks inspired by your favourite Manulife Centre retailers.


Drink or DIY

While the idea of creating a signature cocktail for your holiday party sounds like a great one, in reality prepping cocktails for a lot of guests can be a time consuming effort, especially when you might have something cooking in the next room. To remedy this, try setting up a DIY cocktail bar for your guests. Pick up a variety of interesting spirits and liqueurs from the LCBO, provide a variety of mix-ins and garnishes at Independent City Market and let your guests go wild creating their perfect cocktail (or mocktail!). Provide some recipes as inspiration to get them started so you can finish off your meal preparation with calm, ease and little distraction.


Go Nuts!

There’s nothing worse than stressing about having your dinner on the table immediately after guests arrive. So satiate their hunger by having a nice, light snack on hand that guests can nibble at as they make their DIY’d cocktail. These Sweet & Spicy Candied Walnuts from the LCBO Food & Drink archives (this recipe is from 2002!) are seriously the best candied nuts that are completely moreish and will have your guests begging to share the recipe. Don’t like walnuts? Pecans are equally great. Not a fan of cajun spice? Give it a 2019 twist by sprinkling in some Korean gochujaru pepper flakes. This recipe is endlessly riffable and is guaranteed to be party of your holiday arsenal for years to come.


Be Prepared

Just because the holidays are here doesn’t mean normal life can stop. Be prepared for the week ahead even when hosting a dinner party on Sunday night by building meal prep into your fancy dinner prep. Cooking up a protein and side veg? Make extra to top off a grain bowl, add into stir fries or have on sandwiches throughout the week – all you need is to make a great sauce (we love a tahini sauce) to bring it to life! Making pasta for a crowd? Double your sauce recipe and throw together a lasagna that you can leave in the fridge and bake when needed. There’s no need for the stress of the week to stop you from having a joyous holiday, so thinking ahead like this is a great way to make sure you feel organized throughout the busiest season.


Game Night

While the conversation and general yuletide cheer should carry your evening through to the end, it’s always great to have a game on hand to add some entertainment to an already incredible night. Classics like Taboo and Trivial Pursuit are always great, but newer games like the Blockbuster Game and What do you Meme? make for some hilarious holiday memories. With games like these you also can play without following the rules; simply pull out the cards, ask some fun questions and see where the rest of the evening takes you! Indigo is the best place to pick up a fun game for your holiday gathering – they also make a great host’s gift if you’re not doing the hosting this year.


For all of your holiday needs be sure to visit Manulife Centre and its incredible host of retailers. Don’t forget to take advantage of our complimentary gift wrapping service, valet parking and pay a visit to the brand new Eataly Toronto at Bay and Bloor.

It’s all here.






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