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Entertaining with ease

Reinvent family traditions with minimal fuss

Created date

November 23rd, 2010

Come Christmas Eve, as stores usher out last-minute shoppers and the hectic holiday pace slows for a few brief hours, family and friends will gather in Sue Worth s apartment at Highland Springs for her annual Christmas Eve party. I ve had a Christmas Eve party for as long as I can remember, says Worth. My mother used to host a Christmas Eve party when I was a girl. My daughter, who lives in Colorado Springs, always comes in for the party. I guess you could say it s a family tradition.

Focus on people, not preparations

Since moving toHighland Springs in 2006, Worth and her husband, Dick, have relied on Highland Springs catering services to prepare food platters for the party. It s so easy to host the party now, says Worth. I pick out the menu with Roben [Brannon, catering director at Highland Springs], and the platters are brought up at five o clock on Christmas Eve. I used to do all the cooking myself. Now I can enjoy my guests and let Roben take care of the food. Worth typically invites about 25 family members and friends to the party. We used to live at the far north end of Richardson, so we only moved about a mile up the road when we came to Highland Springs, says Worth. We ve lived in this area for over 35 years, and there are several families who have become like family to us. We have all ages at the party. I ve seen many of our guests grow from babies to adults with children of their own.

No-fuss entertaining

And while Worth s Christmas Eve party is a much-loved tradition, it s not the only holiday entertaining she does. She also belongs to a women s philanthropic organization called P.E.O. Members take turns hosting the monthly meetings in their homes. I sign up for the December meeting because the clubhouse is always decorated so beautifully for Christmas, says Worth. Roben caters the meal in the dining room, so there s very little preparation for me. I feel as though I can continue to entertain much longer now because she takes care of the food.

Long distance? ' No problem

For families who are spread across several cities, the facilities and services offered at Erickson Living communities make it easy to plan a get-together. L.D. and Judith Golike moved toEagle s Trace in 2009 from Humble, just northeast of Houston. They have one son living in the Champions area, another living in Dallas, and a third son in Austin. Their daughter lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The couple recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with a reception for family and friends in the living room of the Audubon clubhouse, followed by a more intimate dinner for immediate family in a private dining room. Bonnie [Neal, catering director at Eagle s Trace] was wonderful to work with, says Mrs. Golike. My daughter in New Mexico called her and planned the menu. Bonnie also coordinated with my son s significant other, who is a pastry chef in Austin and made all the desserts for the party. Having the party catered by the Eagle s Trace staff eased everyone s minds. Planning the food was a huge job, and Bonnie took the load off, says Mrs. Golike. I know my kids would have done it, but three of them live out of town. It just made it easier all around.

Everyday celebrations

Of course, family gatherings don t have to wait for a special occasion. In addition to the catering services offered at both communities, Highland Springs and Eagle s Trace offer a range of entertaining options. From a casual meal in the caf to a spectacular Sunday brunch, Erickson Living makes it easy for families to gather round the table.