Disclosure: This post is sponsored by BJ's Wholesale Club. I attended a Holiday Preview Event where I either saw and/or got to try out the items listed in this post. All opinions are 100% my own and do not necessarily represent those of the company.
Growing up my mom always executed the best holiday parties and dinners for Christmas and New Year's. I don't know how she did because money was always tight. However, almost every year she'd sit us older girls down and we'd plan out everything from the menu to decor and gifts. Myself and some of my favorite Queen City bloggers got together to attend the BJ's Holiday Preview Event earlier this month at our local BJ's Wholesale Club.
I had blast getting to know more about BJ's Wholesale Club, checking out all of their holiday goodies, and sampling some good eats. I even got in a little shopping. Attending this event definitely made me think of my mom's holiday parties, how much they rocked and that maybe it's time I start hosting a few of my own. Therefore, I put together this ultimate shopping list of some of my favorite foods, decor and gifts/favors that I saw and tried at BJ's. Having seen their prices first hand, I feel confident saying that I'll be getting the most bang for my buck.
What better place to start planning than with the food. And let me tell y'all, BJ's has one of the best selections in terms of food. Meats, cheeses, fresh produce and more. They were kind enough to put together a little luncheon/taste testing for us and it did not disappoint! Also, I should mention that BJ's does accept Apple Pay, EBT and manufacturer coupons! So, let's dig into this list.
Lobster Crostini by Cheating Gourmet- New to BJ's this yummy appetizer is made with premium Maine Lobster meat blended with a creamy cheddar cheese spread over a nice toasted French baguette. I was in lobster heaven. Since, JJ has a shellfish allergy, it had been well over a year since I'd had any. You won't regret putting this item on your menu and neither will your guests.
J. Scott Bacon Wrapped Tenderloin- Bite size beef tenderloin sprinkled with steak seasoning and wrapped in a smoked hickory bacon? Yes, I don't mind if I do. These were so flavorful! Not that I was expecting anything less because bacon makes anything taste good, but the steak seasoning really took it up a notch.
Wellsley Farms Mini Pastry Platter and Assorted Cake Platter- The Mini Pastry platters include ready to serve Old World pastry treats that offer sweet flavors of tangy fruit, chocolate, mint, toffee and more. If you're like me and my little brother, then no Christmas dinner or party is complete without a cake platter, especially one that includes cheese cake and carrot cake. And oh delicious the Wellsley Farms carrot cake was! I may or may not be getting one for my birthday this Friday.
Wellsley Farms Prepared Foods- Not good at cooking from scratch? No worries because BJ's has you covered with a great selection of prepared foods from Wellsley Farms. From macaroni and cheese to chicken breasts stuffed with asparagus and wrapped in bacon, your guests won't go hungry. All you have to do is follow the heating/baking instructions on the packaging. The kiddies and I had the chicken breasts and they were delicious. I think I'm going to take a break from cooking from scratch at least once a week now.
Now that we have the menu nailed down, let's move on down the list to decor. I learned from my mom that decor is important because it will keep guests occupied before and after the eats have been served. How? Haven't you ever walked into room decorated so beautifully that you got lost trying to take in everything? And don't don't forget table, it's like a one big centerpiece for your dining room.
Gemmy 10' Animated Lightsync Airblown Frosty- This BJ's exclusive outdoor decoration is the perfect way to show your guests (and neighbors) that you've embraced the holiday spirit. Frosty inflates in seconds and will definitely be a showstopper. Down here in the Carolinas, we love big inflatable decor.
Holiday Decor Accent Rug- If you're looking a more inexpensive way to add a little touch of outdoor holiday decor, check out BJ's exclusive selection of holiday accent rugs. They're under $20, adorable and functional! How cute is that Rudolph one above?
Christmas Tree- Whether you want an indoor or outdoor tree, you will have a wide selection to choose from at BJ's. There were pre-lit trees, short trees, and plain trees. The Sylvania Pre-lit Frasier Fur was my favorite! (Available online)
|I hide to hang this up high out of the reach of little fingers.|
CEMOI Chocolate Tree Decorations- After you've picked out your tree, be sure to pick up some of these festive and edible chocolate decorations to hang on it. It'll be like a special treat for your guests.
We had a beautiful tablescape for the luncheon part of our visit. Be sure to watch the brief video clip below. Be prepared to see some of the realest looking disposable china and silverware that I have seen in years.
Looked real didn't it? Besides the realist look of the plates and utensils, I loved how simple, but festive the overall place setting was. Want to duplicate this look? The products are listed below.
TrendWare Metallic Plastic Utensils- The shiny on finish on these will definitely have your guests thinking you ran out to pick up an extra set of real silverware. They're very sturdy and not flimsy like other brands I've tried.
TrendWare Plastic Dessert and Dinner Plates- Again TrendWare scores a home run because we all thought that the china was real. The details on these plates were flawless. Although, these are not microwave- or dishwasher- safe, you certainly don't have to worry about your dinner meeting the floor or your lap. These are very sturdy and will allow you and your guests to move around with your plates in hand without fear of your plate caving in if you're throwing a less formal shindig.
Living Home Christmas Handmade Gift Tags- That cute name card on the napkins is actually a gift tag! Super cute, right?! Just slip your folded napkin through the string, write your guests name on the back and you're done. These are also exclusive to BJ's Wholesale Club. (Available online)
Living Home Set of 2 Porcelain Platters- Exclusive to BJ's, these serving platters are both dishwasher- and microwave- safe. They also have side handles for easy lifting. You get one large and one medium platter. The large is perfect for your meat (turkey, ham, etc) and the medium is great for holding your desserts or sides (remember that baby spinach?). (Available online)
Of course, a holiday party or dinner isn't complete without gifts/favors for your guests. With over 7,500 in each wholesale club, BJ's is guaranteed to have a little something for everyone and for every budget.
Sugar Grove Tapered Nut Tower- Who wouldn't love milk and dark chocolate covered almonds, peanuts, macadamias and cashews? This tower is exclusive to BJ's and comes pre-wrapped.
Ghirardelli Mug Gift Set (4 count)- One can never have enough mugs. This is especially true when said mugs come stuffed with Ghirardelli cocoa and chocolate, Walkers cookies and a peppermint stick. You can break this set up into four individual gifts or wrap and give as one gift. The best part is that these are gender neutral.
Satina Cosmetic Brush Set with Case- I actually received this set my secret santa, My Mommy Brain, the of the Holiday Preview Event and I love it! It comes with a full-size and travel-size set. Both have their own storage cases and could easily be broken into two different gifts/favors. The perfect gift if you're throwing a party for your girlfriends. (Available online)
Lindor Party Favors (6 count)- That gold box with the bells on it from the tablescape clip earlier we the Lindt Chocolate Lindor Party Favors. Each box comes with four truffles and they literally melt in your mouth. If you love rich flavors of chocolate and buttery caramel, then your guests will too. You could either set these out on the dinner table as part of the decor or line them up on a table by the door to pass out as your guests head home.
This gift is gender neutral and even a great favor for kids, but be sure to ask their parents if they're allowed to have candy first! This set is exclusive to BJ's.
Gift Cards- From Burger King to AMC and Spa Wellness, BJ's Wholesale Club has one of the best selections of gift cards. I loved that some of these gift cards were sold in three-packs for example for $30 you could get a set of three gift cards and each card will have $10 on it. Perfect for kids and teenagers as well as adults and your wallet. Also, be sure to check out their Extreme Value gift cards. (Available online)
And there you have it folks! I do recommend that if you live near a BJ's that you go and check them out. Membership starts at $50 and will pay for itself with all the savings you will rack up. Also, you guys know that I have talked a lot on here about giving back and BJ's does a great job of giving back to the community.
They have grant program for nonprofits, sponsor schools and even participate in Toys for Tots. Lastly, just a tip for all of my NC readers, if you are a state employee you can log into your SEANC account and get a BJ's Wholesale Club membership at a discounted price! Be sure to visit them on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date on all happenings. Happy shopping and check out my recap video below and more pictures from trip here!
Do you host or attend holiday parties? If so, what do you enjoy most about them?