It’s the season for parties. But with so much to do, and time running out, it’s easiest to keep things simple! Planning a quick cocktail party for friends, neighbors, or people at the office can be the best way to connect, catch up, and still have time for all the other things that seem to pop up on your calendar at this time of year.
Holiday Cocktail Party Decorating
If you’re going to take the time to have a party, make it memorable. Assuming your home or apartment needs only a simple dust and clear up, let’s look at decorations.
No need to set up a tree if that’s not part of your plans. A centerpiece of greens, colorful ornaments, and a few candles, collected into a large glass vase can look beautiful. Midwest Living features a beautiful Cranberry Candles centerpiece that combines all of the above displayed in a simple tray you may have lying around just waiting for it’s moment to shine.
Other options include displaying ornaments in family heirloom bowls or platters, creating flower or candle holders from holiday candy favorites, and filling jars with colorful beads and dried herbs. Make the centerpiece reflective of your own style, and that of your guests. They’ll feel right at home.
Holiday Cocktail Party Recipes
Cookie exchanges and complicated appetizers area great if you’ve got nothing but time on your hands, but if you’re working full-time, trying to get around to all the office parties, and fit in time for shopping and visiting family, you may be looking for far simpler fare. Why not feature healthy appetizers at your cocktail party to counteract all the sweets and heavier foods most parties feature. FoodNetwork.com has some great ones including greek yogurt dip, hot crab dip, and even a light version of guacamole that may surprise you.
Also consider a signature beverage to cut down on liquor costs, and keep things simple. Why not offer a warming Mexican Hot Cocoa like the one from Epicurious. Made with chocolate liqueur and ancho chili powder, it’ll tantalize, and can be made ahead and kept warm on the stove, sending out the scent of cinnamon, chocolate and and chile! For those who want something cold, fill a cooler with bottles of red and white wine, some hard cider, or seasonal beers, and your cocktail party will be ready to go!
Don’t Forget Cocktail Party Essentials
So now comes the important parts of party planning. How much do you need and what should you have on hand? To show your guests you really care, consider skipping the plastic glassware, and plastic cutlery, and going for glass and real silverware. There are multiple sources for inexpensive but nice glassware, dishes, and cutlery. From boxstores to online restaurant supply stores, you’ll have your choice. Order extra to allow for breakage. You’ll enjoy yourself so much more, and matching, simple glassware can make clean up a whole lot easier as well.
Use a runner rather than a tablecloth for buffets and tables. And purchase cloth cocktail napkins that can be used year after year. Jacaranda Living offers a beautiful range of embroidered cocktail and dinner napkins perfect for a small party, or a large formal dinner.
As an added way to show your guests you care, don’t forget the powder room. Simple things like scented candles, pretty guest towels, and fancy soaps, or holiday scented hand wash add a nice touch. It can make your cocktail party stand out, and be the one your friends look forward to next year.