The festive season is one we want to spend with friends, but it can be hard to know where to start when inviting everyone over for cocktails.
Lisa, Catering Manager at SAVOR...Catering by SMG, chatted with us and shared her tips for a fabulous holiday party. Read on for her guide to creating a simple, elegant celebration stress-free! From family parties to banquets for dozens, Lisa has suggestions for an evening you and your guests will both enjoy.
Planning is Key
- Never shop without a list and a strategy. Going into a story with the attitude of "I'll find something" is a good way to break your budget and create unneccessary worry for yourself. Be organized, and it will pay off later.
- Prepare a killer holiday playlist. Research unexpected artists who may have lesser-known Christmas albums, and build your music around a unique track. This will set the tone for your guests and create a fun, relaxed atmosphere.
- Keep it simple and casual. A party doesn't have to include an elaborate theme - you can never go wrong with classic, subtle decorations and quick, yummy treats.
Deck the Halls
- Monochromatic is the way to go. Find vintage ornaments, candles, or vases in the same color scheme -- it doesn't have to be red and green. Try white for a sophisticated look, blue for the unexpected, or have fun with metallics.
- Think in threes. A tablescape is a quick way to dress up a room. Find three items that work together and arrange them at different heights. Bonus tip: Use books or boxes you have in the house to create platforms for your decorations. All you need is a tablecloth to cover it up!
- Don't ignore the bathroom. Your guests will be in and out all night, and it doesn't take much to bring a welcoming, homey feel to the space. A sprig of fresh evergreen, holiday candle, or twinkle lights in a vase show that you think about the little things.
- Buffets make for easy dinner parties. Your guests can serve themselves and give you more time to play host! Don't be afraid to invite everyone to bring something they would like to share.
- Who doesn't love mini appetizers? Anything wrapped in bacon is sure to be a hit. Try sausages, shrimp, or pineapple. Spinach cheese balls, taco stuffed mini sweet peppers, and vegetable crudités are one-bite snacks perfect for a cocktail party. Don't forget dessert -- mini pies, tarts, and chocolate-dipped fruit are easy-to-eat treats.
- Be unexpected with your serveware. Display food on giant wooden cutting boards and vary the size of your platters. Flat is boring -- mix it up with height.
- For a twist on champagne, put pink cotton candy in the bottom of the glasses and pour bubbly over it. A sweet drink perfect for New Year's Eve!
- Add small pops of color around the house with pink or red poinsettias. A little goes a long way.
- Send guests off with customized chocolate boxes and handwritten cards.
Lisa's biggest tip? "Stay relaxed and enjoy yourself. If you are having a good time, your guests will, too."