Be all that glitters when you host a happening holiday party.
Be all that glitters when you host a happening holiday party.

When it comes to holiday parties, think sparkle, glitter and shine. Even if they’re in the heart of winter, holiday parties are anything but ordinary and droll. So decide on a date, send out email or paper invitations, and get ready to merry it up at your own holiday cocktail party with our tips.

Décor
In the middle of your food table, create a dramatic but easy centerpiece by filling three different-sized clear vases (make sure one is very tall) with ornaments purchased from the dollar store. Each one should have a different color scheme – red and silver, green and silver and silver and gold. Surround the vases with garland, and strew sparkly ornaments through the garland. Lace Christmas lights through green garland on your mantle, and let your other holiday decorations speak for themselves at your holiday shindig. Light a fire in the fireplace and you’re all set.

Serving dishes
Purchase inexpensive red, green, gold or silver chargers and place white plates or platters on top of them for serving. Since a holiday party is the time to use your fine china serving pieces, load a three-tiered tray with your best salad or dinner plates and tie a silk holly branch or mistletoe to each tier. Silver or pewter serving pieces always work, and purchase wholesale wine and champagne glasses, which can be as low as $1.55 per glass, in bulk from a catering supply company.

Music
Mix serious, classic songs with funny, nostalgia-inducing ones in your holiday playlist, such as “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “Frosty the Snowman,” “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer,” “The Chanukah Song,” “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town,” “All I Want for Christmas is You,” “Run, Run Rudolph,” “Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel,” “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,”  “All I Want For Christmas is My Two Front Teeth” and “Jingle Bells.”

Cocktails
Libations at your home should either include a fully stocked bar and a seasonal cocktail, such as eggnog; two holiday cocktails (one red and one green); or a champagne bar and a non-alcoholic drink, such as water, with cucumber or lime slices for flavoring. Consider making the Poinsettia, in which you stir together ½ ounce triple sec and 3 ounces cranberry juice in a champagne flute and top with sparkling wine. Or, try a refreshing green-colored cucumber cocktail, accented with lime and mint.

Food
Instead of worrying yourself with finding out whether anyone attending your party has particular dietary restrictions, prepare a variety of hors d’oeuvres that will suit any taste and cover your bases. Make two meat-based dishes (one red meat, one poultry), two fish dishes (one fish, one shellfish) and three vegetarian dishes (one with dairy, two without). (You might consider gluten-free choices, as well.) 

Easy, but delicious, suggestions include:

Photo Credit: iStockphoto/Acik

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