Monday, December 5, 2011

Casual Holiday Party Time....

Are you planning on throwing a Christmas, Boxing Day or New Year's Eve holiday party at home? Would you like to do that as nice and inexpensive as possible?

First, remember it's all about presentation.  You can attain elegance on a budget, by keeping your decorations simple and the food table brightly colored.  The idea is to use as much of what you already have on hand to make things look good.   For instance, use real plates, cutlery and cloth or fancy paper napkins.
    .  Send an e-card or e-vite instead of paper invitations.
    .  Almost every town has a dollar store, discount emporiums or
   low cost retailer.  Shop there for decorations that you don't already
   have around your house.   Use white tea &/or floating candles
   along with pillar candles wrapped with ribbon.  Surround them
   with pinecones for a more festive look.  You can also fill your
   fireplace with the candles and/or pine cones.  Use tree decorations 
   to string along stairs or over mantels.  Wine glasses can be turned
   upside down if you run out of holders.  You can also fill glasses
   with sand, cat box filler or decorative rocks to hold taper
   candles in place.

  •     .       For inexpensive holiday scents simmer some apple cider, fresh cloves and cinnamon on your stove, instead of buying pricey pre-made potpourri; you can also try simmering cinnamon and vanilla extract.  It gives the aroma of freshly baked goodies. 
               Use a roll of quilting batting as a tablecloth.  You can make snowflakes to hang using copy paper and glitter then hang with fishing line.

  •     Offer appetizers and desserts.   Make party mix instead of 
        nuts.  Do vegetable trays instead of meat trays or at least make
        a larger vegetable tray than meat tray.  Have crock-pots or
        warmers filled with pre-made (chestnut, etc.) soup, chowder,
        chili. Add a crunchy breadbasket.   You can also try layering
        veggies and dip in individual servings.  Fill votive
        candleholders with berry salad.  If you are good at baking,
        make your own desert; if not try buying some festive deserts.

  •     .      To minimize the cost of alcohol you can make available lemonade, coffee, tea or other soft drinks and a big bowl of alcoholic fruit punch.  Or, tell friends to bring a bottle of their favorite alcoholic beverage to introduce to others.  You can also empty box wines (like black box) into decanters.
        .       Here are a few more ideas for your table snacks.

Warm a mix of olive types with a bit of olive oil and a pinch of crushed red pepper in a sauté pan. Serve in small bowls as a pre-dinner snack.
* Roast whole raw almonds in a 350-degree oven for 15 minutes. Toss with Kosher salt, a touch of olive oil, and some citrus zest.

* Make your own gourmet chips by toasting pita bread in a 350-degree oven for 15 minutes. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and olive oil.   

* Cube cheese, maraschino cherries, and olives skewers and place with assorted crackers and/or assorted crunchy bread.

*Stuffed baby Red potatoes or twice baked potatoes.

*Baked ziti.   

*Hot Spinach Spread with Pita Chips.
*Spicy meatballs.  

*Variety grilled chicken wings.
*Stuffed baby Red .

Rent Christmas CDs from the library and play them during the party.  You can also play old fashion board games or watch movies.  Have children make and decorate ornaments.

  •     .  If you are a guest at a party.
        .  Bring something along.  A bottle of wine, dessert, etc.
        .  Don't arrive late.
        .  Don't be a wallflower.
        .  Don't lose control, especially at a work party.
        .  Don't show up your boss at a work party.
        .  Don't tell racy jokes, especially at a work party.
       .   Most of all HAVE FUN!!!!

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Until next time, when we can chit-chat again! 


Amelia Jones said...

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TTimeChitChat said...

Thank you. I will take a look at your blog.