You may be hosting a holiday party, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend all afternoon cooking in the kitchen. Make it extra easy on yourself by purchasing all your party supplies — from food and drinks to decor and dishware — at one place. Make your place feel even more festive by hanging a decorative holiday wreath above your buffet bar. Get the how-to below brought to you by Evite in partnership with Target.
Since guests tend to gather around the food and drinks table, set up a simple buffet bar with finger foods so guests can continue to mix and mingle. When planning your party menu, try to pick classic holiday food that’s easy to eat — and make — like Archer Farms Bacon Wrapped Smokies with Cheese and Archer Farms Spanakopita. They’re guaranteed to be a huge hit and all you have to do is preheat them in the oven before guests begin to arrive. Dress up each dish by plating the food on festive serving platters.
A cheese and cracker plate is always a crowd pleaser. Put one together with essentials you can easily find at your local Target, like these Cracker Barrel Cracker Cuts. Bonus: They come pre-sliced so you don’t have to do the hard work yourself. Include at least three kinds of cheese to give guests ample options (we went with sharp white cheddar cheese, extra sharp cheddar cheese and pepper jack) and an even bigger assortment of crackers.When buying boxes of crackers, stick to something plain and simple that won’t compete with the cheese.
Offer an assortment of sweet treats that guests can nibble on during the party like these Shimmer White Chocolate M&Ms, Archer Farms Jingle Blend Trail Mix and Archer Farms Butter Toffee Caramel Popcorn. If you have leftovers at the end of the evening, you can package them up in fun favor bags to send home with guests. Round out your buffet bar with pieces of holiday decor that you can place on the table, like these gold Christmas trees and reindeer.
Offer guests festive plates and napkins to pair with your finger foods so they can mingle with other guests while they nibble.
Set up a bar cart to the side of the food and drinks table and offer a festive specialty drink, like our “Mule Tide Cheer.”Hint: It’s a traditional Moscow Mule but with a holiday twist — just add cranberry juice and rosemary. Pre-mix a pitcher so it’s easy for guests to serve themselves. You can purchase cute copper mugs, a glass pitcher and all the ingredients at your local Target. Don’t forget to check out the Target Dollar Spot items. We found an adorable chalkboard sign that we used as a makeshift drink menu as well as Christmas tree drink stirrers we stuck through fresh cranberries to use as a drink garnish. Top off each drink with a striped paper straw, sprig of rosemary and a lime round and you’re ready to start sipping.
In addition to a holiday cocktail, have a few options for wine as well as a non-alcoholic beverage on hand. Offer both red and white wine, plus sparkling water or juice like Martinelli’s Sparkling Apple Cider. Bonus points if you purchase fun holiday flavors.
NEXT: Get more holiday party ideas!