Procrastinators unite! We understand that life gets busy this time of year with office parties, cookie exchanges, family in town, and gift purchasing. Christmas Eve is arriving (tomorrow!) and New Year’s Eve quickly following… We gathered a few fast, and we mean really quick ideas, to pull off a last minute party, or help with any final lingering details that have possibly been put off, or perhaps not considered, until now…
Use social media: Last minute party planning doesn’t have time for snail mail. Simply create an event on Facebook with your party details: date, time, and ask guests to RSVP by posting what they can bring. (Last minute planning will call for some help from your guests to pull this off.) Also, do not be disappointed if at this late in the game, a lot of people may not be able to come– all you really need for a good party is three to five guests, a good playlist, and food and drinks, which brings us to our next tip….
Food: Keep this simple and serve lots of appetizers and finger foods in lieu of a big sit-down meal. Start by pulling together a cheese plate with fruits, and vegetable crudités. (Ask guests to fill with dips and bite size desserts.) Apps are easy and festive any time of the year. Then consider if you have time to pull something together like a winter chili, or a holiday ham to make miniature sandwiches. If not, make sure there are lots of appetizers so no one leaves hungry. Running super low on time? So many of us get cookie and sweets overload this time of year. Ask guests if they’d like to bring any extra sweets to share and place them all on a decorative tray. Voila, an instant sweets display!
Drinks: Basic is best when throwing a last-minute party and chances are you will not have time to mix beverages all evening. For Christmas celebrations, serve the basic wine and beer. For reds we suggest a lighter body variety-they are easy to drink and pair best with finger foods without having wimpy flavor. Try Tempranillo, Pinot Noir, or Gamay. Good whites too offer are Sauvignon Blancs, Chenin Blancs, or a buttery smooth Chardonnay. For suds we always prefer local–perhaps we are biased, but Colorado locals like Boulder Beer Company’s Slopestyle Winter IPA, Good Juju from Left Hand, and Great Divide Brewing Company’s Hibernation Ale are comforting drinkable local beers, that also tend to be great conversation pieces.
New Years Eve gathering? Go with, what else? Bubbles! Serve Champagne or proceseco and if you feel like adding a like something more festive, sprinkle in pomegranate seeds, or raspberries. It feels a little more fancy to have garnish.
Décor: Use what you have and keep it simple. Already have a tree up? Great! Set a small table close by with beverages for guests to serve themselves. Have wrapped gifts hiding? Bring them out for decorations! Light candles for instant ambience and tune into a holiday station so you don’t have to fuss with making a playlist for the evening. Fresh cranberries can add extra and inexpensive holiday flare in a bowl or floating in Mason jars with votives. If you have time to purchase flowers, amaryllis, poinsettias and lilies are holiday classics. For New Years, simply add a cute mistletoe toe ball for more than just midnight kisses.
And finally: Remember, your guests will be thrilled to be at your party no matter what details are missed! The holidays are about spending time together, relaxing, and having fun, so do just that!
Wishing you all the happiest of holidays,
The Serendipity Catering Team
(Pictured Right: Serendipity Winter Cupcakes with Coconut Lavender Cream and Frosty Embellishments)