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One of the things I love most about the holiday season is entertaining friends and family at home but as we all know, hosting can be stressful! From coming up with the perfect menu to executing a beautiful presentation, holiday party planning usually requires a lot of time and energy. I’m a super busy gal so over the years I’ve perfected ways to simplify my holiday party prep tremendously. This season, I’ve teamed up with GODIVA to share some of my foolproof tips for creating a stylish and sophisticated holiday party with minimal prep and no stress!

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First things first, there’s no need to create an extensive menu that requires hours in the kitchen cooking everything from scratch. If you want to simplify your party prep, don’t serve hot food. Instead, host a cocktail party with your favorite store bought sweet treats as hors d’oeuvres. This season, I’ll be serving up my favorite holiday chocolates from GODIVA with some bubbly … a decadent pairing that’s perfectly festive for the holidays.

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It’s no secret that everyone has a great time when drinks are free-flowing so you definitely want to have a signature cocktail on deck. Elevate a basic glass of bubbly with a seasonal flair by adding splash of cranberry juice with fresh cranberries as a garnish. For a non-alcoholic alternative, sub champagne with your sparkling water and mix a touch of agave with your juice for added sweetness.

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Present your store bought sweet treats on your absolute best serving pieces. You can never go wrong by mixing and matching classic whites with hints of metallics and crystal … it’s a beautiful combo that will make even the simplest snacks appear super fancy.

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Nothing beats the beauty of fresh flowers so create one stunning floral arrangement as your main decor showpiece. Here I created a beautiful jewel toned bouquet with spray painted gold thistle mixed in for a hint of holiday glitz. I recommend styling your floral arrangement the night before. This will allow your flowers a chance to open up nicely plus it will save valuable prep time the night of your party. I finished off my tablescape with a couple of ceramic holiday trees, a mix of mercury glass votives and a pre-lit artificial wreath hung on the wall to set the stage for my cocktail party.

15-minute-prep-holiday-cocktail-party_6 Serve your guests buffet-style. Creating a presentation that allows your guests to help themselves will free you up to entertain. Plus, who doesn’t love a beautiful holiday tablescape? Just like with the floral arrangement, I set out all of my serving platters and holiday decor the night before. This way, the only prep involved on the day of is to place my chocolates, light the candles and pour the drinks. It really doesn’t get any easier!
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Don’t forget to set the tone for your party with a great soundtrack. But instead of fussing over creating the perfect playlist, try my favorite Soul Christmas station on Pandora. It features all of the holiday classics with a soulful twist!  Finally, the holidays are all about celebrating the season with your friends and family – so enjoy yourself and savor every memory! Happy holidays!!

Thanks to GODIVA for partnering on this post! Photos by Caio Ferriera

1 Comment

  1. mslewis

    While I ADORE Godiva, I wouldn’t serve only candy at a cocktail party. Have, at the very least, some cheese and crackers available. Your tablescape is beautiful though, and definitely festive.