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Happy Holidays

Holiday party shortcuts

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Between decorating the house, setting your guest list, sending out invitations, and cooking up a storm, it can be easy to overlook a few easy holiday party shortcuts that will save you time and be a huge hit with your guests. Jennifer Durbin, author of Party Planning Tips for the Clueless Chick offers a few tricks to plan your holiday parties.

Simply Personalized

Signature Drink:  A fun and easy way to personalize your holiday party is with a signature drink.  Your signature drink can be alcoholic, kid friendly, original or a copycat – the options are endless.  An easy crowd pleasure is a fun holiday sangria, like one of my favorite Martha Stewart recipes: 

Classic Sangria

  • 1 orange, halved and cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1 lime, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, cored and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup green grapes, halved
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • 1 bottle (750 ml) dry red wine, such as Rioja or Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 4 cups (32 ounces) chilled lemon-lime soda
  • Ice

TIP:  A signature drink is not only easier for you to manage because you can make it ahead of time, it is often much less expensive than serving multiple drinks.

Creative Dessert Displays 

Cupcake Rack:  Have you seen those adorable pictures on Pinterest of beautiful cupcake bouquets and wondered how on earth they pulled them off?  Well, now you don't even have to worry about finding a how-to guide, all you need is a Cupcake Rack.  Just make (or buy!) your favorite cupcakes or muffins, pop them into the Cupcake Rack and you've got the perfect centerpiece for you dessert table. 

Something for Everyone  

Great Vegan/Paleo Options:  If any of your guests have severe allergies or dietary restrictions, have no fear, there are some new, YUMMY options.  Lucy's has these fabulous gluten, nut and dairy free cookies that are just delicious.  TIP:  Be sure to label all of the food on your buffet to avoid any allergy mishaps.

Guy Friendly Food:  When you are setting your holiday party menu think outside of the box.  It is fun to surprise your guests with some less traditional food options like beef jerky – why the heck not?!  The guys will love it, as will anyone who is avoiding carbs.  TIP:  Turn Krave jerky into a fun party favor by simply adding a "Here's some protein for your late night present wrapping" favor tag.

Cute and Easy Clean Up

Clean Cubes:  Keeping on top of trash and recycling during your party can be a real pain and who wants to ruin their carefully planned décor with an ugly trashcan?  All you need are these new Clean Cubes that are cute, recyclable, reusable and disposable.  You can get a small or large version in a variety of colorful designs.

So don't worry about taking a few shortcuts, it will make your life easier and you will have more time to actually enjoy yourself!

Follow the Clueless Chick on Facebook and Twitter for all of Jennifer's great party planning tips.

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