By Lauren Saylor of A Fabulous Fete - originally appeared in Snowed In Magazine.
Entertaining is pretty much inevitable around the holidays. Whether it's a bash you've been planning and slaving over for weeks, or an impromptu get together for cocktails, here are a few tips that will help. These five points help keep sanity in the insanity that IS party planning!
1. HOARD fancy candlesticks and simple plates or chargers. They make the best stands for serving
up anything from desserts to appetizers. Whenever serving several types of food, add height to the platters. Attach a simple glass plate or plastic charger to the top of any candlestick, and the result is an interesting display of varying heights! Temporary glue dots to attach them allows for mixing and
matching for all occasions, and more efficient storage. As long as the color scheme is consistent, you can throw pairings of mismatched decor together and it always looks chic.
2. Save time and put together a "serve yourself" bar. Set out menu and ingredients for 1 to 2 cocktails. A good signature cocktail gets people talking about it. Invest in a nice large drink bucket.
3. Get people moving! Never ever ever put all of the party necessities (appetizers, desserts, booze, soda, etc.) in one place.
4. Start conversations. Games can be fun, but when hosting a larger party, use something to get people talking! An Instax mini is great. Polaroids are perfect - everyone shares their picture, and it usually gets people laughing.
5. Always add a little greenery or some flowers - they bring the space to life. To save money stick with one color from the grocery store, or use potted plants. Mini succulents range from $2-$5.
Bonus tip: ALWAYS be ready 20 minutes before the party "start time”!