Christmas Shindig Shake-Ups

- Ardelle T. Merton () - November 15, 2007 - 12:00am

Wouldn’t it be lovely to have family and friends over for food and drinks this Christmas? But wait a minute, throwing a party requires quite a lot of effort: you’ve got a guest list to prepare and finalize, the food to whip up, the drinks to concoct and the house to get ready…but at this point in life, you’re really busy. Before you talk yourself out of it and hope that someone else suggests a social shindig at his or her place, just remember that it doesn’t take a professional events organizer to throw the ultimate year-end party. A few simple party tricks can banish those nuisance and add sparkle and glamour to your Christmas party. Here’s how:

1. Prepare chips, dips and sips. You need not provide a full-blown 8-course meal to satisfy your guests. Recipes that involve stuffing or deep-frying require much time. You may set your party at a later part in the evening or indicate that it’s an after-dinner party. Then, prepare drinks (include non-alcoholic beverages for the non-drinkers and your driving guests) in different colors. You can find a varied array of beverages in the supermarket, in all sorts of kaleidoscopic colors. All sorts of chips are also available at the grocery store, from healthy multi-grain Nova to beer match salt-and-vinegar chips to tasty corn chips. Toasted bread is also a good finger food choice. Salsa, cheese and mayonnaise-based dips come jarred, and are available in different flavorings and varieties. With the variety in food and drinks that are quick and easy to prepare, both you and your guests shall have a great fill from the food.

2. Try a five-minute flower arrangement. No time to knock up a floral extravanganza? Arrangemennts in just one color, especially white, always have a striking impact. One tip my grandma tells me (she says it’s from a professional florist) is to set an odd number of flowers (like 3, 5, or 7 stems at a time) in a festive-colored vase. The impact is arrestingly beautiful. For extra flair, you can go for giant leaves and grasses.

3. Fire up a festive mood. Choose red, green and white scented candles, set them in pretty glass holders (for safety purposes) to instantly jazz up your Christmas ambience.

4. Whip out your best linen. A festively patterned table cloth instantly brightens up your dining area. To your party guests, your dining table is like honey to the bee – the center of attention and attraction. So do choose a beautiful table cloth.

5. Amp up your Christmas music. Yes, we all love Jose Mari Chan’s “Christmas in Our Hearts”; it’s a Filipino Christmas classic. But to rev up the festivities, today’s pop artists offer funky Christmas medleys every year. Check out your nearest Odyssey or Radio City shop for the Christmas bestsellers. For an instant uplift, you could try Cuban salsa music or for a very snazzy vibe, plug in a bossa nova CD.

6. Give your guests a cool welcome! Choose a welcoming drink that’s easy to serve in large numbers, like super-cold champagne, which frosts the glass and can look very pretty. Serve in clear glasses so that the drinks’ jewel colors glow in the lights. Fruit punches are delightful as non-alcoholic beverages, and you can play with the flavors and colors.

7. Eat, drink, and be merry! Make sure you eat a meal before the party begins, because as hostess, you’ll have to make your rounds greeting guests (and taking hundreds of pictures). If it’s an intimate affair, with just your closest friends and relatives, you can save your appetite because you can simply sit back, relax, eat, drink and be merry!

Enjoy all those social soirees this Christmas! Cheers!

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