Are you planning a holiday party at your home? Parties can end up costing a small fortune between food, drinks and all the other essentials. But you can still have a festive holiday party and stay under budget.
How you ask? Well, we went to Christopher Lowell – TV show host, interior designer, party expert and entertainer extrordanaire for the answers. In an exclusive interview with the host of “Work That Room,” he gives us some fabulous holiday party planning tips.
Kori Ellis: Let’s start with the party decorations. How can you make your home festive without spending a bundle?
Christopher Lowell: You can acknowledge the holidays without turning your home into Santa’s village.
A bowl of red and green apples mixed with metallic silver tree balls on a coffee table.
A clear glass cylinder filled with a pillar candle nestled in a layer of cranberries with a ribbon tied around the container — placed on a window sill or side table is easy and sophisticated.
Stacking three fresh wreaths with a single bow on each onto a narrow focal-point wall will give the impression and fragrance of a Christmas tree.
KE: Besides a potluck, what are some ways that you can save money on a holiday dinner party?
CL: Keep it simple. Fewer heaping platters of well-prepared food is far more appreciated and more visually abundant looking than a lot of little fussy dishes that in the long run didn’t add up to much and leave guests hungry.
KE: How can you stock your bar for a party without spending a fortune? Is it acceptable to just serve one signature cocktail?
CL: Yes. By pre-mixing pitchers of cocktails, you can buy cheaper booze because no one will ever see the actual bottle. Vodka is the most versatile. Martinis are great, but do a few variations on the theme. Pair a pitcher of Bloody Marys with a seafood platter. Serve a pomegranate martini with a cheese and fruit platter — even a chocolate martini with a dessert and coffee.
KE: If you aren’t serving dinner, what are some classy (and inexpensive) appetizer ideas?
CL: One year I did a mini pizza bar. I prepared several bowls with condiments like smoked chicken, roasted veggies, shredded gourmet cheeses, bar-b-q pork, fresh herbs, mini-meat balls and several sauces. Then instead of using bread dough, I used Pepperidge Farm puff pastry sheets, cut into rounds and stacked high. Each person made their own pizza concoction. They placed them on pre-parchment paper-lined cookie sheets. They cook in the oven in 4-5 minutes and are light as air — meaning you taste more topping then crust. It was a big hit, very inexpensive, interactive and fun.
Thanks to Christopher Lowell for his fabulous holiday party planning tips. To learn more about Christopher and his show, visit his website at ChristopherLowell.com.
Photo credit: Newscom and Adyna