How to Throw a Stress-Free Christmas Party on a Scrooge Budget

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The Lazy Hostess blogger and author Babe Scott gives her top 5 tips for hosting a successful and stress-free Christmas party on a Scrooge budget.

Easy Christmas Cocktail
Hosting a successful Christmas party doesn't have to be stressful or stretch your budget.

A holiday party doesn’t have to be hard work, nor does it have to cost the earth. It’s a cinch to transform seasonal leftovers into easy hors d’oeuvres. Simply add a festive signature cocktail and last year’s Santa-inspired decorations and you have all the elements for a memorable and merry night. Self-described Lazy Hostess Babe Scott gives her top 5 tips for hosting a stress-free soiree on a Scrooge budget.

1) The best way to kick off a Santa-inspired shindig is with a festive cocktail. Serve a delicious red or green libation like a Cosmopolitan or an Apple Martini. Another easy option is Babe Scott’s “Bad Santa” cocktail. Simply mix a half an ounce of Midori with 2 ounces of vodka, half an ounce of fresh lime juice and garnish with a candy cane and maybe even some red sugar around the rim. This libation will put even the Grinch in a good mood. Make sure you get friends to bring extra booze so you don’t end up in the “pour house.”

2) Ask your guests to dress in the Christmas spirit. They can simply wear red or green or go all out and dress up as Santa helpers or impish elves. This dress code will ensure your party is as colorful as a Christmas tree. It also means you will have great photos for Facebook and your wall of infamy later. Give a prize for the best outfit. This can be as simple as a kiss from the host or the promise of a framed photograph of the winners in their Christmas regalia.

3) Create a Christmas atmosphere with splashes of red and green. Cover your couch in red fabric and hang last year’s Christmas decorations from the ceiling. Or garland the walls with Christmas lights. One cheap and chic idea is to replace your light covers with Chinese paper lanterns in red or green or use red light bulbs. Find some embarrassing Christmas pics of family and friends (or find funny ones on the internet) to blow up and laminate to adorn your platters and walls.

4) Ask your friends to bring a present to regift. This way all your guests will receive something from Santa. These often-scary present selections are great conversation starters. The exchange will give everyone a chance to share their family histories and funny stories. And everyone likes a surprise present. Even the swirls of leftover giftwrapping will add to atmosphere.

5) Repurpose as many leftovers as you can to create easy Christmas hors d’oeuvre ideas such as turkey and cranberry crostinis, ham and cheese in puff pastry, and pumpkin dip. Create a “trailer trash mix” of any leftover snacks all mixed together in one big, lucky dip bowl. It’s nice to end on a hint of sweet, so make a red velvet cake cake mix topped with white frosting. Add red sprinkles to your tiny treats and put them in Christmas themed wrappers for a festive touch. Trust me, these cutesy cupcakes will disappear as fast as Rudolph on Ritalin.

The only other things you need for a sizzling evening is a celebratory playlist and a sense of humor. If you follow these tips, you are guaranteed a great night.

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Babe Scott

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