Party in Five: Last-Minute Holiday Cocktail Party

Description or Caption: Cooking Channel Holiday Cocktail Party in glamorous jewel tones with a penguin motif and candy cane cocktials, bar snacks, hot chocolate, ornaments and champagne.

Photo by: Melanie Grizzel, Camille Styles ©2012, Cooking Channel, LLC. All Right Reserved.

Melanie Grizzel, Camille Styles, 2012, Cooking Channel, LLC. All Right Reserved.

We here at Cooking Channel love a good party. But throwing a memorable event requires more than just gathering some food and drinks. We show you how, with just five main “ingredients” (including recipes, big-impact decorating ideas and easy DIY elements), you can throw a party that feels like it has a cohesive theme — minimal work required.

Though the holidays are the most wonderful time of the year, it's no secret that they can also be the most stressful. Between endless events, crowded stores and planned travel, the thought of hosting your own party can often seem daunting. But we show you how you can invite friends over during the holidays and be relaxed with a chic affair that can be thrown together at the last minute. (Hint: Jewelry becomes ornaments on a tabletop tree composed of snipped branches.)

To host your own last-minute holiday cocktail party, you’ll need these five essential ingredients:

• gilded elements from nature
• holiday knick knacks
• assorted ornaments
• hors d’oeuvres
• printable cocktail labels ( download the template here)

Click here to see the party in action and get tips for hosting your own last-minute holiday cocktail party.

Photo by: Melanie Grizzel, She-N-He.com ©She-N-He.com

Melanie Grizzel, She-N-He.com, She-N-He.com

Spotlight On: The Decor

Use a sideboard or dining table for your drinks and appetizers buffet, and lay down white or neutral-colored linens to ensure that your materials won’t clash with the vibrant food and decor. To add a “wow” factor, create a makeshift tabletop Christmas tree by arranging leafy branches in a large class container, and adorning the branches with an assortment of trim and ornaments. Lay out easy-to-assemble foods on mismatched serving pieces and adorn glasses with drink labels to help guests keep their cocktails straight. Then, fill the rest of the bar with fun holiday trinkets and gilded natural elements (click here for the how-to) to ensure that holiday cheer is abundant.

Click here for the easy recipes served at this party (including spiced bar nuts, spinach-cheese puff pastry shells and a cranberry-prosecco cocktail) and get more decorating tips and how-tos.

(See more parties and events from the Party in Five series here.)

Camille Styles is the founder and editor of the lifestyle blog camillestyles.com, where she shares creative enterta ining ideas for parties and everyday life. She also owns Camille Styles Events, a design and planning firm that transforms ordinary events into extraordinary experiences.

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