Holiday Entertaining

December 15, 2009 6:02:30 AM PST
Celebrity event planner Debi Lilly shares some small ways to make a big impression with your holiday bash. Debi Lilly
Chief Eventeur
A Perfect Event
3050 N. Lincoln Ave
Chicago, IL 60657
T 773.244.9333
F 773.404.2112
www.aperfectevent.com

Christmas Eve Cocktail Party
Christmas is coming?

How to celebrate? A warm and wonderful Christmas Eve Cocktail Party is the perfect party theme for friends and family and those near and dear. My neighbor threw this party a few year ago and it was one of the most wonderful, festive eves I can remember.

First, let's deck the halls. Here is a simple, elegant holiday centerpiece that sets the tone for merriment as soon as guests arrive. This fresh mixed pine long, linear centerpiece fits perfectly ontop mantles, dining tables, kitchen islands, beneath a plasma, ontop bookcases and more. Surrounded by a candle collection and massed gold pinecones, it creates a luscious holiday scent and warm ambience at the same time.

Make sure to think through your music - festive Christmas music playlists set the tone as guests arrive ? my favorite lounge style music is Christmas Chill and Swingers Christmas CDs available at A Perfect Event.

Second, let's create a feast ? both visual and taste tempting.

Third, instead of making everything from scratch, rely on gourmet groceries and markets for heat and eat hors'douevres. One of my favorite gourmet secrets is my neighborhood Trader Joe's - and this entire menu of mouth watering heavy appetizers ? meaning it fills you up just like a dinner party. This party planning secret allows you to focus on your guests, not the kitchen.

Scallops on the half shell
Ratatouille bites
Vegetable tempura nests with soy ginger dipping sauce
Parmesan Pastry Pups
French Canapes

Fourth, you know how much I love the personalized gifts and favors. Best of all ? these are homemade favors to make with your whole family.

Christmas Cookie Jars are premixed cookie mix in old fashioned jars for guests to take and bake at home. The dry ingredients get layered into these jars, which you can buy at Menards. The simple baking details are printed on a label on the back ? add an egg, milk, bake and enjoy! The recipe is on my blog at aperfectevent.com.

My gifts for everyone on my list this season are these custom coffee table books made on mac.com. They are priceless ? there is no better gift to give or receive. This one is for my goddaughter, my father, my mother, etc. I can hardly wait for them to open them Christmas morning.


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