There's still time! Host a Last Minute Holiday Get Together

The 2014 holidays are in full swing and like you,  I'm busy with last minute card/gift/party madness.  Anyone else out there mean to have a holiday party, or wanted to get together with friends...but just never made it happen?

Fear not! We've got a few more days of Hanukkah before Christmas hits, and I've got two great ideas for casual gatherings you can throw together in a snap to squeeze in a little QT with friends and family before it's time to pack it all in for next year.

Party Strategy: Theme, Dรฉcor, Menu 

A great thing about throwing a holiday get together is that your house is probably already decorated, so that part's taken care of. From there, opt for so-simple menu items you can prepare in advance then either simply place on trays, or quickly heat up before or even during your party. 

You can even choose a holiday theme that doesn't require you to cook at all! A cookies & caroling party can be thrown using store-bought cookies and tubed icing.

Put together a fun hot bev buffet with flavored coffees, mulled ciders, hot chocolate and my incredible hot buttered rum-spiked whipped cream, then hit the town with your adorable confections, lyric sheets of your favorite holiday carols, and your to-go cups. 

Or, check out the latest article I did for Bed Bath & Beyond on creating a gift wrapping party. It's a fantastic way to catch up with pals while still getting your holiday to-do's done. Simply call up a few friends, ask them to bring their unwrapped presents, gift paper, boxes and bows, and a bottle of wine. 

Just set up some wrapping stations complete with scissors, tape, name tags and little trinkets to decorate the packages with and enjoy some fun while getting your presents all ready to drop under the tree. 

Both of these party ideas are so easy breezy they practically throw themselves, and they create memories that will last a lifetime. Maybe you'll even start a new tradition!

Really, when it comes down to it, holiday celebrations are about spending quality time with the people you love the most-not about how elaborate your party was! So, try not to stress and just enjoy your time together. You'll see. When you open your heart and home, everything else will fall into place.

What are some of your favorite memories of holiday parties past?

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