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Instead of planning a formal dinner party, throw a casual open-house-style cocktail party that's low on stress yet still full of sparkle and style. No stuffiness involved here -- just finger foods, quick cocktails, easy decorations, and plenty of holiday spirit.
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Obviously, last-minute parties don't allow time for snail-mail invitations. However, there's no need to sacrifice sending a little something special -- online, that is. We've got you covered with e-mail invites in classic holiday designs you can send to everyone on your guest list.
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Next, it's time to dress up your home a bit. With our help, you can decorate for this party without even breaking a sweat. For this elegant project, fill a garden cloche with ornaments, and you're done -- easiest holiday decoration ever!
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This wreath chandelier looks grand and difficult to make, but it couldn't be simpler. All you need are two wreaths, satin ribbon, and a ceiling hook.
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No special trips to the craft store needed for this one -- simply line a tray with gift-wrapping paper to make it holiday-ready.
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Wintry Floral Arrangements
In place of a fussy centerpiece, arrange white vases and fill them with white spider mums, seeded eucalyptus, and blue Atlas cedar branches lightly frosted with silver floral spray paint. Line them up across a mantel, along a windowsill, or down the middle of a table.
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When it comes to crowd-pleasing appetizers, goat cheese is a sure thing. You can buy the ingredients well in advance and whip up this warm, hearty starter in no time.
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This no-cook appetizer can be assembled and on the table in minutes.
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Puff Pastry Sampler
This appetizer combines sophisticated flavors and super-simple prep work.
Thaw and roll out store-bought puff pastry according to the package instructions. Place the dough on a parchment-lined baking sheet and cut into 4-inch squares. Brush with olive oil. Add toppings, bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes, and serve.
Ground marinated peppers, baked and topped with white anchovy
Thinly sliced fingerling potatoes and thyme, baked and dotted with caviar
Thinly sliced orange, sage leaves, and salt, baked and drizzled with honey, Gorgonzola, and sliced scallion
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For a fun all-ages treat, whip up a batch of hot chocolate and set up a table with all the fixings, like marshmallows, caramels, candy canes, whipped cream, and flavored syrups.
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Delight your guests and fragrance your home with a spicy pot of mulled wine. This recipe will fill your home with warm holiday notes and have your guests feeling toasty.
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Here's a handheld-treat version of a favorite holiday flavor -- eggnog. These are a cinch to make and require no forks, knives, or fuss.
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These chewy molasses-spice cookies are a snap to make and look like you spent hours in the kitchen. The best part is you don't have to ice them, cut them, or decorate them to hand them out as beautiful favors -- just package them in jars and tie them with ribbon and you're all set.
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... Or if you want an even easier option for favors, we've done the work for you -- just use our clip art and some card stock to create these simple cones and tags, and fill them with store-bought candy.