Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Holiday Parties on a Budget

The holidays are coming.

This means friends, family, and other loved ones will be in town, either to spend some quality time with you or to drop in for an hour. Let’s face it: one of the lamest things about living in the city is that you become ultra-accessible to all those old family friends commuting for the holidays, or for those friends from high school you always try to avoid but somehow always have to transfer trains in New York.

Lucky for your popular self, you won’t be spending the holiday season alone!

On the flip side, it can be both exhausting and expensive to make plans with everyone until the sun for Christmas parties, drinks, coffees, dinners, dancing, and shopping excursions. Since we know you’re the fabulous girl that everyone loves and adores, we’ve got a pretty ballsy suggestion: be the girl who throws the party that brings everyone together.

Now, before you start making excuses, think about it. One event, one get together, where you get to control exactly how much you spend, who you get to see, and then you’re guaranteed to be off the hook for the rest of the holiday season calendar of events. Plus, everyone will love you for organizing the one-stop party- they might even bring you a hostess gift!

Our suggestion for the gathering is an inexpensive, Spanish-inspired party.

On the menu? Tapas. Small bowls of yummies, like olives, chips and salsa, bruschetta and crusty bread, spinach artichoke dip are all you need for your guests to munch. The key is stress-free bites to sprinkle on mismatched plates throughout your kitchen and living room.

On the playlist? Conversation-friendly bands like Alexi Murdoch, Sondre Leche, and the Gipsy Kings will put the guests at ease.

For alcoholic refreshments, turn to jugs of Carlo Rossi for cheap red wine. Serve it alone, or mix with your favorite alcohol-soaked fruit for a simple sangria.

If you feel like decorating, pick up a bunch of red or yellow daisies at the corner bodega and arrange in a clean, empty Perrier bottle.

Don’t forget to ask for help if you need. People will be more than willing to bring the wine, the bread, the dessert, or the flowers. If you begin the party around 1p or 2p on a weekend, keep the party going open-house style until 9p. This way, people can stop by, have a glass of wine and a bite to eat, catch up, and move on to the rest of their day. The point of the get together is to see as many people as possible in one day, so keep it simple and take it easy. If you have a roommate, allow them to invite their friends if they help you cook.

Now all you have to do is clean your apartment…

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