Holiday Party Prep: How to be Party-Ready in Under 1 Hour

How to be holiday party ready in under 1 hour with a few quick tips & tricks from Gabi Valladares | bygabriella.co @gabivalladares

With the holiday season underway, today we’re sharing a few tips on completing your holiday party prep in under 1 hour!
This post has been sponsored by the J. M. Smucker Company and Kellogg Company. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Thank you for supporting the brands that support this blog!

Who else is totally jazzed for the holiday season!? It’s my favorite time of the year. I THRIVE in December, it’s almost embarrassing. But you know what, I’m shamelessly in love with snowy days (thanks, New England!), holiday music, and all the unabashed cheer.

Holiday party prep in under 1 hour, yes, you heard me right - it's possible! Click through to find out how you can prep for your holiday party in just one hour, too. | bygabriella.co

This oh so magical time of the year is truly one of my favorites and I am SO excited to be sharing a few of my holiday hostessing/hosting tips with you. And better yet, this one’s all about saving you time as you prep for your upcoming holiday party (or parties).

Create a focal point

Get creative and create one focal point for your holiday party. I don’t mean only decorate in one spot, I mean choose one spot to be the hit of the party. With mine, I chose a holiday-inspired spread, with a DIY or ‘make your own’ feel. Holiday party cop out or totally genius? I think genius, because then you’re not running around assembling everything for your guests all evening!

Holiday party prep in under 1 hour, yes, you heard me right - it's possible! Click through to find out how you can prep for your holiday party in just one hour, too. | bygabriella.co

Holiday Colors

While I typically avoid the traditional red and greens that tend to own the holiday season, and instead opt for bright reds and pinks, I did it. It happened, I went traditional this year, but traditional with an earthy vibe.

I used fresh pomegranate seeds and cranberries, along with the ridiculously tasty Strawberry Fruit & Honey Spread for the deep reds. I filled my spread with real greens for the rich green hues, and then added in some nuts to continue with the earthy vibe.

Holiday party prep in under 1 hour, yes, you heard me right - it's possible! Click through to find out how you can prep for your holiday party in just one hour, too. | bygabriella.co

How to fill up your holiday party spread AND prep for the party in under 1 hour. Yes, it is possible! | bygabriella.co

One-Stop Shopping

The biggest holiday party prep time saver is being able to buy everything (or nearly everything!) in one spot. Target is a lifesaver, and I was able to pick up the crackers, nuts, Fruit & Honey Spread, and wine all in one trip. And I’m sure you can find a ton of spread ‘fillers’ there as well – you know, those tasty chocolate pieces, cranberries, and greens.

And if you do hop on over to your local Target, be sure to use the awesome Cartwheel offers linked below to save more than just your time 😉

Carr’s Table Water Crackers (5% off)  | Sahale Snacks Valdosta Pecans Glazed Mix (20% off)  |  Smucker’s Strawberry Fruit & Honey Spread (20% off)

Holiday spread

Here’s what I included in my spread:

Smucker’s Strawberry Fruit & Honey Spread
Carr’s Table Water Crackers
Sahale Snacks Valdosta Pecans Glazed Mix
Camembert & sharp cheddar cheese
Mixed dark chocolates & chocolate covered cherries
Fresh cranberries & pomegranate seeds
Mirassou Pinot Noir (wine is a must!)

Holiday party prep in under 1 hour, yes, you heard me right - it's possible! Click through to find out how you can prep for your holiday party in just one hour, too. | bygabriella.coA few tips on how to complete your holiday party prep in under one hour - yes, you can do it! I believe in you! Click through for the full how-to. | bygabriella.co

The details

Now, here’s how to fill up your spread without spending a fortune or wasting hours prepping food for it:

Spread out all of those little snacks you picked up throughout the board. More is….well…more in this case. Seed a full pomegranate and use up your seeds in small cups, or right on your charcuterie board. Grab a few bars of dark chocolate and chop them up. Rather than putting the chocolate out as-is, take a few seconds to crush it up in various sizes. You can easily do this with your hands, or with the flat edge of a knife, then sprinkle those smaller pieces in empty spots on your board.

Holiday party prep in under 1 hour, yes, you heard me right - it's possible! Click through to find out how you can prep for your holiday party in just one hour, too. | bygabriella.co

Holiday Party Prep In Under 1 Hour

The key here is to not go overboard. Keep it simple with a few ‘anchor’ items. Think: 2 cheeses, a signature wine, 1 jam/fruit spread, and 1 or 2 types of crackers/bread. You can throw in your own accent items, such as chocolate (yes, please!), nuts, and fresh fruit as you see fit. But, start with your anchor items and go from there.

Painless wine pairing

Keep it simple. Find one wine to serve as the featured pour of the evening. In recent years, I’ve become a total red wine convert and generally stick to serving that at home, especially around the holidays. I love that rich, bold flavor that so many red wines boast, like this Mirassou Pinot Noir. It’s an approachable red, with flavors of strawberry, cherry, and red currant, supported by light vanilla and oak notes – can you say yum?

Holiday party prep tip: Select one wine to feature, then offer spiced garnishes for a make-your-own winter sangria bar! | bygabriella.co

And, just because you’re only featuring one (tasty!) wine, doesn’t mean that you can’t offer guests variations of it. In fact, try featuring a little spiced holiday punch or winter sangria. I’d suggest creating a mini drink station where guests can select how they’d like to enjoy their wine. Think pomegranate juice, cherry juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice…basically all the fall things.

Holiday party prep in under 1 hour: Here's how you can do it, too! | bygabriella.co Holiday party prep in under 1 hour: Here's how you can do it, too! | bygabriella.coHoliday party prep in under 1 hour: Here's how you can do it, too! | bygabriella.co

Are you hosting your own holiday shindig this year? What are some of your favorite quick & easy prep tips? I hope you feel ready to take on the holiday party prep in 1 hour challenge!

g.

Holiday party prep: Tips for prepping for your holiday soirée in under 1 hour | bygabriella.co Holiday party prep: Tips for prepping for your holiday soirée in under 1 hour | bygabriella.co

Holiday party prep in under 1 hour, yes, you heard me right - it's possible! Click through to find out how you can prep for your holiday party in just one hour, too. | bygabriella.co

Author: gabriella

Gabriella is a blogger, Director of Social Media in Boston, and City Manager for the BOS Lady Project. You’ll typically find her with an iced chai in one hand and a book in the other.

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