Holiday Party Tips

(CBS) –With the holidays coming up, Maris Callahan of In Good Taste magazine shares some tips on hosting a party on a budget.

Shop Online: Instacart is my favorite way to buy groceries, especially when it’s cold out and stores are chaotic because of holidays. Order groceries via its website or mobile app, and a personal shopper delivers them in as little as an hour. Great when it’s too cold to go outside and you’d rather, say, keep the oven on to bake cookies!

Host a Cookie Swap: Everyone loves baking around the holidays, even if they aren’t regularly a baker. Invite your friends to bring a batch of their favorite cookies, and everyone can take a few different cookies home. If you’re really not a baker or if you just don’t have the time, I’m loving the Mason Jar Cookie Company (masonjarcookiecompany.com) where everything you need is already in the Jar in the exactly right proportions – you just add the fresh dairy at home (recipes work with butter and egg substitutes –buttery spreads, coconut oil, egg replacers and other non-dairy and vegan tricks).

Make a Signature Cocktail: It can get very pricy to stock a full bar with wines and all types of different liquors. Instead of trying to please everyone, make one special seasonal cocktail, like a Poinsettia, made with one part vodka, one part sparkling wine or champagne and two parts cranberry juice. Garnish with an orange or fresh cranberries to make it nice and festive.

Host a Wine and Cheese Party, BYOB: If you are a cheese lover, there is no better pairing than wine and cheese! To keep costs down, order a nice variety of cheeses and ask all of your guest to bring a bottle of their favorite red, white or bubbly. You can mix and match and save your favorite pairings for next time.

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