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 ( 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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