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Hosting a cocktail party over the holidays can sometimes be an overwhelming experience … trust me, I’ve been there! Over the years I’ve made the mistake of planning a multitude of elaborate miniature hors d’oeuvres that ended up keeping me in the kitchen all night instead of hanging out with my friends. I’m all about low maintenance entertaining where I’ll have a few friends over drinks and hors d’oeuvres before we head out to dinner.  This year I’m keeping things super simple with just a few crowd favorites to munch on and beautiful, timeless serveware from HomeGoods.

Here are 5 essentials for a fuss free cocktail party:

1. Bubbly – You can never go wrong with lots of champagne.

2. Beautiful glasses and stemware – It’s not just about what’s in the glass that matters but also the presentation. This year I’m loving gold flutes for champagne and cocktails.

3. Mixed Nuts – It just doesn’t get easier than a bowl of sweet, salty and savory favorites such as chocolate covered raisins, toasted walnuts, and an assortment of dried fruit.

4. Fresh Berries – The ultimate  crowd favorite, I love serving berries with cheese on crackers and especially popping a few in my champagne!

5. Cheese Please – No respectable cocktail party is complete without a cheese course and for a small get together, I’m sticking to one cheese such as an herbed goat cheese or creamy brie served with fresh artisan bread.

Can we take a moment to talk about this stunning snow globe? It’s available at HomeGoods for only $14.99 and this year, HomeGoods is donating 50% of the proceeds from this purchase to St. Jude’s Children Research Hospital. I can’t wait to gift all of my friends this beautiful snow globe while helping such an amazing cause!

Happy Holidays