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I can’t believe we’re gearing up for our sixth annual Christmas shindig at Casa de Crews. Didn’t we just get married?! The last five parties, we’ve hosted an Ugly Sweater Party, and while they’re always fun, it was time to mix things up.
Plus, Jason graduates law school next week (another post – coming soon) and it was time to fancy up our annual par-tay, cocktail-style! I’m so excited about this year’s theme. It will be simple decor, simple food, and a reason to dress up.
I have learned with past parties, when it comes to the menu, we need quality, tasty nibbles. There’s no need for a full-on meal. Just yummy bites you can eat with one hand (whilst balancing a cocktail in the other).
Last weekend, I met with my sister for breakfast, and our monthly Sam’s Club date. I was actually just planning to stock up on paper products for the party (napkins, plates, cups, etc), but saw boxes
and boxes of Keebler® Toasteds® Crackers, and Keebler® Entertainment Crackers Collection, a variety box of five crackers, by the wine aisle. P.S. Check out the Instant Savings booklet at Sam’s Club for information about the $1 off Keebler® Club® Crackers product promotion.
We always enjoy Keebler® Club® Crackers at my parents around the holidays. My mom makes an incredibly simple platter loaded with meats, cheeses, and Keebler® Club® Crackers on one side of her platter. The other half is full of olives and pickles. Legit, that is it – but it’s something we all look forward to. Last month at Thanksgiving, I said I don’t even know why we bother with a meal, since we kind of fill up on the pre-feast. Do you have food memories like that?
But I need more than just cheese and crackers for our party. I mean, there will definitely be a charcuterie board, but that isn’t going to cut it, obviously. I get lost online looking for party recipe ideas (seriously, hours can go by), and end up being more inspired, and then confused, than not. I feel like I can nail down a dinner menu, without any problems, but appetizer/small bites kind of overwhelm me, because there are so many delicious recipes to choose from. Really, I just want everything to be perfect.
Fortunately, there is the Keebler Party Planner Live App! Basically, you just bought ALL the crackers at Sam’s Club, and need to get original with said crackers for your holiday shindigs. You guys…this app has pretty much covered it all. With everything else we have going on this month, I need a little help. I hate admitting defeat (as an actual event planner), but I think sometimes you just have to look for help, where you can. And the Party Planner Live App does just that. Plus right now, with just one purchase of any one package you can unlock a live party planner with the the FREE Keebler® Party Planner Live App. Just upload your receipt online (you can also text a photo of your receipt), and you’ll receive a code to chat live with a party planner.
Then you’ll submit the code, and schedule a date and time to chat with a live planner. You can actually do this twice on the app (with each qualifying purchase), and I have a second call scheduled this week!
From theme suggestions, complete menu ideas, craft tutorials (there is a cute Christmas tree centerpiece that would be fun to craft with kids), party playlists, as well as printables…there really isn’t much you need to do besides search a little. You can even invite your friends though the Party Planner Live App with Evite.
The menu: I know for sure I want recipes that are easy to make ahead of time on Friday night, or early Saturday, so that come party-time, I can just pull everything out and mingle with friends. My two favorite recipes from the Party Planner Live App are the Club Cheddar, Bacon and Spinach Spread, and the Apple, Honey and Goat Cheese Crostini.
- 1½ cups fat free plain Greek yogurt or reduced-fat sour cream
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1 envelope (1.4 oz.) dry vegetable soup mix
- 1½ cups (6 oz.) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 package (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and very well drained
- ⅓ cup seeded and finely chopped tomatoes
- ¼ cup slivered almonds, toasted and chopped
- 5 slices bacon, crisp-cooked, drained and crumbled
- Keebler® Club® Original crackers
- In medium bowl stir together yogurt, mayonnaise and soup mix. Stir in cheddar cheese, spinach, tomatoes, almonds and bacon. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
- Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes. Serve with KEEBLER CLUB Original crackers.
I also plan to add a charcuterie board, mixed nuts, and olives (oh hey, healthy fats), Strawberry Jam Brie Bites, homemade hummus (perfect for cracker dipping!), and my Prosciutto and Mozzarella Skewers.
It’s a Christmas Party, so obviously we’ll have cookies. My best friend loves to bake, so lucky for me, I don’t need to worry about sweets…snag more recipes by simply downloading the Party Planner Live App, and see for yourself!
Cocktails: Finally, Jason and I have decided on a bar cart together (that was an never-ending hunt, p.s.) and we plan to stock the cart, and take turns making drinks for guests. I feel like there are SO many articles out there on how to stock a bar cart – if I shared something like that, would you all be interested? I think the trick is to make it your own.
After speaking to my live party planner, Michelle, she suggested we also have a signature drink for guests. I loved this idea! I plan to make a pitcher of my Sparkling Berry Mocktails with a side of bubbly. That way guests can add a splash, or opt to sip a festive mocktail instead.
Sparkling Berry Mocktails (with an option to add bubbly!)
Ingredients: (makes 4)
- 2- 12 oz cans Sparkling Flavored Water, chilled
- 4 oz. pomegranate juice, fresh
- Cranberries, for garnish
- Sprig of thyme or rosemary, for garnish
To make: To a highball glass, add ½ serving your favorite sparkling water, 1 oz pomegranate juice, and 2-3 cranberries. Top with 1-2 sprigs of thyme or rosemary for garnish. Top off with champagne, or prosecco, if desired!
Decor: If we were hosting our annual Ugly Sweater Party, I’d opt for some tacky decor! But since I want more of a grown-up feel, I want a more modern, chic look for this event.
Using what I already had on hand, I made a simple centerpiece that will be part of the food table for our party this weekend, and then for our dinner table on Christmas Eve, when we host my family.
Make your own ornament centerpiece:
- Cake plate (ANY plate will do)
- several sprigs of pine, faux or real will work!
- 6-8 ornaments, in various sizes
To make: To your cake plate, layer pine. Arrange ornaments as 2nd and 3rd layers. That is IT. Then very carefully place your new centerpiece wherever you like in your home.
Clean and prep throughout the week, so that all you’re doing the day of, are a few last minute tasks, and getting yourself ready to celebrate the season with friends – cheers!
Snag all your holiday items at Sam’s Club, for a hassle-free holiday!
How do you survive the holiday hustle, bustle, and planning?