Beautiful Lighting Effects
June 30, 2015
12 Days of Christmas ~ Day 2 ~ Pop-Up Holiday Party ~ Part 2 ~ Decor, Party Favours + Music
December 3, 2015

12 Days of Christmas ~ Day 1 ~ Pop-Up Holiday Party ~ Part 1 ~ Food + Drinks

Welcome to my 4th Annual 12 Days of Christmas Blog Series
Over the next 12 days I will share all of my tips
for creating the perfect holiday season.

Day 1 ~ Pop-Up Holiday Party ~ Part 1

Have you ever been in a pinch where you end up with very little notice that you’re having a houseful of guests you aren’t prepared for?

My friends and family have a ‘Stop By Anytime’ policy.  This often leads to unplanned hosting.

Today I’m tackling the challenge of a Pop-Up Party during the holidays. A Pop-Up Party is when your husband comes home and tells you that he’s invited his whole family over for some holiday cheer and they’ll be there in an hour or your dinner party of six turns into a group of twenty because the neighbours stop in, your sister has friends in town and your coworker’s stopping by for a drink.

Don’t panic as the group size snowballs because over the next few days I’m going to give you my best tips on Food, Decor, Party Favours and Music for the perfect last minute holiday party.

These get togethers can be a breeze if you follow my simple steps.


I have a secret!!!

When time’s the enemy you’ve gotta fake it and cheat a little…

What am I getting at? When I don’t have time to home-make all of the food and drinks I cheat and buy pre-made or EASY to assemble items.

Now that my secret’s out I’m going to tell you how to do this and maintain all of the elegance, attention to detail and personal touches of a regular party.

The key to ‘Faking It’ is presenting and plating everything just as beautifully as if you spent the entire day cooking. I have some go-to store bought appetizers that use everyday groceries you may already have, items you can keep in your freezer, or grocery store foods that are easily accessible.

Here are my Go-To quick and easy appetizers…


Okay these are veggies and dip but calling them

by their French name makes them sound pretty

fancy and that’s the whole point of today’s blog!

My # 1 tip when dressing up simple foods is

plating it in a beautiful and user friendly way.

I love creating individual servings so guests can

just grab a snack and continue mingling.


Shrimp Cocktail

Serving a large cocktail shrimp in a beautiful glass

filled with cocktail sauce and micro greens as a

garnish is nearly effortless to create and looks beautiful.


Chips + Dip

When I don’t have time to make a dip from scratch I

cheat a little and buy a pre-made dip. (Creamy dips work best)

To dress it up I use individual cast iron skillets,

sprinkle grated cheese and bake them until

golden brown. Garnish with chips for dipping

and a green olive for a little holiday color.


Caprese Skewers

These are incredibly easy to assemble and are the perfect festive colours.

I have used a hard boiled egg dish and asian soup spoons to

present the skewers on. This allows me to rest the

skewers of cherry tomatoes,

bocconcini cheese and basil in a little puddle

of balsamic reduction.


Double Brie with Cranberry Compote

Everyone loves cheese. Serve this cold or bake it until warmed through.

Cover with cherry compote and serve.



Milk + Cookies

Nothing says Santa’s coming like milk and cookies!

This is usually a treat I put out for the kids but often find

it’s a big hit with adults too.

For the holidays I like to use Shortbread Cookies.

Store bought of course!


Peppermint Bark

Crush up candy canes to garnish the plate and serve!



I highly recommend having a signature drink or two. This cuts down on the necessary ingredients for a full bar.

Candy Cane  Martini

1oz Vanilla Vodka, 1oz Creme De Cacao, 3/4oz Peppermint Schnapps

Garnish the rim with crushed peppermint and a mini candy cane.


Rum + Eggnog

1oz Spiced Rum, 4oz Eggnog, 1 Pinch of Nutmeg

Garnish with a cinnamon stick.


I hope you enjoyed Day 1 of my 12 Days of Christmas!

See you tomorrow for some quick and easy Holiday Decor

ideas for your Pop-Up Party!


1 Comment

  1. Jeanette Alexander says:

    Perfect timing and fantastic ideas beautifully presented. Having a small luncheon gathering on Tuesday and will definitely be using some of the creative ideas shown here. Thanks Dayle and Jamie you two have been a great help! Auntie Jeanette.

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