This post is sponsored by Wente Vineyards but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.
Time seems to speed up after Thanksgiving as we all rush around to shop, travel, attend school plays and cram in company parties. The shorter darker days just compound to the feeling of not having enough time to get everything done. Sadly, my Mom friends and I will often say that once the holidays are over, we’ll get together for a fun gathering. Stop the presses! What the heck are we thinking? The Holidays are absolutely meant to be spent with friends, and if anything, it’s a treat to be able to slow down and relax!
Make time with your circle of besties this holiday season with these easy no-stress suggestions.
KEEP IT CASUAL
Formal party invites over the Holiday season can invoke fear in even the most veteran party goers. Formal events often mean shopping for clothes at a crowded mall, hair and nail appointments, and the additional money being spent on simply getting ready for the party just adds to the already costly Holiday season.
Instead, have a fun, small gathering where guests are encouraged to dress comfy and bring a dish to share. Potluck style parties are fun because you never know what you’re going to get and it reduces the stress on the hostess (you) as well! Don’t even bother with a sign-up list. If you get three salads and two hummus dips, so be it! Personally, I’m a puff pastry type of gal. Puff pastry appetizers practically make themselves. Stuff a little cheese and a kalamata olive in some dough, bake for 15-18 minutes in a mini-muffin pan, and you have yourself a tasty hot bite.
CREATE A FOCUS FOR YOUR GATHERING
White Elephant Gift Exchanges, Ugly Sweater Parties, Cookie Exchanges and Craft Parties are all easy to have and low key. However, if you are having a few of your BFFs over, the Craft Party option is my favorite because basically everyone just has to show up. No need to shop for an ugly sweater, gift, or bake cookies. I prefer to make ornaments (idea & tutorial below). Its amazingly fun to sit down at a table, crafting and chatting freely with a glass of wine in hand. Some of your friends will be really crafty and make lots of ornaments, others will work a bit slower, but they are typically the ones telling REALLY great (and funny) stories, so slow crafters are always welcome!
Regardless if I’m hosting a party, or attending one, I am always sure to have plenty of wine on hand as wine goes so well with gatherings! The Wente Vineyards Riva Ranch Chardonnay is delicious and an excellent choice for get-togethers. This crowd pleaser has classic Chardonnay flavors of apple, pear and stone fruits. Wente Vineyards, like myself, believes in taking a step back to appreciate all that we have and to share our seasonal joy with friends. Click here to see Wente Vineyard’s tips on how to slow down and make an effort to stay present with your family and friends during the busy holiday season. Party Tip: Stemless wine glasses are great for crafting parties because they are easy to grab, and less likely to tip over.
GET CRAFTY! FELT BERRY ORNAMENT
Ornaments make a great craft for parties because they are actually USEFUL. Your guests may choose to hang their completed ornaments on their own Christmas trees, or they may use them for gifts or bag toppers for their own gift giving! If you are providing a lot of supplies, it’s totally acceptable to ask for a nominal ‘crafting supply’ fee to help cover costs.
You Will Need:
- Sheets of green felt (two colors is best for contrast)
- Some felt balls. If you can’t find them, small pom poms will work.
- Floral craft wire
- Hot Glue Gun & Glue
How To Make:
- Cut out leaf shapes about 2 inches long. Each ornament should have at least 6 leaves. 2
- Cut floral wire in 5 to 6-inch strips. They don’t all have to match in length because you want your leaves to be staggered.
- Feed one end of the wire through the end of a leaf and fold over like a hook.
- On the hook side, pinch the felt leaf and add a little hot glue to seal the end. This will hide the wire end and give your leaf more of a 3-D appearance.
- Hot glue on a few felt balls to three of the leaves.
- Stagger your wires and leaves. When you are happy with the arrangement, grab the longest wire sticking out and use it to wrap around the rest of the wires.
- You may bend the entire wire grouping into a hook or loop
- Using ribbon, tie a bow around a bottle of wine (like the Wente Wine Bottle example below) or make a smaller bow on the actual ornament and hang on a tree or gift bag.
No matter what activity you choose to do with your besties, here’s to a fun and relaxing Holiday Season! Make sure to stock up on some Wente Vineyards wine – Find it in a store near you!