A Wintery White Cocktail Party (Plus, 5 Tips to Keep Your Holiday Party Simple)

Every year, my husband and I host an adults-only holiday party that we call our “very merry cocktail party,” and it’s the one night each year the two of us get to be social into the wee hours of the morning because we’re already at home. With a new baby and our three-year-old, we can’t tell you the last time we actually went out with friends. 


This past year, I chose a wintery white color palette and kept things pretty but quite simple. Store-bought cupcakes and toppers worked well and saved me time and energy. 

A wintery white very merry cocktail party

A wintery white very merry cocktail party

Dessert is always in abundance. I chose a neutral fringe garland from The Flair Exchange for the backdrop to keep things simple. 

A wintery white very merry cocktail party

Party favors are my favorite part of planning. I love to get creative with the packaging, but still keep it budget friendly. These white pint containers with a simple sticker and tinsel garland were easy and affordable, plus quite charming. 

A wintery white very merry cocktail party

The stickers were designed by Grace & Guy Paperie and printed at home. 

A wintery white very merry cocktail party

Our grown-up candy bar party favor station included Sixlets, white chocolate pretzels, meringues, gumballs, and gourmet lollipops with flavors including rosemary lemon. 

Wintery white very merry cocktail party

I always have a bubbly bar for our guests. 

A wintery white very merry cocktail party

Hosting a holiday party, while sometimes stressful, definitely kicks off the holiday season in style and gives us a chance to enjoy our friends in the comfort of our own home. 

Five tips for keeping your at-home holiday party simple:

  1. Go with store-bought food and desserts whenever possible. 
  2. Use your holiday decorations to your benefit. Having your Christmas tree in a strategic location means less decorating for the party. 
  3. Have one featured drink. In our case we do the bubbly bar, but this year we may go with sangria. Then you can simply stock the regular bar for guests to create their own concoctions. 
  4. Decorate early. I get a lot of grief for putting up our trees early, but with a party in early December, it helps tremendously to do things such as decorating our trees as early as possible. 
  5. Keep it on one level. We’ve let guests roam the house in the past, but this year the baby will be sleeping upstairs during the party so we’re keeping guests on our main level. This means less cleaning before and after the party. Hooray! 

More Holiday Entertaining Tips: