Tricks for Last-Minute Celebrations

There's going to be a party, and for whatever reason, it's going to be at your house. Whether the party was moved to your house at the last minute, or a cause for celebration came up out of the blue, here's how to make a last-minute celebration happen.

The Essentials: The essentials for creating a festive atmosphere are food, entertainment and decorations. Concentrate on these, and the party will happen.

Food: There are many options for pulling together food, but a simple combination of sweet and salty ought to please anyone. Think you don't have much in the house? Before running to the store, take a careful look.

  • Snack mix in a pinch. Snack mix is a simple thing to pull together from random ingredients. This is especially true if you have a little bit of a bunch of things. Any combination of these staples can be thrown together in a bowl to create a fun and festive munch for party guests: cereal (anything but flakes), pretzels, chips, potato sticks, crackers (broken or whole), M&M candy, Skittles, chocolate chips (or any other flavor), mixed nuts. Raid the pantry and toss them in a bowl. Have paper bowls, cups or plates handy, and put in a spoon for guests to help themselves.
  • Dessert party food. Before running out for a cake, see if you have any cookies. Even chocolate chip or Oreo cookies can be turned into a party dessert very easily. Whip up some frosting (powdered sugar, margarine and water with a dash of vanilla and food color) and frost some on top, add smiles with chocolate chips or colorful candy and arrange them on a platter. If you have some ice cream, put about two tablespoons of ice cream between two cookies and stick them in the freezer. Bring them out at dessert time.
  • Party Punch. Punch is another easy-to-make drink. Any combination of juice and carbonated beverage, with a scoop of ice cream thrown in to make it festive will do. For adults, add a libation of choice-rum or vodka, or even sparkling wine if it's on hand. If you don't have juice, use iced tea or lemonade.
  • Hors d'?"uvres. Cheese and crackers, or sliced vegetables and/or sliced fruit attractively arranged on a plate with toothpicks in a cup nearby are all you need. Any combination arranged in a nice way will be party-ish. Extra points will be given for salsa or a small bowl of dip or creamy salad dressing.

Fast decorations: Think you don't have time to decorate? Cover the tables with cloth, paper or plastic, and put something in a vase or bowl in the center for a centerpiece. You can almost use anything as long as it's colorful. Even a bowl of assorted candy in a wine glass will look like a celebration. Throw some colored paper confetti around the table covering.

Entertainment: You have lots of leeway here, too. A good mix of music could be enough. Or, ask a friend who plays guitar to show up and strum some tunes. Put some party games around the room, or picture albums, and guests will be interacting and entertaining themselves in no time. At the least, let people mingle, and then stop to make an announcement honoring the reason for the celebration and thanking everyone for coming.

Related Life123 Articles

Throwing a successful gathering, no matter how big or small, all comes down to smart party planning. By focusing on the details, from food to decorations, you can make decisions that will lead to a party to remember.

With these budget party planning ideas, your party will be memorable for all the right reasons.

Frequently Asked Questions on
More Related Life123 Articles

Keeping things casual and planning ahead of time will make it easy for you to host a party. A thoughtful menu and guest list will make hosting a party run smoothly.

Living in a rural community, we have no local theaters, malls, or "teen clubs." When he was little, our son Vince attended a bevy of birthday parties, and of course I hosted his annual event at a variety of venues.

You as the holiday party host always want to make sure your guests are happy and satisfied at your party. But it's not easy task to host a party alone and accomplish this. In fact it can be overwhelming. 

© 2015 Life123, Inc. All rights reserved. An IAC Company