Holiday Party Tips and Sweepstakes

This is a sponsored post from BlogHer and Welch’s.

 

Holiday Party Tips - Uncle Jay with KidsTen years ago Teacher and I inadvertently started a family tradition – on New Year’s Eve we invited my parents over for pizza and cards. The next year we invited Uncle Jay, Uncle Ike, Aunt Elle, and their boys for pizza and wings. Each year the party grew, and grew, and grew – last year we had thirty people over and tons of goodies in addition to the traditional pizza and wings. More details and recipes to come in future posts!

 

Along the way we’ve learned some tips and tricks for hosting a great party without losing your mind or emptying your wallet.

 

Ask for help. Don’t try to do everything yourself; ask family and friends to help out! For our New Year’s Eve party we ask everyone to bring something to share. You’ll avoid the stress and expense of providing everything, and give your guests the satisfaction of making a valuable contribution to the party.

Holiday Party Tips - Jo-Bear as SantaDon’t stress the decorations. Your guests are coming to see you, not decorations! If you feel the need for something special on the table, fill a bowl or basket with something seasonal: pumpkins and gourds for Thanksgiving, shiny ornaments at Christmas, etc. Candles are another easy and elegant decoration, but be sure they’re placed where little fingers can’t reach them and there’s no danger they’ll tip over or start someone’s clothing on fire. That’s not the party memory you want to be making!

 

Holiday Party Tips - Playing CardsHave something for everyone to do. Plan activities based on the interests of your party guests. At our New Year’s Eve party we have video games, cards and board games, and movies, but if you may want to have dancing or charades, depending on what your guests like to do.

 

Use space wisely. Do you have a place for coats? Where will the food go and where will guests eat? If you have video games, movies and board games, will they interfere with each other? We’ve solved these problems by having the kids put guests’ coats upstairs in a clean bedroom, set up the buffet on the kitchen counter so the table is free for eating and games, and moved the video games/movies to the basement family room. There’s only one TV, but last year one of College Boy’s friends brought his TV so they could play video games AND watch a movie at the same time.

 

Offer a simple buffet. Buffets are much less work than sit-down dinners; you just put out the food and let everyone help themselves. Be sure hot foods are kept hot and cold foods are on ice so no-one gets sick. Hors d’ oeuvres and finger foods are easier to eat and more fun than foods that require utensils. Just be sure to provide lots of napkins!

 

Holiday Party Tips - Grandma is a Praying MantisClean out the cupboards. Put out the last of your Christmas cookies, combine various half-boxes of crackers in a pretty basket, spoon leftover cheese spread into small bowls, or place snack-sized containers around and fill them with the nuts, pretzels and other snacks leftover from previous parties. I realize the photo has nothing to do with this tip, but it reminds me how much we laughed that year, so I had to include it.

 

Don’t forget the bubbly. No matter what the occasion, a party is always more special when there’s a bubbly drink. Obviously for New Year’s Eve we have champagne for the adults, but we also have Welch’s sparkling juice for the kiddos.

If champagne is out of your budget consider a sparkling punch instead – Welch’s website a bunch of quick and easy my favorite way to go recipes for Sparkling Holiday Punch, Spiced Grape Punch, Sparkling Cranberry Spritzer, Sparkling Cranberry Punch, and a Holiday Toasting Cup. This year I plan to try the Holiday Toasting Cup recipe!

 

Holiday Party Tips - Uncle Jon with CameraTake lots of photos. Be sure to take lots of photos so you can look back throughout the year and remember what a great time everyone had!

 

Splurge on something special. Find something to make the evening special; buy prettier but more expensive disposable plates, get a box of gourmet chocolates, purchase a new CD of party music, or whatever will make the evening more special for you. We bought New Year’s Eve hats, crowns, horns and noisemakers, and enough wine glasses so everyone – even the kids – could “ring in the New Year” together.

 

Let BlogHer fund your party. BlogHer is providing a $100 Visa gift card for me to give away to one lucky reader! Just think about what you could do with an extra $100 this holiday season…

*To enter the sweepstakes*
Just leave a comment listing which Welch’s sparkling juice or Welch’s sparkling juice recipe you want to try, and share YOUR stress-free party tip. Be sure to include your email address so I can contact you when you win!

*For a second entry*
Tweet about this post with a link to it and put your tweet URL in a separate comment below. -OR-
Blog about this post with a link to it and put your blog post URL in a separate comment below. -OR-
Follow this link to enter without tweeting or blogging.

*For MORE chances to win*
Visit BlogHer.com’s exclusive offers page to find the eleven other bloggers who are also giving away $100 Visa check cards.

Sweepstakes ends at 5 pm PST on December 31, 2010. For official rules, visit the BlogHer.com official rules page.

 

Happy holiday party planning, and good luck!
Amy Sue

Don’t forget: Welch’s Sparkling Juice cocktails are the perfect choice for happy family celebrations
* Non-alcoholic, so they’re perfect for the entire family.
* Deliciously refreshing with a light, bubbly sensation.
* Upscale package perfect for special celebrations.

295 Comments

  1. The sparkling holiday punch sounds good. My stress free party tip is to NOT invite your mother-in-law. I’m not kidding.

  2. spiced grape would be great

    truthhole@gmail.com

  3. Stress free tip make sure everyone understand that you are an adult and if they can’t say anything nice thena don’t say anything at all and mi casa is mi casa and a recipe I like is the springtime punch
    tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

    • Tabathia,

      I use the “if you can’t say anything nice…” thing all the time, but I shorten it to “be nice or be quiet” for my kids.

      Good luck!
      ~Amy Sue

  4. I would love to try the Spiced Grape Punch. I don’t invite the in-laws LOL- I always plan ahead so I’m not rushing last minute!

  5. meeyeehere aka Rachel Crisman

    Ha!!! My mother in law is really nice
    !!Thats funny!Stress free party? Never heard of that.HA!
    jacksoncrisman@yahoo.com

  6. I wanted to make an impression at a household reunion and keep in mind the names of all of the new husband’s household members. There was one gent whom I’d asked his name and tried very to remember but failed repeatedly. Finally he bailed me out and said his name was Dick. With out a thought I swiftly mentioned, “Gosh, how could I forget? You *look* like a ‘Dick’!!!”

    • OMG Roselia, I’m seriously falling off my chair laughing! I’ll bet you wanted to crawl under the rug – that is SO the kind of thing I would do, including forgetting his name in the first place. I’m SO bad at names, then I get all flustered… I hope he was gracious about it and had a sense of humor!

      Good luck!
      ~Amy Sue

  7. WOULD LOVE TO TRY THE GRAPE RECIPE AND GET SHOPPING DONE TO AVOID LAST MINUTE STRESS kytah00@yahoo.com

  8. Great tips!
    What celebrations need is a lot of sparkling grape juice! 🙂
    I want to try cranberry spritzer.

  9. I’d love to try the Sparkling Cranberry Punch.
    thanks!
    kmassmanATgmailDOTcom

  10. I am going to try the Sparkling Cranberry Spritzer! And as for stress free holiday tips, have EVERYONE pitch in and make it part of the party!

    If I don’t have time to decorate, I leave the decorations out and have the kids do it when they arrive! (Keeps them busy too!)

    Have everyone bring a dish to share and assign the boys to do the dishes!!

    • Lorie,

      Having the kids decorate is a great idea! My grandma always used to send us into the “den” to make place cards for the table – we’d personalize them for each family member. It was a gluey/glittery mess but we weren’t underfoot in the kitchen or getting toys all over the house.

      ~Amy Sue

  11. The Sparkling Holiday Punch sounds yummy

  12. I could buy enough holiday treats to keep us all happy!

  13. This year we are going to spend a very nice day with just the immediate family and Sparkling Holiday Punch.
    marybug2@yahoo.com

  14. Cran Spritzer, and preparing your kids for your behavior expectations BEFORE the party begins!

  15. I think that the Spiced Grape Punch recipe looks like one I’d like to try.
    As for stress free holiday entertaining, I think that making if a buffet and having everyone bring something is a great way to make it a fun event and not a stressful one.

    • That’s such a great tip! Most of our family gatherings are buffet-style with everyone bringing something. Not only is it less stressful, but it’s not as expensive for the host when everyone helps out.

      Thanks, and good luck!
      ~Amy Sue

  16. I would love to make the Sparkling Holiday Punch.
    My tip is to make easy finger food. Freeze it days ahead and all you need to do then is heat.

  17. I want to try the Sparkling Cranberry Spritzer,
    My stress free holiday tip is to start EARLY and dont rush everything all at once.
    sweokgrl@gmail.com

  18. I like the Sparkling Holiday Punch. My mother-inlaws always at partys. But She is prone to saying things to me that hurt my feelings. Funny thing I liked her alot before I met her son.

    • LOL Fawn!

      I’m sorry your mother-in-law hurts your feelings. Sometimes mine does the same thing – she’ll thoughtlessly say something that doesn’t come out the way she means it. Usually I can let it roll off my back but not always. How do you handle it?

      Good luck with the sweepstakes!
      ~Amy Sue

  19. Because I hail from cranberry country, the sparkling cranberry spritzer calls my name.

  20. The sparkling holiday punch. My tip: Don’t stress over the holidays, just take time out to enjoy time with the people you love. That’s all that really matters anyway.

  21. I’d love to try Sparkling Cranberry Punch

  22. I’d like to try the White Grape Melon-Mint Dazzler with Sparkling White Grape Juice, it would be like having a bit of summer in winter.

    • Shel,

      I hadn’t thought of it that way – what a great idea! Wouldn’t it be fun to have a beach or summer themed party with the Grape Melon-Mint drink? It would definitely brighten up our dull Wisconsin Februarys!

      Good luck,
      ~Amy Sue

  23. I want to try the Spiced Grape Punch.
    The best thing I do to help with holiday stress is collect gifts from sales throughout the year. That way, there’s none of that awful last minute gift shopping trip to the mall (which my husband still insists he has to do every year, but at least its without me)
    chainmail(at) iwon(dot) com

    • That’s a great idea Sunshyn! Unfortunately I tend to forget what I bought, who I bought for, and where I hid it, LOL! How do you keep it all straight?

      Good luck with the sweepstakes!
      ~Amy Sue

  24. We love sparkling white grape juice!

  25. cant wait to try the sparkeling cranberry drink. my stress free tip – delegate.

  26. I think the Sparkling Holiday Punch. And my stress-free party tip? Go to someone else’s house! 🙂

  27. I would like to make the Sparkling Grape punch!
    My tip is to arrange for a friend to have a potluck at her house.

    kmancas@bellsouth.net
    Emily

  28. Spiced Grape Punch sounds great to try.
    tcarolinep at gmail dot com

  29. i’d like the sparkling cranberry punch, and my best tip for a strss free party is to keep it small so things don’t get or feel overwhelming
    nannypanpan at sbcglobal.net

  30. spiced grape punch

  31. I haven’t tried the Sparkling White Grape Juice yet but it looks good. To make things stress free, we just do a little at a time, not trying to get it all done at once. We’ve also learned to cut back as far as the food, we don’t have to have a lot of dishes for a few people.
    vlbsweeps at gmail dot com

  32. I would love to try the spiced grape punch!

    Tip: Planning ahead will same tons of time and money in the long run!

  33. I will be trying the Florida Sunshine Fizz to celebrate my Florida heritage with my fellow transplants here in Georgia!

  34. Mmmm… the Sparkling Cranberry Spritzer might be making an appearance at my house this holiday!

  35. The Sparkling Cranberry Spritzer sounds yummy. My stress free tip is to pick a menu that can be made ahead so my kitchen time is pre-party, not during party!

  36. the sparkling strawberry parfait sounds dreamy, and like something the kids would love as much as me.

    • I am loving all of these tips! It sounds like the most popular one is to plan ahead – something I’m not too great at but am trying to get better at.

      Good luck to all of you. I wish I could send you all gift cards!

      ~Amy Sue

  37. Nicole Leitermann

    I will be making the Sparkling Cranberry Spritzer this year! Yum! My stress free idea is to clean a room every other day for 2 weeks prior to the party that way, as the party nears you can just do little touch ups and focus on other last minute things like food prep!

  38. sparkling holiday punch sounds good

  39. Definitely sparkling cranberry punch! Thanks for your great tips.

  40. Sparkling Holiday Punch sounds like a winner! My tip…don’t worry about clean up until the end. Just enjoy the party!

  41. I would like to try the Sparkling Cranberry Spritzer.

  42. I want to try the Sparkling Holiday Punch. Never have parties.

  43. sparkling cranberry spritzer
    rmartinclarke at gmail dot com

  44. The sparkling holiday punch sounds wonderful!

  45. I just might try the Sparkling Cranberry Spritzer, yum.

    My tip would be to play older music that everyone knows, oldies, or CHRISTmas music. It has brought feuding family members together many a time in our home.

  46. I’d love to try the Sparkling Cranberry Spritzer
    recipe.
    This really sounds & looks tasty.
    Thanks so much.
    rickpeggysmith(at)aol(dot)com

  47. I tweeted:
    http://twitter.com/peg42/status/12267380029784064
    Thanks again
    rickpeggysmith(at)aol(dot)com

  48. I would make the Sparkling Cranberry Punch. Not to invite my mother.

  49. BEAUTIFUL FAMILY! WOULD LOVE TO TRY THE “Holiday Toasting Cup” & MY TIP WOULD BE TO KEEP AN AGENDA. A LOT OF PEOPLE HAVE 2 FAMILIES OR MORE TO VISIT DURING THE HOLIDAYS! BETTER SAFE THAN SORRY, RIGHT? kytah00@yahoo.com

  50. 2ND ENTRY TWITTER twitter.com/#!/kytah00/status/12317811611271169 kytah00@yahoo.com

  51. Roxanne Ellis Raymond

    I love the spiced grape punch, any spiced drink is great for the holidays and this looks like an easy one.
    We have laid back holidays, so I dont have a particular tip except keeping lists works for me

  52. I’d love to try the Sparkling Holiday Punch! My stress-free party tip is to make sure you get some alone-time. Even 10 minutes to run to the store!

    • Benny,

      This is a good one for all the time, just not the holidays! Teacher knows I get super-cranky if I don’t get a little “down time” every day. Some days I can’t even go to the bathroom without one of the kids standing on the other side of the door talking to me – yikes!

      ~Amy Sue

  53. I would like to try the Sparkling Cranberry Spritzer.

    Dove056 at aol dot com

  54. Sparkling holiday punch

  55. I would like to try the spiced grape punch.

  56. I’d try the Cranberry Spritzer .My stress free tip, enjoy your family for all their idiosynracies.

  57. I would love to try the White Grape Melon-Mint Dazzler and I am a super obsessive organizer, so the way I make things stress free is notes and lists. If it’s written down, it makes it easier for me

  58. I want to try the White Grape Juice Punch. For a low-stress party, I make it a potluck.

  59. The Holiday Toasting Cup sound very good.

  60. A Sparkling Cranberry Punch sounds yummy

  61. sparkling cranberry spritzer…always plan ahead and shop early so the holiday is stress free

  62. spiced grape punch to try and best tip remember these are people you invited because you love them no need to impress them.

  63. I would like to try the Sparkling Cranberry Spritzer. My best way to reduce stress with holiday parties is to keep it simple. Now is not the time to try new or complicated recipes. Stick with ones you know and love.

  64. The Spiced Grape Drink sounds delicious.

  65. mmm, spiced grape sounds tasty!

  66. I would like to try the Sparkling Cranberry Spritzer.

    dogsrock at insightbb dot com

  67. I would love to try the White Grape Melon-Mint Dazzler. My tips for stress free (or less) are a lot like yours. Prepare lots ahead of time. I also have lists so I don’t have to worry about forgetting something (as long as I remember to look at the list LOL), and let people help!

    • Suzanne,

      I’m glad to hear that I’m not the only one who makes a list then forgets to look at it!

      Thanks for taking time to comment, I hope you’ll be back again sometime.
      Good luck!
      ~Amy Sue

  68. I would love to try the Spiced Grape Punch! I think the best entertaining tip I have for the holidays is to make things that you can freeze! Cookie dough is one example–a lot of the times you can freeze it and take it out when you need it, then thaw and bake. Anything you can do ahead of time will get you ahead of the game!

  69. i’d like to try the sparkling holiday punch, and i make parties easier by letting anyone who offers help out in any way the offer to.

  70. Spiced Grape Punch would be wonderful!

  71. sparkling holiday punch
    Merry Xmas! Thanks!
    Janna Johnson
    jannajanna@hotmail.com
    janna@feedyourpigblog.com
    http://www.feedyourpigblog.com

  72. sparkling holiday punch

  73. Cherry Smash. Bourbon FTW!

  74. I’d go with the Spiced Grape Punch basically because it’s easy and I’m lazy 😉 A perfect match!

    Please feel free to contact me at:

    allrightyes at gmail dot com

  75. I just tweeted this giveaway here 😀

    http://twitter.com/TimboSquad/status/13587974620979200

    Please feel free to contact me at:

    allrightyes at gmail dot com

  76. sparkling holiday punch sounds yummy!
    ape2016(at)aol(dot)com

  77. I want spiced grape punch.

  78. I would love to try the Sparkling Holiday Punch!!!

    kahlialopez at yahoo dot com

  79. the cranberry spritzer looks great.

  80. I would like to try the Welch’s Grape- Apple Holiday Punch

  81. The sparkling cranberry spritzer sounds great! As for making parties easier, accept or ask for help. No shame in that!

  82. I would like the sparkling holiday punch
    Thank you
    tatertot374@sbcglobal.net

  83. I’m going for Welch’s Red Grape Sparkling Juice.

  84. I’d like to try the Holiday Toasting Cup.

  85. The Cranberry Spritzer sounds so good!!!! I would try that one!!

    msjem2001 at yahoo dot com

  86. I want to try red grape sparkling juice for Christmas and my stress free tip is to make it a potluck.

  87. I’d like to try the Sparkling Cranberry Spritzer for a dinner that I am hosting next week. Stress free party tip – plan ahead and do all the cleaning a day before so that you can devote the day for cooking (if the party is in the evening). Also ask for help! 🙂
    mandalarctic at gmail dot com

  88. I want to try the Spiced Grape Punch! It looks divine

  89. Sparkling Holiday Punch would be my choice!

    Thanks for the chance to enter!

  90. I would love to try the Spiced Grape Punch. My stress-free party tip is to premake some items the day before so it’s easier and you’re not rushed.

  91. I want to try the sparkling punch, sounds yummy.

    pestkaj(at)yahoo(dot)com

  92. I want to try the sparkling holiday punch for christmas!

  93. Sparkling Cranberry Spritzer

  94. I would like to try the Purple Cow recipe from Welches!

    Jeanette Huston
    jeanette_huston@yahoo.com

  95. The spiced grape punch sounds good.

  96. I think the Red Grape Sparkling Cotail sounds nice.
    My easy party tip is to choose dishes that taste good or better the next day after they are made. Then you can make them a day ahead and not have to worry about cooking or kitchen cleanup the day of the party. Some things like this we make are: Hummus, Baba Ganoush, Pie (pie is usually always fine the next day), cookies, chili, soup, and lasagna.

    • Julia,

      What a great idea – and your kitchen won’t be trashed the day of the party either! Do you have a good recipe for Baba Ganoush? That’s something that I’ve always wanted to try.

      Good luck with the sweepstakes!
      ~Amy Sue

  97. I would like to try the Sparkling Cranberry Spritzer.

  98. id like to try the spice grape punch. my tip is do everything as much in advance as possible

  99. The Holiday Toasting Cup looks so yummy!
    paigewiley16

  100. Although we enjoy our Welch’s Sparkling plain the Sparkling Holiday Punch would be a welcomed change and as far as a tip may I recommend having a sink filled with soapy water. Just drop the dishes in and let ’em soak overnight. Worry about clean up in the AM

  101. We enjoy the sparkling holiday punch and the best tip I have is to go somewhere that someone else is cooking!

  102. Sparkling Holiday punch would be my choice

  103. I would love to try the sparkling cranberry spritzers! Sounds delicious and it’s definitely something my family would love. Thanks for the giveaway.

  104. I’d love to try the Sparkling Holiday Punch.
    My stress free party tip is to delegate some of the party to do chores. You don’t have to do every

  105. Since I’ve loved Welch’s Grape Juice forever, I’d love to try their recipe for Spiced Grape Punch.

    Stress-free party tip? Years ago there was a TV commercial that said, “Treat your family like guests, and your guests like family.” When I have guests, I invite them to kick off their shoes and make themselves at home. I show them where the coffee and cups are, how to help themselves to any other drinks, and my guests always seem to like that relaxed approach.

    Thanks for a great giveaway!

    • Jean,

      I remember that commercial – I just can’t remember what it was for. What fantastic advice for reducing stress – thanks!

      Good luck in the sweepstakes, and thanks for commenting!
      ~Amy Sue

  106. The spiced grape punch sounds yummy!

    My tip is to tell your husband that for part of your Christmas gift, you’d like to sleep in on New Year’s Day. So even if we’re up late I don’t stress out because I know I can rest up in the morning!

  107. Sparkling Holiday Punch for me

  108. cranberry spritzer

  109. wedding punch sounds fun

  110. spiced grape

  111. cranberry spritzer is festive. This is my “holiday drink of choice” as we dont drink alcohol

  112. The Spiced Grape Punch sounds yummy! I love anything grape flavored!

  113. Sparkling Cranberry Spritzer sounds festive and yummy.

  114. I would try the Sparkling Holiday Punch and my stress free tip would be to move 3,000 miles away from your family and then only visit them on non holidays. Thanks! thebubbledies(at)gmail(dot)com

  115. The spiced grape punch sounds delicious. My stress-free party tip is to write down the menu…it’s easier than trying to remember it in your head!

  116. I love anything cranberry; juice, canned sauce, homemade sauce you name it. I want to try the Sparkling Cranberry Spritzer. I also have guests bring a favorite holiday themed appetizer to share. Less cooking and we can all try something new

  117. Would love to try the Florida Sunshine Fizz.

  118. I’d like to try the Golden Punch
    bepoia(at)hotmail(dot)com

  119. I would like to try the Sparkling Cranberry Spritzer. My stress free tip is to use sturdy paper plates and throw away utensils for easy clean-ups.

  120. i cant wait to try this punch

  121. the sparkling punch
    con5459(at)gmail(dot)com

  122. holiday sparkling punch sounds good 🙂

  123. The Sparkling Holiday Punch would be great for New Years

  124. I’d like to try the recipe for cranberry spritzer.

  125. the sparkling holiday punch sounds good!

  126. Sparkling Cranberry Spritzer

  127. The sparkling cranberry spritzer sounds great…and to be stress-free, I’d rather prepare less complicated but still tasty treats rather than complicated stuff. And I really don’t care if the plates match!

    wolverina401 at gmail dot com

  128. I want to try the Sparkling Cranberry Spritzer. My tip is to serve a variety of food and good music.

  129. I’d like to try the sparkling cranberry spritzer.
    patrice@everydayruralty.com

  130. I want to try the Sparkling Holiday Punch. My stress-free party tip – Prepare as much as you can ahead of time, but when the party starts – sit down and relax. The rest will take care of itself. And certainly don’t worry about clean-up until the day AFTER!!! 🙂

  131. My stress-free holiday tip? Remember as time goes on either everyone will forget about your mistake, it will become part of the family folklore, or you will look back and actually laugh with everyone when they are laughing at it. I’d love to serve Spiced Grape Punch at our next holiday get together.

  132. The spiced grape punch sounds good. My tip for a stress free party is to always be a guest and never a host 😉

  133. I’d love to try the Spiced Grape Punch. My stress free party tip is to have a pot luck, where every guest brings a dish.

  134. I want to try the White Grape Blackberry. My tip for a stress free party is to make food that can be prepared ahead of time.

  135. theodore esteghamat

    I like the spiced grape punch. One stress-free tip is not to have a party, no party, no stress.

  136. The recipe for Spiced Grape Punch sounds delicious – the combination of grape, lemon, and cloves would be perfect for a holiday party. Thanks!

  137. I’d like to try the sparkling holiday punch.

  138. The Spiced Grape Punch sounds good. My parties are almost always just family and close friends, so the stress is minimal–they know that life is casual here!

  139. White Grape Sparkling Juice looks really good. My tip would be to make food that is simple, instead of working in the kitchen for hours.

  140. I would like to try the sparkling cranberry spritzer.

  141. I’d like to try the White Grape Fruit Punch. I don’t hold Holiday parties; we sometimes have family & friends over, but they know we’re not so fancy, so no stress 🙂

  142. Ruby Mulled Cider sounds good! My stress free party tip would be to enlist a friend or mom for help.

  143. I want to try the Sparkling Holiday Punch. Hmmm, a party tip? I’m sorry to say that I live in a small place and I haven’t thrown a party in 20 years, so all I can suggest is to have a party somewhere outside of your home.

  144. I want to try the Sparkling holiday punch recipe! My stress free tip is to only invite no more than 4 couples/8 guests total that way it’s kept small & it’s easier to plan for!

    chlorinebrain at sbcglobal dot net

  145. I would like to try the Holiday Toasting Cup recipe. I say don’t stress the food. It’s mostly family coming over so they shouldn’t mind. Thank you!

  146. I’d try the Sparkling Holiday Punch

  147. the Sparkling Holiday Punch sounds really good!

  148. Sparkling Cranberry Punch – and keep it simple for a good time!

  149. I would love to try the Spiced Grape Punch recipe.
    My tip for a less stressful party is to plan well in advance that way you can purchase items when they are sale instead of the last minute and save a lot of money. They as the party get near you don’t have to stress about getting everything in a hurry.
    lisalmg25 at gmail dot com

  150. I Tweeted this giveaway. http://twitter.com/lisalmg/status/19987655240450048
    lisalmg25 at gmail dot com

  151. The sparkling juice I’m most eager to try is the Red Grape Sparkling Juice.
    hmhenderson AT yahoo DOT com

  152. I want to try the Cranberry Spritzer.

  153. My tip is to pay a couple of the older kids to watch and entertain the little ones. It gives the older ones an activity and might give the adults a little more time to visit with others at the party. I would like to try the Sparkling Holiday Punch recipe.

    dchrisg3 @ gmail . com

    • Debbie,

      That’s a fantastic idea!

      Many years ago Teacher stood up in his college roommate’s wedding and the bride had arranged for something similar. After the dinner all the children were taken back to her home where a babysitter, kid-friendly movies and sleeping bags were set up for them. Teacher and I could enjoy the dance without worrying about where College Boy and Princess were, how late they were staying up, etc.

      Thanks for sharing your tip, and good luck in the sweepstakes!
      ~Amy Sue

  154. totally the ruby mulled cider! yum! and my best holiday tip is plan ahead and go the semi-home made route whenever possible!

  155. I would like to try the Spiced Grape Punch recipe!

  156. oooo the concord grape martini sounds wonderful!!!!

  157. The Florida Sunshine Fizz sounds really tasty…little bit of summer in the winter…

  158. I’d like to try the Sparkling Cranberry spritzer.

  159. I would like to try making the Sparkling Holiday Punch.

  160. wanna try the holiday punch

  161. the sparkling holiday punch sounds great

  162. The Spiced Grape Punch sound really delicious. My best stress free party tip is to do pot luck….everyone contributes!!

  163. Sparkling Cranberry Spritzer sounds good to me.

  164. Patricia Treskovich

    I’d try the Sparkling Cranberry Spritzer

    tip try to have foods that can be prepared a day or two ahead of the party, so there’s not much cooking done on party day

  165. Patricia Treskovich

    tweet Latest: http://www.myhappycrazylife.com/holiday-party-tips/ comment win less than 5 seconds ago

  166. Sparkling Cranberry Spritzer sounds delish and I try to get as much done as possible well ahead of time so there’s not as much stress.

  167. The white grape juice punch looks great! To make my parties stress free, I make and freeze desserts a week before the party. I also make as many things as I can the night before, and set the table.

  168. We would like to try the Sparkling Red Grape.

    jweezie43[at]gmail[dot]com

  169. I think the spiced grape punch sounds good. also to help create a stress free holiday I do alot of prep beforehand and freeze alot.

  170. The Spiced Grape Punch sounds rockin. My Party relaxation tip is Single Malt Scotch neat. If things get to hectic, slip away and take a sip. Problem solved!

    jason(at)allworldautomotive(dot)com

  171. Awesome blog and thanks for the giveaway!
    Would love, love, LOVE to win this!
    Happy New Year!
    =]

  172. The sparkling holiday punch sounds simple and declicious!!

    NICKIEISIS3atgmail.com

  173. Sparkling Holiday Punch sounds good.

  174. I would like to try the Florida Sunshine Fizz recipe. To keep parties as stress free as possible, keep them as simple as possible. There is no need to make elaborate dishes or a lot of different dishes. A few simple dishes made with ingredients that you know people will like, will be fine.

  175. the Spiced Grape Punch sounds great
    My stress free Tip is to Plan Way ahead and get family to bring a dish big enough for their family plus 1.

    freebiegoddess03@aol.com

  176. I think the Sparkling Cranberry Spritzer sounds fantastic!
    And my stress free party tip is to go pot luck! And use crock pot liners!

    coriwestphal at msn dot com

  177. I’d love to try the Sparkling Cranberry Punch!

  178. I would like to try the Spiced Grape Punch! Thanks

  179. I’d like to try the Sparkling Cranberry Punch. My tip: go to other people’s houses for parties.
    Thanks for the contest.

  180. I am excited to try the Sparkling Holiday Punch!

    My tip: K.I.S.S. (keep it simple sweetie!)

    The more you can delegate the better on you.

  181. I’ve been a big fan of plain Welch’s Sparkling White Grape juice but I’d really like to try the Sparkling Cranberry Spritzer.

  182. I would like to try the Sparkling Holiday Punch, sounds delish! My tip is to make the party a potluck where everyone brings a fave dish and serve everything on paper plates, no muss no fuss no stress! Thanks.

  183. I’d love to try the Sparkling Cranberry Spritzer!

    sweepyhead at gmail dot com

  184. We’ll be making the Sparkling Cranberry Punch for New Years. My tip: keep it simple. People don’t care if you serve fancy hard to make items, cheese platters, veggie and fruit trays, finger food items are always a hit and can be thrown together just a few short hours before the party.

    • Jason,

      Finger foods and New Year’s Eve just seem to go together, don’t they? We always do snacks and hors d’ oeuvres on New Year’s – even if it’s just us and the kids.

      Have a great New Year’s Eve, and thanks for commenting!

      ~Amy Sue

  185. I would like to try the Sparkling Cranberry Punch. My stress-free party tip is to make what you can ahead of time so you get to enjoy the party as well.

    longbarb1@aol.com

  186. The spiced grape punch is the one I’d like to try.

  187. I would love to try out the Cranberry Spritzer!

  188. I’d love to make the Sparkling Holiday Punch.
    mishiareads(at)gmail(dot)com

  189. Just relax and enjoy good food ,family, and friends.

  190. I want to try the Sparkling Cranberry Punch.

  191. The Sparkling Holiday Punch would be yummy. We remain stress-free by having back up plans for food and games.

  192. Cranberry spritzer!!!

  193. I would use it towards a new camera.Ours bit the dust last week.Thanks!
    lstanziani(at)yahoo(dot)com

  194. I would like to try the Sparkling Cranberry Spritzer. For a stress-free party, I like to serve a bunch of appetizers because they are much easier to make and serve than a full-blown meal.

  195. I want to try the Spiced Grape recipe, and I like your tip about having everyone contribute. I also have a tip of my own, which is to have everything you use for the party be recyclable/disposable. It saves a ton of clean up time.

  196. I’d like to try the Sparkling Cranberry Punch! My stress-free party tip is to attend a party rather than throw a party!!

    skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net

  197. The sparkling holiday punch please

  198. For a couple of decades we have served Welch’s Red and White Sparkling Juice. The White is my favorite.

  199. We usually serve iced tea, but I would like to add the Ruby Mulled Cider.

  200. Sparkling grape juice , please

  201. I would like to try the Sparkling Holiday Punch

  202. I’d love to try the white grape melon mint dazzler.
    cjwallace43 at gmail dot com

  203. Sparkling Holiday Punch sounds good, I don’t have any stress free tips except to have chocolate around

  204. I want to try the Sparkling Holiday Punch.
    If you are inviting families with young children make sure there is a relatively quiet room where they can go to sleep when they get tired.

  205. I’d like to try the spiced grape punch. To keep New Year’s stress free, do not serve alcoholic beverages.

  206. I would like to try the Sparkling Holiday Punch and my best holiday tip is to eat before going to parties so you don’t have to worry as much about overeating.

  207. latisha depoortere

    I like the The sparkling holiday punch sounds good.
    great giveaway thank you!
    tishajean@ charter.net

  208. Spiced Grape Punch sounds yummy!
    Thanks

  209. I would like to try their Mango Twist Martini…and I think the best way to have a stress free party is to have everyone bring something so you are not stuck with doing everything yourself!

  210. The Sparkling Holiday Punch sounds uber yummy.

  211. I love the Holiday Tasting Cup recipe and that’s what I’d like to try!

    I enjoy keeping things simple during celebrations and getting everybody to help so it’s not so overwhelming

    kimbly at g mail dot com

  212. I’d love to try the Spiced Grape punch.

    Have lots of drinks on hand a lots of ice. Prepare as much as possible to have enough food on hand and have someone be in charge of checking the bathrooms and food to see it anything needs to be refilled.

  213. i would love to try the Sparkling Holiday Punch
    floatingonabiscuit@gmail.com

  214. I would like to try the Sparkling Cranberry Spritzer and my stress free tip is to use disposable partyware so that once the party ends clean up is simple.

  215. The Cranberry Spritzer sounds yummy! I’d love to try that one. Stress-free party tip is if you are the hostess try to prepare as much ahead of time so you don’t have to be cooking or preparing food while your guests are there.

  216. I’d like to try the Sparkling Cranberry Spritzer!

  217. The Sparkling Cranberry Spritzer sounds yummy! My stress free trip is to prepare dishes ahead of time that can be served cold or just reheated.

  218. I would like to try the purple cow

    trippyjanet at hotmail dot com

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