Christmas Cocktail Party Ideas for your Food & Drink Buffet

Get ready to host the holidays with my Christmas Cocktail Party Ideas. You’ll love this food and drink buffet with unique display ideas.

Christmas Cocktail Party Ideas with wrapping paper backdrop

It’s official, we’ve decided to host our annual Christmas cocktail party, and the invitations are sent. Last year we did not host it because there were lots of transitions going on with jobs and moves and lives {friend’s, not ours} and it sort of seemed like the end of an era. After-all, we’ve been doing this every year since 1998!! I’m looking forward to it, and those parties are what inspired my latest party design.

I put together some cocktail party food ideas that won’t keep you in the kitchen for days but are delicious and festive. Of course every party needs a signature drink, so I also mixed up a red hued cocktail to wash it all down. See all these party ideas plus recipe links below.

Christmas Cocktail Party Ideas 

Christmas Cocktail Party Ideas, mini mashed potatos appetizersChristmas Cocktail Party Ideas, invitations Christmas Cocktail Party Ideas, appetizer platters displayed on top of cylinder vases filled with ornaments

Easy Cocktail Party Decor

  • Use holiday gift wrap as a backdrop. The colors and design can really help create your theme, or reinforce your idea. The gold wrapping paper used here ties in great with this silver, gold, and red palette.
  • Printed invitations (or even digital ones) can inspire other paper goods like menu or food labels. Here I used the party invitation to inspire a menu card that was similar in color and shape.
  • Turn the buffet menu into part of the party decor by displaying food in interesting ways. Put flavored pecans in a stemmed glass rather than a serving bowl.
  • Use a decorative tray or riser to add height or color to the table.
  • Serve finger foods on DIY pedestal platters for an unexpected holiday display. Simply fill some clear vases with ball ornaments and decorative “snow” and place the serving dish on top. You can use adhesive dots to steady the platters on top if you like.

Christmas Cocktail Party Ideas, red martini Christmas Cocktail Party Ideas, candied pecans served in stem glass Christmas Cocktail Party Ideas for your appetizer and drink table

Delicious Cocktail Party food

  1. Serving beer and wine at a cocktail party is a terrific idea, but adding in a signature cocktail makes it extra special. Try this red tinted “Santa’s Helper cocktail.”
  2. You’ll want to provide a few different appetizer options like easy canapes, chicken & artichoke canape cups, and baked brie or cheese board.
  3. Adding some sweet & spicy pecans is a Christmas tradition around here and they’re oh-so-good!
  4. And since we’re obsessed with anything mini sized, these mashed potato “shots” are an unexpected addition to the table. Just use a piping bag to fill the shot glasses, sprinkle some cheese on top, and garnish with a piece of bacon. Cute and delicious!

HOSTESS TIP: Use prepared mashed potatoes found in the refrigerator section for an easy heat and serve option.

What do you think about these Christmas Cocktail Party Ideas? Are you ready to host your own party now? Cheers!

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  1. Beautiful set up, Chris! We’ve just moved, so I didn’t plan to host a holiday party this year, but your ideas are soooo inspiring, it’s really tempting me 🙂 Happy holidays! Flavia, from Fête à Fête (

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