Ideas for a Christmas Cocktail Party

Get Christmas cocktail party ideas for adults and serve an easy appetizer buffet to celebrate the holiday. 

Christmas cocktail party

Christmas Cocktail Party

For me, Christmas is synonymous with decorating and entertaining. And I love to incorporate food as part of the party decor.

Hosting an appetizers and cocktails party for Christmas is a great way to entertain an intimate gathering of friends, with small tasty bites.

See how I display appetizers for a holiday cocktail party including how to serve sushi, mini pasta salad, mini desserts and more.

Holiday entertaining - cocktails and appetizer party. Holiday entertaining - cocktails and appetizer party. Holiday entertaining - cocktails and appetizer party.

More Holiday Cocktail Party Ideas

If you need a larger amount of food, and more decorating ideas check out these other parties for adults.

Holiday entertaining - cocktails and appetizer party. Holiday entertaining - cocktails and appetizer party. Holiday entertaining - cocktails and appetizer party. Holiday entertaining - cocktails and appetizer party. Holiday entertaining - cocktails and appetizer party.
Get the Look for a Cocktails & Appetizer Party

  • One of the first things I think about when setting up party tables is the centerpiece, or focal point. When I found this gold “twig”-style tree at Pier 1 I knew I needed to have it. It’s sturdy, disassembles for storage, and it’s versatile enough for year-round decorating. That’s a triple threat in this party girl’s book! I placed it to one side of the table to hang ornaments from and left the rest of the background empty for a clean modern feel.
  • During one of my shopping outings at I found the white sawhorse desk. I’ve been on the lookout for something white and lightweight that I can use for parties and be able to move from room to room as needed. I nearly died when I saw this table and knew I had to have it – I just love it!
  • I kept everything in white so the menu would shine, and I added red for a pop of color. The beauty of using white as a base is that you could add in ANY single color that matches your decor.

Setting up the buffet is just plain fun when using the tasting set pieces. I love using them because they add an architectural element of design, and the white and clear glass pieces coordinate with everything I already have. I already had the mini martinis and Asian spoons, and by adding the glass bowls, white bowls, and stemless flutes I was able to set a fabulous buffet. Here’s my menu:

Pasta & Crab Salad served in white tasting cups

Even for appetizer parties I like to serve things that are hearty and filling, especially if men are around. You don’t want anyone hitting up the fast food joint on the way home because they’re still hungry.  I made this one by combining a pasta salad from the deli with chopped crab meat {okay, the “faux” crab meat}.  Pre-made salads are always overly dressed so the addition of the crab meat really helped balance that out.  I was surprised at how tasty this was, and would certainly serve it again.  To dress up the tasting cups I simply added an adhesive ‘pearl’ to the side.

Hummus served in mini martini glasses

I always provide some time of dip at a party. It’s a good time and money saver because it feeds a lot of people at once. Serving dip in individual glasses alleviates any fears of the dreaded double dipper! Hummus is also a good choice if you have vegetarians in your group. As the hostess you have to be aware of the special diets of your guests.

California Sushi Rolls served in Asian spoons

Have you ever noticed how “one bite” items always seem to take 2 or 3 bites – is that just me? Serving sushi rolls in the little spoons is great for people like me who need the extra help, plus you can put soy sauce in the well for dipping. Placing the spoons on a tall cake stand adds height to the table and makes it easier to reach items in the back.

Upside Down Cheesecakes in mini dessert bowls

You can serve classic recipes but why not do something different with them. I think these upside down cheesecakes look even prettier than the right side up version, plus my favorite part is the graham cracker crumbs so I love that they are on top!

Peppermint Cotton Candy Cocktail served in stemless flutes

I’ve always wanted to try the cotton candy champagne cocktail, and the holidays are the perfect time to try something special like that. I found peppermint flavored cotton candy {at the Dollar Tree} that’s white with a little red throughout – matched my party perfectly. After trying the mixture I am a fan! Not only does it make for an interesting and tasty presentation, but it’s a novel idea your guests will love and the kind of detail you will be remembered for.

What are your “must have” items for entertaining? Decorating is easy when you use some key pieces that can transition from one occasion to another. Cheers!

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  1. WOW!! That is gorgeous. Next time invite me. {{please please please}} Thank you so much for linking it to Tip Junkie. You rock!

  2. What a fun party! I love the cake pops, I'm a big fan of making them and giving them as parting gifts at my parties! Everything looks so yummy!

  3. Thanks for your kind words, everyone!

    Denise, I got the red feathers from, and the white ones from Michael's. PlumesNFeathers is a great way to go if you need several.
    And, YES!, that IKEA frame has 1001 uses! 😀

  4. It looks like it was a lot of fun. Do you not love that Ikea frame? There are so many ways to incorporate it into a party. Where did you get the feathers? I'm looking to get some for a Old Hollywood Prom that I have to decorate for in the spring

  5. Love it. THIS is what I wanted to see. Well, next to you in your red dress on FB. Clothes or party decor? Which is more fun? Tough call!

    xoxo –

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