The Silly Season is upon us, which means there are plenty of reasons to throw a party. If you’ve shied away from your hosting duties in previous years – whether out of fear of the organisation, execution or clean up – now is your time to shine. These easy hacks will turn you into the host(ess) with the most(ess) in no time!

Easy eats
When it comes to food, you’re going to want something that looks and tastes incredible but doesn’t cost you an arm or a leg (or a tonne of clean up), which is why a grazing platter could just be your best bet. Sacrifice a table, large wooden board or a selection of smaller cheese boards and get to work filling it with crackers, cured meats and cheese. For added impact (at minimal cost) hit your local budget confectionary store and stock up on bulk lollies and chocolates, then sprinkle them between your savoury selections. Head here for more, or try these other ideas…

  • A cob loaf, where the bread itself becomes the cutlery. Genius.
  • Some pinwheels, where you simply smear sheets of puff pastry with your choice of filling (cheese, tomato paste, pesto and bacon are popular ingredients), roll and cut into small sections and bake until golden.
  • Anything wrapped in bacon and grilled – we’re talking feta, cheddar, olives, mozzarella, pickles… you get the idea.

Easy cocktails (and mocktails)
Whether you’re going to be hosting kids and adults, or adults who aren’t big drinkers, it’s always a good idea to provide drinks that can cater to anyone. That’s why we love recipes that can quickly switch from cocktail to mocktail, and back again. These four recipes are the perfect example, but other cocktail and mocktail recipes include…

  • A festive Christmas punch, which you can make right here.
  • A delicious cranberry apple mocktail, which you can make right here.
  • A cranberry whiskey cocktail that Mrs Claus would approve of, which you can make right here.
  • An easy, yet eye-catching, Grinch punch, which you can make right here.
  • An old-fashioned egg nog, which you can make right here

Easy decorations
While we know how easy it is to get carried away browsing online party supply stores, you don’t need to spend a bomb to have your space looking party ready. There are so many easy ways to decorate, and most of them require items you’ll already have somewhere in your house! This article by Mrs Red’s Art Room is a great place to start, but you could also try some of these ideas…

  • A show-stopping balloon garland, which you can make right here.
  • A Christmas wreath table runner out of fake green foliage, pine cones, fairy lights and shiny baubles from your local bargain store.
  • A group of swimming candles, which simply require a selection of clear vases or jars (the more mismatched the better!), filled with water and your choice of decorations – make sure they’re heavy enough to fall to the bottom. Then, place a tealight candle on top, light it and let it float around.

Easy entertainment
The key to a good party is good entertainment, and good entertainment can come in many forms. Firstly, it’s imperative that you nail the playlist – and if you’re looking for a Christmas playlist, we’ve got just the thing. You can match the entertainment to the tone of your party. For example, an intimate dinner party will be elevated by a round of fun questions (maybe written on small pieces of paper and passed around in a large bowl?) while your girly get-together or kids’ party will go next-level with some basic craft activities. Friendship bracelets, anyone?

Easy clean up
Nothing kills the party vibe like a massive clean up, but thankfully, with some careful planning, you can easily avoid it. The first step is to ensure you’re serving food and drinks that require minimal clean up (remember the cob loaf?). Where you need to use cutlery and crockery, make sure they’re reusable – this article about green party ideas offers tonnes of solutions on that front. Finally, be strategic about where you place your bins on the night to make it as easy as possible for guests to clean up after themselves. Clearly mark your ‘recycling’ and ‘landfill’ bins to make it even clearer.

With these tips, tricks and genius hacks, go forth and conquer the Silly Season!



haven is all about family, life and style in Brisbane's inner city suburbs, the Gold Coast, south to Byron Bay. We have been keeping parents in the know for over eight years, with fun, fresh and helpful stories that they can take tips from or treasure in their own library.