Lillian Vernon Blog

A Treasury of Fine Gifts Since 1951

Tips for Throwing a Holiday Cocktail Party on a Budget



From left: Copenhagen Carafes by Roost can be used on your bar, in the kitchen or by your bedside. $37.99 sm, $42.99 med, $47.99 large; Personalized Glassware Collection $14.99 each or $12.99 each for two or more HERE; Lillian Vernon exclusive Classic Christmas Carousel, $49.99; Stainless steel three-dish server, $39.99; Red Hobnail Glass Candle, can be used as a vase once the candle is finished, $32.99; Five-piece Cheese Board Set, $49.99; Personalized Wine Labels, set of 36, $9.99; Acacia Wood Condiment set, $29.99; Ribbon Christmas Tree Runner, $29.99



Everyone loves a party, but the thought of hosting one is often daunting….and sometimes expensive.  But a great gathering doesn’t have to break the bank.  Close friends, good music, lite bites and your own personal panache will do the trick!  Here are some tips for entertaining with style on a budget.

Instead of:

…printed invitations, send a festive e-invite from an on-line website such as Paperless Post or  The invitation will appear in your guests’ inbox for free or a fraction of the cost of printed invitations.

…Champagne, serve Prosecco, an affordable bubbly loved by Italians and the world over.

…a full bar, serve wine and beer only or a specialty cocktail, one with alcohol, one without.

…an expensive bottle of wine, buy one that fits your budget, and use our custom wine labels to add a special touch.




If you’re on a budget, you can still serve great-looking wine!  Impress your guests by serving friends from a custom-labeled bottle of wine. Created exclusively for Lillian Vernon by calligrapher Jillian Yee-Pham, these elegant wine labels come monogrammed in your choice of several timeless designs. Use them over the holidays, for special occasion dinners, and on gift bottles—or choose a set as a thoughtful gift for the wine connoisseur on your list.  Only $9.99 for a set of 36!  Shop HERE for all of our wine label designs.




Use our exclusive whimsical Burlap Wine Bags on your buffet table and give as gifts at the end of the evening. An inexpensive but extra thoughtful gesture, $7.99 each or only $6.99 each for two or more. Shop designs HERE




Take a hike…in your own garden or in the woods to cut sprigs of pine, magnolia, boxwood, berries and pine cones to make your own wreath or garland.  Buy the wreath wire frame at a craft store and apply your evergreens with thin crafting wire.

Use what you have…such as heirloom ornaments or a family keepsake, and borrow what you may not have from a neighbor or friend.

Light a fire.  Nothing says fun and festive like a crackling fire to sit by and sip a hot toddy. If you have an outdoor space, burn the Original OneLogFire, only $16.99

Use candles to create a glow throughout your home, including the powder room.

Play Christmas or holiday music to get everyone in the spirit.  Use a site such as Spotify to stream your music for free.

Make a banner from burlap or other fabric remnants you may have at home.  Use letter stamps from an art supply store to spell:  Merry, Joy, Christmas, Celebrate, or another happy message, and hang across your hearth.





Multi-use Beverage Tubs can double as gift baskets, wine bucket, baguette holder, dog toy storage, fat wood and much more!  Festive and versatile for any room in the house, $29.99 each; Knit Sweater and Hat Bottle Toppers are inexpensive and express a jolly good sense of humor.  $6.99 each or only $5.99 for two or more HERE; Make your sofa comfy for guests with our exclusive Holiday Throw Blankets in Snowman or Snowflake design.  Customize name for free!  $49.99 each




Making a fire has never been so easy! Just strike a match and you’ve created a cozy setting with our Original OneLogFire by OneLogFire. How easy is that? $16.99 HERE




Dress up your powder room or any door in your home with our NEW Merry Christmas Doorknob Pillow. A festive and inexpensive way to greet the holidays, $12.99 HERE




Whether you’re going to a holiday party or hosting, our exclusive hand-designed Ornaments by Beverly Hills calligrapher Jillian Yee-Pham can express any sentiment.  A thoughtful, and timeless keepsake for anyone.  Only $12.99 each!  Shop our full collection of personalized ornaments HERE


Assorted types of bread is always a good idea.  Choose sourdough, challah, sesame, whole grain and crostini, and pair with cheese chunks and tasty spreads such as olive, salmon, avocado, etc.

Make easy skewers of cherry tomatoes, basil and mozzarella balls

Make a pretty platter of veggie sticks, using large greens as your base.  Place dips in small dishes within the display.

Bacon-wrapped scallops are easy to make and eat

Tea sandwiches on a thin sandwich bread (like Pepperidge Farm) always make for a nice display.  Place on a tiered tower, cutting boards, or plates at different heights.  Best bets:  cucumber and cream cheese, tuna, cheese and tomato

Mini sandwiches or bites:  burgers, hot dogs, pork, bbq chicken

Chili-flavored popcorn:  Easy to make and tasty too!


Your food doesn’t have to be fancy, but it should be displayed well!  Think different heights, decorative textures and colors, a mini spruce tree, burlap over a basic box, and seasonal greenery.





Offer a trio of condiments, nuts or candy in our NEW versatile, all-season crystal-embellished Stainless Steel Server, $39.99


cutting boards

Cutting Boards are kitchen essentials, but don’t just leave them there!  Our Personalized Alder Wood Cutting Boards are made to be displayed on a dining, buffet table or sideboard.  Made of sustainable hardwood that’s bacteria-resistant.  They also made a great hostess gift, wedding or anniversary gift.  Shop HERE for design details, $39.99 each.  Our personalized Bamboo Spoon is now only $6.99 and is safe for all surfaces, made of a natural sustainable material and germ resistant. The perfect gift! Buy it HERE




Make your own cupcakes and top with a festive sprinkle mix from the baking section at the grocery store (stars, tiny trees, glitter, etc).  Use holiday baking cups and top with a fun flag.


Our exclusive Santa Holiday Red & Blue Flags by Designer Maureen Anders, set of 64, $9.99


Bake a cake!  Why buy an expensive dessert when you can save the money and make your own cake?  Spell out a cheerful holiday sentiment on top and display in our Domed Acacia Wood Server.  Your guests will think it came from the bakery!  Need some inspiration?  Take it from entrepreneur and celebrity baker Candace Nelson, the cupcake queen!  Order here and you will get an autographed copy!


Sprinkles Baking Book by Candace Nelson, $26.00. Comes with an autographed bookplate…a great gift.


For more entertaining ideas and inspiration, shop HERE

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