Girls' Night In: Gift-Wrapping Party

Get a jumpstart on wrapping holiday gifts and have a fun night in with the girls at the same time.

Girls' Night In: Gift-Wrapping Partyenlarge
Photo: Lee Harrelson / Styling: Virginia Houston

The Party Plan-Send invitations out early so the girls have plenty of time for shopping.Two Days Before-Make Sweet-Hot Spiced Pecans and Gold-Dusted White Chocolate Popcorn.The Day Before -Prepare the chicken salad. Cover and chill well.-Rolled Vegetable Sandwiches. Cover well and chill.-Mix the base for the Mulled White Wine.The Day Of-Put together the Roasted Red Pepper Sandwiches the afternoon before the party. Chill until served.-Assemble chicken salad sandwiches before party.- Place the pecans and popcorn out in several small serving bowls with cocktail napkins before guests arrive.-The Cranberry Cooler can be made a few hours before the party.
Mixed Berry Bellinis

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Puff Pastry "Pretzels"

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Every year, it's the same old story. Grand plans for buying and wrapping presents early turn into last-minute mad dashes. This year, get together with friends for a light supper and wrapping frenzy with plenty of drinks to get the holiday spirit flowing. Not only will this make gift-wrapping more fun, but it will give everyone incentive to get shopping done early, too!

Even though you've got a party project to work on, the wrapping can go on between enjoying finger foods and full glasses. You'll want to set up the wrapping area on a table or large counter, where the girls have room to spread out. Ask everyone to bring three rolls of chic wrapping paper, a roll of tape, two large rolls of ribbon and a pair of scissors. Thanks to so many different patterns of paper to choose from, this year's gift collection will look better than ever.

The Bar
With a ladle and some pretty ceramic mugs, holiday cheer is only a glass away. Try something different tonight and arrange the bar near the stove. This way, the Mulled White Wine can stay warm during the entire party, and keeping the bar away from the wrapping table keeps a tragic spill from ruining the fun. Have an ice bucket filled on the counter for easy access for the other drinks, like Cranberry Coolers and Grapefruit Cosmos.

The Food
This party is all about wrapping presents, so plan for the food to be sitting out for a while. Set out small salad plates for easy handling, and pile up your favorite platters with little sandwiches to enjoy while everyone is taping and tying ribbons. Because some guests will be eating while others are wrapping, be prepared to replenish sandwich platters throughout the evening.

To round out this simple menu, pick up some store-bought hummus to serve with celery sticks. Whip up some fancy popcorn and addictive pecans to place around the wrapping area for easy munching. We all know that you can work up an appetite while wrapping gifts!

The Extras
To make your gifts look extra special, use these instructions to make a set of handmade gift tags using rubber stamps and colored inks. For more information and ideas for rubber stamping, check out these websites:

Impress Rubber 

Stamps

Stampin' Up!

Rebecca Lang is a well-known cooking instructor, author, and food writer. She teaches Girls' Night In classes around the country and lives in Athens, Georgia.

Rebecca Lang, Contributing Editor
Oct, 2008
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