Election Returns Party Food Ideas


Election Party

Election Party Food Ideas

If you’re hosting an election party while you watch the returns, serve a generously stocked buffet of appetizers as opposed to a sit-down meal. Choose a few old favorites, try a couple of easy new ideas, and make the food simple, but plentiful. You’re sure to have a winner on your hands!

  • Add paper American flag picks to all the finger food.
  • Great staples for a buffet style finger food meal include chicken wings, chicken strips (offer 3 or 4 interesting dipping sauces), meatballs (Swedish or BBQ), mini eggrolls, whole water chestnuts wrapped in bacon, nachos, or an assortment of sandwiches made on mini buns (about 3-4 bite size). Make everything ahead of time, and store hot items in a warming tray, or in an oven set at 200 degrees.
  • Veggie Tray: Include raw cauliflower, broccoli, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, carrots, celery, snow peas, zucchini, etc. with a sour cream based dip. Ranch dips are popular with adults and children.
  • Serve CHILI accompanied by lots of “add-ins”. Add bowls of shredded cheese, chopped onion, sour cream, hot sauce, oyster crackers, jalapeno peppers, and spaghetti (Cincinnati style) to your table. Serve cornbread muffins along with the chili. Make this All-American style meal complete by adding hot dogs and apple pie for dessert. Comfort food at its finest!

Add a few hearty dips that can be made ahead. Here are a few that are extra easy to make, and are always a big hit:

  • CREAM CHEESE DIP: Purchase cream cheese in block form, and top with salsa (flavored salsas are great), cocktail sauce and crabmeat, green pepper jelly, or jam (any flavor works, but apricot is delicious!). If you are feeling adventurous, combine a couple of packages, and mold them into the shape of a star. Serve with a variety of crackers. Triscuit™ thins are perfect with this dip.
  • ARTICHOKE DIP: Mix 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, 1 cup mayonnaise (“light” is okay to use), and 1-24 oz. can of artichoke hearts, chopped into small pieces. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, and serve with crackers. This dip can be served warm, or at room temperature.
  • EASY CHEESY DIP: Add one large block of Velveeta Cheese, one 16 oz. can of chili without beans, and one 16 oz. jar of salsa to a crock pot. Stir occasionally. The dip is ready when the cheese is completely melted. Serve with bite-sized tortilla chips.
  • BAKED BRIE: Hollow out a loaf of French or sourdough bread, cutting the bread so that you have a “lid”. Fill the hole with Brie cheese, and put the lid back on. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Serve with small chunks of bread, or crackers. If the Brie is not to your taste, fill the bread bowl with another type of dip, such as a creamy spinach dip.
  • SHRIMP COCKTAIL: Serve on ice, along with cocktail sauce. This is a little more costly than most items you might plan to serve, but it will make your guests feel special, and the color looks terrific on a buffet.
  • Serve plenty of fresh red and blue fruit including strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, watermelon and red apples.
  • Scatter several bowls of munchies around the areas where your guests will be watching the returns…Chips, pretzels, nuts, M&Ms™, popcorn, and Chex™ Mix. Serve dry munchies in star serving trays.
  • Create a simple sheet cookie and frost it with white frosting. Decorate the cookie with blueberries and strawberries in the shape of a flag, or decorate with red and blue colored sugar.
  • Serve Election Elixirs (beverages) in patriotic stadium cups. Have a few permanent markers available so that each guest can label his/her cup. This will cut down on the number of “misplaced” cups throughout the event. Guests can also take the stadium cup home as a favor.
  • Serve a spectacular dessert complete with sparklers (after verifying that use of sparklers is legal in your state). Rich chocolate brownies cut into star shapes accompanied by fresh raspberries and real whip cream would be a “winning ticket” for this party.

Halloween Kid Party Planning


The one big difference between planning Halloween kid parties and other children’s parties is keeping the degree of scariness consistent with the comfort level of the age group. This is not always readily apparent. For example, younger children can be quite sensitive to Halloween sound effect CDs with their creaks, rumbles of thunder and “evil” laughter, even the most fake-sounding ones. When in doubt, go with the less scary option!

Outside of the degree of tolerated scariness, Halloween parties are the same as other kids’ parties in that one of the biggest challenges is keeping young guests occupied just right.

We recommend having something to start off imaginative play right from arrival with wigs, pirate hooks, face paints or other wearables from our costume accessories department. Alternatively, you can select from one or more of nearly two dozen Halloween designs with our Create-a-Funtoo option for temporary tattoos.

When all the guests have arrived, start with the most active games to help burn off excessive excitement – outdoors if you can! Balloon-popping games, relays and treasure hunts are all good choices.

If trick-or-treat will be part of the party fun, consider checking with your local fire station to see if the firefighters will welcome trick-or-treaters. Many of them do, and such an outing would constitute an extra treat for some age groups.

Be sure to include glow stick favors with lanyards as party favors if you’re planning outdoor fun.

When the party’s end looms, start bringing the activity level down a notch with pumpkin painting and party crafts.

The right timing and balance of active vs. quiet activities is the key to success in Halloween kid party planning. Schedule plenty, and always have an extra trick (or treat) up your sleeve!

Stunning Holiday Wedding Ideas


Weddings scheduled on or near holidays create many opportunities to honor traditions and to bring a fresh take to those traditions.

As usual, one of your first decisions will be about your wedding theme event colors. The choices are not always as obvious as a person might think. Halloween and Thanksgiving don’t automatically have to be pumpkin orange, but instead could be dressed in a stately autumn chrysanthemum burgundy with brown and gold accents. Christmas could take up the burgundy or go dusty rose instead of red.

One terrific advantage nowadays is the availability of floral accompaniments which, through breeding and dying techniques, offer alternatives to traditional colors. Poinsettias can be blue or gold. Some varieties of potted shamrocks for a St. Patrick’s Day wedding have purple foliage or yellow flowers.

Try to include real or artificial trees and boughs in holiday wedding decorating also. Potted, flocked evergreens with twinkle lights might be obvious, but they still make quite an impact at a Christmas wedding. Tall, bare willow branches might be used spring or fall, painted in white or silver and employed in centerpieces or tied prettily with gossamer streamers to the ends of church pews.

Once the colors are set, consider also selecting a symbol that has meaning both for the holiday and for wedded bliss. Stars are evocative of wishes and moonlit serenades, but also are natural for decorating patriotic holidays. You could perhaps select a pair of doves as a Christmas-wedding symbol, or a rose (or, of course, hearts) for a Valentine’s Day wedding. The symbol can be etched or imprinted on gifts, wedding favors, and napkins.

Try to incorporate traditional holiday food and drink into your holiday wedding, such as hot cider at Christmastime or champagne cocktails on New Year’s.

Look for elegant decorations and tableware in your holiday wedding theme colors, including balloons and centerpieces, in our holiday party and wedding supply pages.

4th Quarter Business Party Ideas


If you are scheduling a business party in the coming months, follow a process that quickly narrows your focus to facilitate planning.

First, establish the overall goal and budget. Is this a celebration of success, an opportunity to entertain clients, or essentially a team-building exercise? Once you’ve spelled out the main objectives of the event and the numbers, deciding on the level of formality, tone and venue becomes a snap.

Please see this earlier post for business party slogan and invitation ideas. As you can see, we are kind of partial to humorous themes and slogans that encourage a bit of tie-loosening and not to take ourselves too seriously!

A laid-back, relaxed atmosphere allows creative juices to flow – and speaking of which, if your office is full of grown-ups why not host a Mad Men themed party? Imprint Foil Brite place cards with your company logo, write in Mad Men characters’ names and watch hilarity ensue as colleagues select their seats. Serve 60s favorites like rumaki and chilled, shaken martinis poured into quirky twist stem glassware.

As we head into fall and winter, consider going with seasonal themes. Set a festive autumnal tone in board room or break room with fall tissue lanterns, glitter leaves and other fall party supplies. For gala holiday and year-end business party celebrations, select a large decorating piece such as our winter background illustration or snowflake arch to inspire color choices in business party invitations, decorations and tableware.

Is it an awards event? Be sure to check out the Employee Recognition store, too.

Whether it’s a retirement, office birthday or corporate event on your business party planning horizon, shop ShindigZ office party supplies for ideas and answers.

Unique Wedding Party Gift Ideas


Unique Wedding Favors

Unique Wedding Favors

It is never easy to decide what gifts to buy for your wedding party. These are your dearest friends and they deserve the best. The following list is to help generate ideas for gifts for those whose hard work, love and support will make your wedding day special. You might find something perfect for your wedding party, or perhaps a suggestion will trigger the perfect gift. Whatever you choose, wrap the gifts in beautiful paper, tie them with flowing gossamer streamers and attach a silk or real flower as a finishing touch!

  • Photo Frames – imprinted or unimprinted. Take a photo of each member of the wedding party with the bride or groom and forward it to them after the wedding with a special note of thanks. A frame is an excellent gift as everyone can always use one more.
  • Photo Albums – imprinted or unimprinted. These can be filled with pictures of the wedding… sent after the fact, with a quick thank you note. They can also be filled with pictures of great times from the history you have shared. Stash a few pictures in each album of childhood years, class pictures, prom photos…you name it. You might also add a note in the front of the photo album stating again how much the friendship means to you…yesterday, today and tomorrow.
  • Photo Cubes – imprinted or unimprinted. Fill the box with photo memories old and new, as well as simple reminders of shared experiences.
  • Personalized Keytags – A simple gift that everyone can use. The key tags can be presented to wedding attendants at the rehearsal dinner. They make terrific napkin holders!
  • Personalized Glassware – Simple wineglasses are a nice gift with or without an accompanying bottle of wine, wine decanter or wine cooler. Along with the wineglass, extend an invitation to share a bottle of wine after the honeymoon, and your attendants will know they won’t be forgotten just because you have chosen to marry!
  • Personalized Mugs – imprinted or unimprinted. Give one or a set of 4 or more. Have them imprinted with the names of the entire wedding party, or with a simple message of gratitude for the role they have played in your life.
  • Money Clip with Photo Holder – imprinted or unimprinted. A simple gift for the groom’s party.
  • Personalized Candles – With or without a scent. Candles have become increasingly popular, and again, you can never have too many.

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