Get ready to knock everything off of your holiday party list in one afternoon and without breaking the bank. Check out this four-stop shopping trip full of creative options and fun tips. Pick up everything you need without leaving Annandale!
(4421 John Marr Dr.; 703-354-6178)
First on the list: decorations. The Party Company has an entire Christmas aisle devoted to the holiday season. Sales associate Michael Sandoval said the aisle is chalk-full of tinsel, nine-foot pine garlands, ceiling decorations, wall hangings and scene setters in a wide variety of styles including classic red and green, snowflakes and candy canes.
“There’s a lot here to choose from,” Sandoval said. “We just got in our Christmas and New Year’s scene setters for decorating a full room. Plus, we have plates, napkins and utensils to match.”
The Party Company has plate sets in many different patterns including ornaments, poinsettias and Christmas trees. Sandoval said the store also carries centerpieces, cardboard wreath cut-outs with fold-out bells in the center and pretty much anything else you may need to make your home look festive.
And for those of you who like to dress up around the holidays, look no further. “If anyone’s looking for Santa suits, we’ve got those,” Sandoval said. “We even have little elf costumes for the kids.”
Scene setters run anywhere from $7-$10 and a set of 50 nine-inch plates runs for $7.80.
(7414 Little River Tnpk.; 703-941-3874)
Next up are hors d’oeuvres. Get creative this year with a few treats that are easy to make but very unique. The best part is all of the ingredients can be found at your local Safeway! Try this easy recipe for prosciutto-cantaloupe bites. This light, healthy hors d’oeuvre is perfect for those guests who may be watching their figures over the holidays. All you’ll need is a cantaloupe, a package of sliced prosciutto, one lime, fresh mint, olive oil, chili flakes and some skewers (you can also use toothpicks for bite-sized servings!)
Check out this recipe for garlic and rosemary stuffed mushrooms. Again, your ingredient list is short and easy: mushrooms, garlic, breadcrumbs, parsley, rosemary, olive oil and butter will do the trick! If you feel like making it extra decadent, feel free to sprinkle parmesan cheese on top while the mushrooms are baking or switch it up and stuff them with pesto (note: personally recommended by yours truly!)
And always remember the power of cheese! Safeway has a fabulous selection of gourmet cheeses ranging from soft to hard and mild to very stinky. I highly recommend Montchevré goat cheese because it goes well with most everything (grapes, salami, crackers, olives, etc.) and can be used as a spread as well. Or go back to basics with the classic Presidential Brie Cheese Log for $8.49. Safeway offers a variety of crackers, fresh bread and toasted or garlic breadsticks to serve with the cheese. Toasted Grissini Breadsticks are available at Safeway for $3.99.
Total Wine & More (6240 Little River Tnpk.; 703-941-1133)
Now it’s time to pick out the best (and most affordable!) bubbly and vino for your holiday party. It's technically over the Alexandria border, but this nearby wine store has it all! Wine Team Member Caroline Walsh gave me her top picks for the holiday season.
Santi Nello Prosecco for $14.99: A crowd-pleaser because it’s light-bodied, dry and nuanced with flavors of apple and citrus.
Graham Beck Brut for $16.99: This South African wine with Pinot and Chardonnay grapes has a unique and complex taste with notes of citrus.
Albrecht Pinot Gris for $17.99: This medium-bodied French wine is often paired with turkey, seafood and Asian cuisine.
R Sparr Alsace One for $11.99: This versatile French wine is light-bodied with a crisp taste and citrus notes.
Angeline Pinot Noir for $11.99: Walsh recommends this red wine if you’re interested in getting a little bang for your buck. The great value Pinot is a medium-bodied California red with a full palate of strawberries, raspberries and tea and spice.
(7326 Little River Tnpk. Suite A; 703-914-0088)
Last but not least, dessert! This Annandale bakery has a great holiday special for all cakes. If you purchase a $30 cake, you will receive a free gift of $5. The same applies for a $50 cake ($10 gift) and a $100 cake ($20 gift). You can redeem your free gift through the end of January. Cakes range in color, style and flavor but are all beautifully decorated. Ornate white chocolate trim, delicate dark chocolate shavings, marzipan mice and lovely icing roses are just a few of the unique designs found at Le Matin De Paris.
The bakery is also more than happy to make a bigger cake specifically for your party. Most cakes range from $25.99-$45.99 based on size. You can purchase Christmas mini-roll cakes for only $8.99 or two for $16.99. The mini-rolls include festive decorations such as plastic Merry Christmas signs, little snowmen or Santa Claus. Or choose from their individual treats to put on a pastry tray and serve with some eggnog. Small treats include cupcakes for $2.99, fruit tarts ranging from $4.99-$7.99 and Éclairs for $4.99.
Now you're all set to throw a great holiday bash and still have money left over to check out some after-Christmas sales! Happy holidays!