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Listen, we get it. It’s not that you’re lazy—you’re just already doing a million other things and frankly don’t have the time (or sanity) to spend five hours trying to create a wreath of cheese. (Spoiler: It’s a guaranteed Pinterest fail.) Luckily, we’ve picked up a few tricks for serving a gorgeous array of party delights with minimal hassle, and we really want to share.

cheese board

Use Fancy-Looking Trays

You see them used for decor and coffee-table centerpieces all the time. Now pick one up and actually use it the way the dinner-party gods intended. A random table where everyone grabs their own cheese? Meh. Walking around with a gorgeous wooden tray stacked with Manchego? “OMG, Kathy, fantastic party!”

Sponsored bai punch

Make Big Batch Cocktails

Instead of breaking out the individual cocktail shaker, break out your punch bowl and mix up a cocktail flavored with Bai antioxidant-infused drinks. Here’s how to make it: Pour in 1 bottleBai Ipanema Pomegranate, 1 bottle Bai Costa Rica Clementine, 1 cup dark rum and 2 bottles Prosecco. Slice 2 clementines into wheels and toss them into the bowl along with 4 cinnamon sticks, 1 cup pomegranate seeds and some orange zest, then stir it all up. To serve, encourage your guests to ladle drinks themselves—fun for them and simple for you.

mini pies

But Go Miniature With the Desserts

Look, there’s no one on the planet who doesn’t think a tiny pie is ten times more adorable than a regular eight-inch one. It’s kind of as simple as that. They’re cuter and therefore automatically more impressive to serve.

food labels

Label Everything

It takes three seconds, but guests love it. Not only does it make them feel more comfortable with what they’re about to consume (hey, there’s always that one friend) but it’s a fanciful addition to any spread.

melamine dishes
knape/Getty Images

Get Creative With Your Dishware

When you’re hosting enough people that using your own plates just isn’t practical, go a more interesting route than the typical waxy white. Pick up a bunch of melamine plates that are over-the-top festive or have pretty, colorful patterns.

rosemary sprig

When in Doubt, Put a Sprig On It

Seltzer looking plain? Naked layer cake looking a little modest? Top it with a rosemary sprig. It’s no secret that live greenery goes a long way (hence the wedding-table trend), so take your holiday get-together from school bake sale to Martha Stewart party by getting your hands on some live herbs and snipping away. (This goes for gift presentation, too.)

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