tortilla chips and ruffled potato chips
3 types of dip- usually salsa, ranch, onion -you can get premade dip - I'd check sams or costco for larger size- onion dip goes fast around here
6-7 avocados and a matching quantity of Guacamole mix (or 7 layer dip from sams/costco - faster, easier and likely cheaper- hard to get into a pretty dish, tho)
2 large trays of assorted veggies (can get at sams/costco)
2 med. watermelon, skinned and diced into a bowl or two
tray of cubed varieties of cheese or slices
3 boxes mixed party crackers
Couple dishes of mixed nuts set around- possibly by the drink station
2 crock pots- one for salsa con queso (block of velveeta, can of rotel- set on low and leave it alone), and some of those little smokies with enough decent BBQ sauce to keep em' covered, set on low (on of my faves to find at a party)
If you are so-inclined you can do a large pasta salad the night before- boil tri-color rotini, drain & set aside, dice 1 each- cucumber, 2 colors bell pepper, shave 3 carrots into ribbons lightly chop to 1 inch pieces, 1 can sliced black olives. keep your vegg and pasta seperate till it's time to throw it together- when you're ready to throw it together mix and toss pasta and vegg, add 1 pack crumbled feta, and dress with Zesty Italian dressing- toss and serve - you can also chop and toss in 1 head of romaine if you want to stretch the pasta salad
don't know what your drink plans are- but fruit punch for an youngsters, and usually a couple bottles of vodka (and either some nice fruit juices or liters of various colas) and a pony keg of nice beer from your local liquor store will suffice.
Pick up some sturdy party ware- and maybe some festively seasonal serving ware (walmart or target usually has cute serving plates to display your snacks), and don't forget some lawn garbage bags. You'll want sturdy bags to haul all your trash away in!!! =D
Enjoy your shin-dig!