Essentials of Throwing a Holiday Party

Having thrown several holiday parties this season, I thought I would share my essentials for holiday entertaining.  Depending on how much (or little) you want to do, you can certainly jazz up (or tone down) any of the five elements.  Have you hosted any parties this month?  Let me know your party essentials in the comments section!

1. Decor: Decorating your apartment or house in a festive way sets the tone for the party.  There’s no need to go all out and turn your house into a winter wonderland.  A little DIY with items you already have in the house will sure to add some sparkle.

  • Place some ornaments (can pick a particular theme/color or just throw in different sizes and shapes) in a bowl and place on your dining table or coffee table:

  • Wrap a garland along your stairs:

  • Use gold accents (the perfect holiday color) in your table setting:

  • Place some wrapped gifts and lights some candles on your shelves or mantle:

2. Food & Drinks: If you’re throwing a cocktail party, have small party bites on hand that span from salty to sweet.  Think crudites, spiced nut mix, sliced meat and cheese selection, chicken skewers in a dipping sauce, dips, crostini, and bar bites.  For dessert, let your guests have some fun with a chocolate fondue.  Use pound cake, strawberries, pretzels, and marshmallows for dipping.  Make one signature cocktail for the night and let plenty of wine and champagne flow.  You can also kick up spiced apple cider to make a hot toddy for your guests.  I love perusing Food & Wine for their delicious and easy holiday and drink recipes.

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3. Friends: Invite the whole bunch!  Include the fashionista, the diva, the funny one, the home-baker, the karaoke singer…you get the idea!

4. Music: Have music playing in the background throughout the night and change as the party moves on.  Mix in jazz, Christmas classics, and some modern holiday jingles.

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5. Fun: End the night with some at-home karaoke or story-telling around the fire.  It’s all about having fun at your party with your dearest friends and family.

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8 days until Christmas…

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There are 8 days left until Christmas!  How is everyone’s shopping and holiday party hopping going?  Waking up this morning, I found a TON of emails and messages alerting me to all the sales going on right now.  If you’re an online shopper, you have a couple of days left to ship gifts before the 25th!  Below is a round of holiday sales that I’ve found:

J.Crew’s holiday sale ends today.  30% off every purchase and free shipping.  3 days left for standard holiday delivery.

Quincy’s 30% off sale ends this Wednesday, 12/19.  Code: HOLIDAY30.

Banana Republic has a 30% off sale online and in-stores until 12/18.  Code: BR48HOUR.

Gap has a 35% off your purchase sale, ending today, 12/17.  Code: GAPGIVE.

Piperlime has up to 50% off.  It’s part of their twice-yearly clearance.  Extra 20% off on sweaters, ending today.  Code: COZY.

Madewell has a 30% off sale on all purchases online and in-stores.  Free shipping on all orders.  Code: MERRY.

Club Monaco: Take an extra 30% off already-reduced styles. Online only.  Code: GIFT30.  Until 12/19, regular offer of free “economy” shipping has been upgraded to free “Standard Ground Shipping”.

Ann Taylor: 50% off full-priced tops and sweaters.  Code: TOPS.  Take extra 25% off sales styles, no code needed.

Happy Shopping!