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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Jingle, Jingle, Jingle

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Image from Lucky Magazine

My holiday soiree is tonight! I have been on a roll as a party hostess this holiday season. This will be the third cocktail party/dinner/get-together I’ll have hosted before Christmas. While I had plenty of planning for the last two (those were during the 4-day long Thanksgiving weekend), for tonight’s, not so much. But with some holiday DIY, easy recipes, and adding some sparkle to a favorite dress, I think I’ll be okay. The best part that I’m looking forward to tonight? Seeing my BFF! She’s coming from Texas with her fiance to attend and hang out. Cannot wait to catch up over some champagne.

Drum roll please…have a look at my inspiration for this soiree:

1. Loving this Madewell emerald dress (Pantone’s 2013 color!) paired with a jewel-toned barrette. Image from Lucky Magazine.

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2. Channeling some holiday DIY from Iowa Girl Eats. Spruce and Berry Filled Mason Jars: easy, simple, and a whole lotta fun!

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3. Chocolate Fondue! Probably second on my list of what I’m looking forward to tonight. I am a chocolate lover through and through and I can’t wait to dip a strawberry in some luscious, milky soft chocolate. Totally worth skipping dinner for! Here is a recipe I like.

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Happy party season!