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.

Images / Cream Puff Image

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.



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.



Playing Hostess (Part 1)


Since I will be throwing a couple of holiday parties this year, I have been on the hunt for decorative pieces for my house and in search of yummy, but easy recipes.  In today’s Part 1 of the holiday guide, I’d like to share some shopping finds to either 1) accent your home for your party or 2) bring as a gift to the next party you attend.  Part 2 tomorrow will be decorating yourself (finding that perfect outfit!) and planning the cocktail and dinner menu.
Here we go!


West Elm Jali Lattice Dinnerware, for a festive dinner but not over the top


Decorative Pashmina Pillow from Zara Home


Foo Dogs Set from C Wonder


Fresh mini soaps to spice up the bathroom


Happiness vases from Wisteria, perfect with some pink peonies


Fun and festive wine bottle toppers from Pottery Barn


Coffee table books (from Amazon)

Enjoy the party planning (or attending)!  Check back tomorrow for party outfits.