Wednesday, November 30, 2011
December kicks off this magical season - the spirit of Christmas, holiday parties and festivities with family and friends – isn’t that what this time of the year is for when we entertain? Why then do so many people get stressed out for planning a party?
Gone are the days when most people would just quickly plan a get-together; or call a few friends on the spur of the moment, make some easy snacks and have a casual evening. Times have changed, and today, society demands it is all about the type of food, the look of the party and getting the right group of friends together at the same time, instead of just letting everyone mix and mingle.
Everyone has their idea of what the perfect party will be. Holiday parties are no different than any other special event, including weddings. Houses are decorated from traditional to ultra-modern and contemporary to the current popular "rustic elegance." Look at the décor all around us — anything goes. And the most common request? A "wow" factor when guests walk through the door. Today's holiday decor knows no right or wrong. It's hard to even remember when turkey was ONLY for Thanksgiving and Christmas — or shrimp cocktail was a New Year’s Eve or day treat? And Christmas colors were ALWAYS red and green?
Here's a couple of our favorite looks for this holiday season:
Winter Wonderland – all white and glitzy, full of crystal and snow. Centerpieces include white floral, candlelight; refreshments include sparkling champagne with butler-served appetizers.
Rustic Elegance – plenty of natural fabrics; centerpieces with cranberries, nuts, and greens; comfort foods and spiked wassil.
Timeless Traditional – familiar reds and greens as color scheme; evergreens and pine cones; buffet with a variety of timeless favorites like wings, meatballs and creamy dips.
Modern Sophistication – Contemporary blacks and chrome with a strong pop of color (think turquoise or lime green); spandex table coverings; martinis and tapas food stations; centerpieces of vases filled with shiny ornaments and metallics.
Our tips for having a stress-free, enjoyable event?
#1 - Have the party that makes YOU comfortable; when you are relaxed, your guests are going to enjoy the evening as much or more because they'll take their cue from you.
#2 – If you aren’t the person that loves to prepare food - call on your favorite caterer – there are many out there offering items to fit every like and taste. Pick the perfect menu and check it off your list.
#3 – Whether it is a decorator, a party rental company or extra servers to help you – depend on someone you trust for their expertise, knowledge and advice. Don’t cause any additional stress by wondering if the linens are going to be perfect or the delivery on time.
#4 – If you are using a rental company – schedule the delivery early and request set-up of items instead of just drop-offs.
#5 – Renting makes sense - it saves you time and energy – and at the end of your party, you pack it up and send it back (no storing and less trash and clean-up).
Most importantly, create a comfortable, warm inviting environment where guests will have fun and enjoy themselves, with you doing whatever makes you comfortable. With the right help and approach, you'll enjoy your party from the beginning to the end — and that's what entertaining this season is really all about.