I hosted a fabulous little Christmas party last weekend. Well, it started out as a small, but the idea and guest list grew into a monster. I’m so thankful and blessed by so many precious friends to celebrate the holidays with. The next time you host your own celebration, consider some of these ideas to elevate your next event.
1. A Nontraditional Gift Exchange
I love love love a Christmas gift exchange, but it can also be a party buzzkill when everyone sits down and passes around gifts for a large chunk of time. So I came up with the idea to bring a gift and take a gift. Each of my guests were asked to bring a wrapped ornament and place it under the tree upon arrival. And when they leave, to grab a gift for themselves. It was a huge hit, especially for parties with lots of attendees.
2. Label Your Food and Snacks
Special labels, whether beautifully hand-written or professionally printed, take it to the next level. There is just something so special about providing detailed information for your guest to know what they are eating, especially if they are a loved one’s recipe. It is also helpful to identify food for those with food allergies, such as Dairy Free, Gluten Free or Vegan labels. For the tags, I used Worth Noting Designs.
3. S’mores Station
One thing my friends have come to expect when I’m entertaining is my fireside s’mores. It’s quite simple, but the look is dramatic. The key is the more the merrier and a full look with this gorgeous silver tower. Plus, I use these great telescopic marshmallow roasters for easy toasting, and don’t forget to toss in that unexpected option for people to create the perfect s’more!
4. Layers of Entertainment
I don’t always add layers of entertainment, but I felt one layer wouldn’t be enough for my special holiday party. Live music was a given, so I reached out to none other than Armond Vance to play his electric violin, and he was a giant mouth-dropping hit.
I also hired Lindsey Smith, aka Pookie the Clown, to twist up the most fabulous balloons you have ever seen. There was a line all night long for her creations.
But I didn’t stop there. I really wanted to give the gals who do my hair and makeup an opportunity to meet new friends and gain clientele, so we created Christy’s Glam Squad Beauty Bar. Maria Vega backcombed and fluffed my guest’s hair, while Shannon Caldwell Dowling of DFW Makeup and Hair color-matched the perfect red lip.
5. Hot Chocolate & Coffee Bar
Nothing elevates your party better than providing a treat for your guests as they leave. My hot chocolate and coffee bars have become a bit notorious over the years, and this one was by far the best display yet. We filled a tower with treats from Hurley House, Blue Bonnet Bakery and Dale’s Donuts. I also filled other spots with World Market cookies and Costco macarons. Everyone loves to spruce up their coffees and cocoas, so I provided a selection of marshmallows, crushed peppermint, sugar, chocolate chips, nutmeg and liqueurs. The final touch were mini-tiered silver stands filled with chocolate, peppermint and sugar stir sticks from Dollar Tree.
Nothing will wow your guests like a full caviar spread. I have been using Marky’s Caviar for years because of their quality, and it’s so delicious. But also their price points can’t be beat, which makes it affordable and fun to serve at my parties. Don’t forget to serve your caviar several ways by including cucumbers and potato chips for those with gluten sensitivities, along with blinis. And of course, all the accompaniments that make eating caviar so fun!
Merry Christmas and happy holidays to you all. Don’t forget to download my Neighborhood Christmas Lights Tour App and enter our contest for an Epic Helicopter Christmas Lights Flight with dinner at Toro Toro and a stay at the Worthington Hotel at the bottom of THIS BLOG. And while celebrating with family and loved ones, please don’t forget Jesus is the Reason for the Season!
PHOTO CREDIT: Laura McCarthy / Elusive Images