3 Tips for Hosting the Most Festive Holiday Parties

 

Had my Holiday Party this past Monday and it was stellar. I’ve written about how to host great parties previously so will only reiterate my top 3 tips:

 

#1:  DON’T DRINK AND HOST

 This is something I started doing a couple of years ago and I cannot tell you how much of a positive impact it has had on my parties.

  •  As the host it is easy to get stressed and drink too much which has way too many downsides to enumerate.
  • But the primary problem with a “toasted” host is that your party is now rudderless. So Just Don’t Do It! And I must add that as much as I like drinking, the positive outcome of being a sober host is so phenomenal that I don’t feel deprived at all. It’s 100% worthwhile.

 

#2:  KEEP IT EASY PEASY

Simple, not complicated is the way to go. Only serve things you can prepare in advance, no last minute slaving away in the kitchen. I don’t even do a Christmas tree because it is too much of a hassle to take down. However, I did do a wreath that I shamelessly copied from Katarina Matsson’s instagram (she’s the content director of ELLE Sweden). Hers is way chicer than mine but it was a big hit nevertheless.

I’ve also gotten more confident about how much food I really need. My preference is to have very little in the way of leftovers.

For this party, with 35 people, that ran for almost 6 hours, I served:

  • 4 salads (farro, barley, quinoa and black-eyed peas): based on the recipes, the salads could serve 20 people
  • 4 lbs of various cheeses
  • 4 lbs of cold cuts and saucisson sec
  • 2 lbs olives, dried tomatoes, cornichons, etc.
  • 2 large baguettes sliced
  • 4 boxes of crackers
  • Chocolates and cookies (not an excessive amount) – all from Jacques Torres
  • Fresh strawberries

 

HIRE THE BEST HELP YOU CAN AFFORD!!

 This is my second party with Kyle Banks and it was even more of a success than the previous one (my birthday, back in August).

  • A good server has the skills to make sure everything looks amazing and consistently keeps service dishes perfectly plated and clean.
  • Kyle also kept cheeses and charcuteries looking so appetizing even as people dug in.
  • Wine was served, platters were washed – AND he kept me hydrated with sparkling water.
  • And my guests love him – he’s a super cool, interesting guy.

 

Bottom Line: The Annual Holiday Party was a huge success (see more photos below).

Also, below read more on what is happening to corporate holiday parties (especially in the real estate industry known for their wild, over-the-top bashes).

 

Irma’s Holiday Party:

Great crowd

Kyle making it all look great

Michelle Flood and Paige Newman Photo Credit: Loreen Stevens

From Left: Me (Irma), Rachelle Bergstein, Paige Newman, Rebecca Cole Photo Credit: Loreen Stevens

Laetitia Longuefosse and Gonzalo de la Pezuela Photo Credit: Loreen Stevens

Wreath copied from Instagram

In lieu of a tree

My faux fireplace

 

NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT:

Company Holiday Parties

I am hearing more companies are getting spartan and cutting back on their holiday festivities.

  •  Sometimes it’s for budgetary reasons and sometimes, it’s to avoid any potential sexual improprieties e.g. the number of firms serving alcohol is expected to drop to 49.7% from 62%.
  • 11% of companies are cancelling their parties altogether.

The Real Deal just did a very interesting piece on how many of the top real estate companies are dialing back their lavish parties in response to the struggling real estate market (I had not seen these figures before, real estate appears to be cratering).

  • Retail, hotels and super-high end are all in distress.
  • Manhattan investment-sales volume dropped 55% for the first three quarters of 2017.
  • For residential, the median price of a new development condo dropped 23% during the third quarter.
  • Time on market jumped 65% to 264 days.

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